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Analysts predict who Bears will draft

Posted Feb 6, 2014

The NFL Draft is still three months away and free agency no doubt will change team needs. But it's never too early to see who NFL analysts think the Bears will select in the first round.

The NFL Draft is three months away and free agency no doubt will change the needs of teams throughout the league. But that doesn't keep pro football analysts from generating mock drafts, and here's what they think the Bears will do with the 14th pick in the first round:

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
Pick: Timmy Jernigan, Florida State defensive tackle
Analysis: "Another pick I'm sticking with because of the hand-to-glove fit of talent and need. I'm a bigger fan of Jernigan in a 4-3 look, where he's using his power to go through a blocker and not trying to beat people off the snap and use quickness. He's not a blow-by rusher, but has the strength and quick feet to eat up a running play before it goes anywhere. The Bears were a mess on the inside of the D-line last season due to injuries."

Todd McShay, ESPN
Pick: Timmy Jernigan, Florida State defensive tackle
Analysis: "The Bears have a lot of uncertainty along their defensive line: defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins were both placed on the injured reserve last season and are free agents this offseason; DT Jay Ratliff and DE Corey Wootton are also scheduled to become free agents; and DT Stephen Paea's contract expires after the 2014 season. Enter Jernigan, who won't wow anybody with his physique at the combine and doesn't always look pretty out on the field, but is a stout, quick and powerful football player who would be a great fit in the Bears' one-gap scheme."

Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated
Pick: Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama safety
Analysis: "The Bears have some work to do in their secondary. At cornerback, Charles Tillman's headed to free agency and, at some point in the next draft or two, they'll need a fallback plan for Tim Jennings (currently 30 years old, with a new contract that allows Chicago to boot him easily after 2015.) Safety's a mess, too. Major Wright's a pending free agent and Chris Conte is ... well, not very good. Clinton-Dix is the top player at his position and fits a need."

Nate Davis, USA Today
Pick: Timmy Jernigan, Florida State defensive tackle
Analysis: "Given Chicago's woeful play against the run and the likely departure of DT Henry Melton, Jernigan is made to order."

Eric Galko, Sporting News
Pick: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State cornerback
Analysis: "The Bears' run defense needs the most help, but with the physical cornerback Dennard being among the Top 10 prospects in this draft, as well as an ideal fit the Bears' defense, he's tough to pass on at this stage. This is probably the lowest spot Dennard falls to before teams start clawing their way to trade up for him."

Rob Rang, CBSSports.com
Pick: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State cornerback
Analysis: "Given the Bears' toothless defense a season ago and the highly explosive offenses of the NFC North, Chicago is almost certain to select a defender with their first pick of the 2014 draft. Dennard plays with the physicality and instincts of a young Charles Tillman, who is reportedly planning to explore possibilities outside of Chicago in free agency."

Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com
Pick: Timmy Jernigan, Florida State defensive tackle
Analysis: "The Bears need to add depth in the secondary and the interior defensive line in the offseason. When Jernigan is explosive off the ball and uses his combination of athleticism and natural strength, he's a tough player to block in the middle."

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