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Who analysts think Bears will draft

Posted Apr 25, 2018

With the NFL Draft commencing Thursday night, ChicagoBears.com takes a final look at who analysts think the Bears will select with the No. 8 pick in the first round.

With the NFL Draft commencing Thursday night, we take a final look at who analysts think the Bears will select with the No. 8 pick in the first round:

Will Brinson, CBS Sports (April 24)
Pick: Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson
Comment: Perfect fit with his old coach. Quarterbacks need to slip and trades need to happen in order for Nelson to be on the board here.

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com (April 12)
Pick: Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward
Comment: Despite the Bears' focus on upgrading the offense earlier this offseason, adding an electric cover corner with exceptional speed, quickness and movement skills is a top priority for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy.

Charley Casserly, NFL.com (April 3)
Pick: Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward
Comment: This pick gives the Bears two talented young cornerbacks with Ward joining Kyle Fuller in the secondary.

Curtis Conway, NFL.com (April 23)
Pick: Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward
Comment: Chicago needs a cornerback who can play man to man and hold his own against the receivers the Bears face in the NFC North. There's no doubt Ward is up to the challenge.

Charles Davis, NFL.com (April 24)
Pick: Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson
Comment: The Bears cannot believe he lasted this long, but now they have the makings of an all-pro interior O-line: Cody Whitehair at C, Kyle Long at RG, and now Nelson at LG. Good move to build around second-year QB Mitchell Trubisky.

Nate Davis, USA Today (April 25)
Pick: Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick
Comment: A similar player to (Derwin) James, Fitzpatrick is slightly less imposing but also offers more in a coverage role. He could be a nice nickel between CBs Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara and perhaps a starting safety in short order.

Eric Edholm, Pro Football Weekly (April 24)
Pick: Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith
Comment: I'm torn here, as Nelson is gone, and I don't know if there's a team willing to trade up for a QB to this spot. I think they're fascinated by Tremaine Edmunds' size and upside, but Smith is just too good to pass up on. Want Vic Fangio to feel like he has some pull on this team after being passed over for the head-coaching job? Draft Smith, who could step in and be capable of covering tight ends as he is stuffing the run or blitzing. A special talent.

Adam Jahns, Chicago Sun-Times (April 16)
Pick: Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith
Comment: Smith's natural instincts and speed outweigh concerns about his size (6-1, 236 pounds). He fits the mold for linebackers in today's pass-happy NFL. It starts with him being quick and fast enough to cover running backs out of the backfield.

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com (April 17)
Pick: Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds
Comment: Edmunds is starting to gain a lot of steam when you talk to teams around the league. It wouldn't surprise me if he were off the board before Chicago picks.

Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL.com (April 10)
Pick: Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey
Comment: With all the new weapons added in free agency, Chicago needs to protect its franchise quarterback. McGlinchey, whose college O-line coach (Harry Hiestand) is now with the Bears, will help do just that.

Peter King, Sports Illustrated (April 23)
Pick: Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson
Comment: If this doesn't happen, every mock drafter in America will be proven to be the frauds we all are. I mean, usually there's some universal agreement on something at the top of the draft. This year, it's universal agreement on the man Notre Dame line-coach-turned-new-Bears line coach Harry Hiestand coached in his college career, Nelson. And it fits what new coach Matt Nagy wants—a mauler who will help Nagy build the run game and protective front wall to give Mitchell Trubisky the space and time he needs in up-the-middle protection. Smart pick.

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN (April 4)
Pick: Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson
Comment: I thought about a linebacker here, but Nelson fills a big hole and should help Mitchell Trubisky.

Todd McShay, ESPN (April 25)
Pick: Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson
Comment: Chicago would be thrilled with this pick, getting the No. 2 player on my board at No. 8. Nelson is a plug-and-play guard.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (April 19)
Pick: Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson
Comment: He is the cleanest player in the draft and the Bears need guard help. He would step in at left guard and start right away.

Chad Reuter, NFL.com (April 20)
Pick: Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson
Comment: New Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand would love to see his former pupil at South Bend available here. Hiestand previously served as ND's O-line coach.

Peter Schrager, NFL.com (April 25)
Pick: Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward
Comment: Ward's the top corner in this draft -- that seems to be the consensus across the league. The Bears broke the bank open on offense in free agency; they get a Day One starter at corner in the draft.

Chris Simms, Bleacher Report (April 25)
Pick: Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds
Comment: The Chicago Bears have one of the best offensive lines in football, so I don't think they'll go there. They just gave a ton of money to Kyle Fuller and re-signed Prince Amukamara too, so it doesn't make a ton of sense to go cornerback. The one thing the Bears are missing is a big-time middle linebacker. That's why I'd take Tremaine Edmunds from Virginia Tech. Edmunds is built to play in a 3-4 defense, which is the base of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's system. He's an elite athlete with fluid hips and great change-of-direction in coverage. He's great against both the run and pass, and he can bring pressure up the middle. Adding Edmunds could give the Bears their new version of Brian Urlacher.

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report (April 24)
Pick: Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick
Comment: The Bears are the team everyone thinks the 49ers will be. While much of the NFL is in the throes of Jimmy Garoppomania and anticipates a quick rise to contention in San Francisco, the Bears have built an exciting new coaching staff and added explosive offensive weapons like Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. The rest of the roster was already structurally sound, and Mitchell Trubisky flashed potential in the rare moments John Fox let him attempt a forward pass. At No. 8, the Bears can thus draft the best available player, and there are a lot of great players available after all of the quarterback jockeying. Fitzpatrick gives defensive coordinator Vic Fangio a mix-and-match weapon to deepen an already solid secondary. Fitzpatrick can blitz off the edge, cover the big slot targets Bryce Callahan cannot handle, provide injury insurance for Prince Amukamara and generally upgrade the athleticism factor on the Bears defense. Watch out for this team. It's flying under your radar.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (April 23)
Pick: Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson
Comment: Nelson rejoins his Notre Dame offensive line coach and provides Mitchell Trubisky with ever-important protection on inside rushes.

R.J. White, CBS Sports (April 18)
Pick: Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson
Comment: The Bears benefit from what may be their best-case scenario at No. 8 with Nelson, a plug-and-play guard who should garner multiple All-Pro distinctions in his career, especially if he gets a little better in pass blocking.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (April 18)
Pick: Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward
Comment: The Bears have needs at cornerback behind starters Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller. There's also a need at linebacker, where we've previously had Chicago grabbing Tremaine Edmunds.