The 2021 NFL Draft is almost here and it’s time for a Chicago Bears mock draft to show how this team can still be successful after missing out on the top quarterbacks this offseason.
A three-game winning streak by Mitch Trubisky helped Chicago reach the NFL Playoffs, but it also sent this team tumbling down the NFL Draft order. Instead of having a top-12 pick, an ideal spot for a trade-up to land a top quarterback, the Bears are sitting 20th overall. With a top rookie quarterback and a Russell Wilson trade, general manager Ryan Pace will need to get creative in what might be the draft class that determines his future.
With the help of The Draft Network’s simulator, let’s dive into our Chicago Bears mock draft.
Chicago Bears mock draft: Reshaping the offense without a top quarterback
At least four quarterbacks will be taken within the top-six picks of the 2021 NFL Draft and all five will be gone long before the Bears are on the clock. Trading up is likely off the table and Seattle is committed to keeping Wilson. So, given Chicago’s excitement about starter Andy Dalton, we’ll approach this Bears mock draft with quarterback out of mind.
First round, 31st pick*: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
- Chicago Bears mock draft trade: Kansas City Chiefs send 31st, 52nd overall picks for 20th overall pick, 2022 fourth-round pick
Chicago could stand pat at No. 20 and take a wide receiver like Rashod Bateman or one of the second-tier offensive tackles to bolster the offensive line. But with so many needs on offense, trading down and acquiring more top-100 selections to help put a better supporting cast around Dalton is key.
Matt Harmon, an NFL analyst and the creator of Reception Perception, sees some similarities between Elijah Moore and Antonio Brown. One of the Ole Miss star’s best traits is his ability to easily create separation from defensive backs, doing the little things to get that extra step and putting himself in a position for huge YAC plays.
Moore is a slot receiver, lining up at just 5-foot-9, but he is excellent at what he does. While there is a perceived diminished value with slot wide receivers, Tyler Lockett has shown how dangerous they can be in an electrifying offense. If the Bears can convince Allen Robinson to stay, pairing these two together would provide Dalton with an outstanding duo.
Second round, 52nd pick: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
One of Chicago’s biggest weaknesses enter the NFL Draft is its offensive line. With Bobby Massie gone and Germain Ifedi a terrible bet from an offense with little margin for error, finding a right tackle is crucial. One other thing this team could use, versatility from its linemen and a player who could line up at different spots.
Alex Leatherwood played inside at Alabama before kicking outside to right tackle and eventually left tackle. While he did well there, his snaps against college competition showed that he struggled against more athletic edge rushers. That’s a big problem at left tackle in the NFL, but it’s less of one on the right side. Thanks to his size, arm length and power, Leatherwood could do well on the right side and would be reliable at creating running lanes and using his power to keep pass rushers away from the quarterback.
Second round, 63rd pick*: Wyatt Davis, iOL, Ohio State
This is part of the reason why the Bears should trade down. needs at wide receiver and along the offensive line should be addressed as early as possible. By sliding down in that trade with Kansas City, Chicago now gets to invest three top-75 picks in its offense and two of those selections will really help this team upfront.
Wyatt Davis, once considered a first-round prospect, but he has understandably after a down 2020 season. Keep in mind, though, Pro Football Focus still credits him with having only allowed four sacks and one quarterback hit in 865 career pass-block snaps. He looked his best in pass protection, but his balance and power could also make him a quality run blocker. Plug him in at right guard in Week 1 and suddenly, paired with the Leatherwood pick, the Bears’ offensive line will be a lot better in 2021.
Third round, 83rd overall: Jay Tufele, iDL, USC
The bears seemingly came close to moving on from Akiem Hicks this offseason, which would have been a terrible decision. While he will be back on the field in 2021, it’s evident that considers for a post-Hicks future are already being discussed in the building. So, let’s find Chicago a player it can groom into being a starter.
Jay Tufele sat out the 2020 season, a decision that might cost him millions of dollars. He showed impressive athleticism in 208 and ’19, especially for a 305-pound lineman. He needs plenty of work and projected him as a 3-4 DE is projecting, but there’s also the versatility to play defensive tackle if a new coaching staff brings changes in 2022. Ultimately, just based on his athleticism, this would be a quality gamble.
Chicago Bears mock draft: Day 3 targets in 2021 NFL Draft
- Fifth round, 164th overall: Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU
- Sixth round, 204th overall: Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE, Florida State
- Sixth round, 208th overall: Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State
- Sixth round, 221st overall: Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
- Sixth round, 228th overall: Rachad Wildgoose Jr., CB, Wisconsin
What do you think about our Chicago Bears mock draft? Let us know in the comments below.