The Bears don’t have a pick in the April 25-27 NFL Draft until the third round after trading their first two selections. Here’s who eight analysts are projecting they will choose with their first pick at No. 87:
D.J. Boyer, Draft Site
Pick: Oklahoma OT Bobby Evans
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football (April 10)
Pick: Old Dominion DE/OLB Oshane Ximines
Comment: The Bears could use another edge rusher with Leonard Floyd's contract set to expire soon. Oshane Ximines was a very productive edge rusher for Old Dominion.
Conor Dorney, Fansided
Pick: Oregon edge rusher Jalen Jelks
Comment: One name who could be enticing for Chicago in the middle rounds is Oregon’s Jalen Jelks. Jelks (6-foot-5, 256 pounds) has length for days (34 5/8-inch arms) and while he isn’t one of the more explosive players in the class, he could be a valuable weapon for the Bears from the outside in pass rush situations. While he isn’t the most powerful guy in the world and probably won’t be of much help in the run game, he possesses enough bend and quick-twitch traits to believe in your ability to develop him as a pass rusher. Jelks had a bit of a disappointing senior season in 2018 for the Ducks after a stellar junior campaign in which he racked up 15.5 tackles-for-loss and 7.0 sacks. If the Bears think they can coach that junior campaign out of him at the NFL level, he could be an excellent third-round pick with most of the elite edge prospects already off the board.
Luke Easterling, Draft Wire (April 8)
Pick: Penn State RB Miles Sanders
Randy Gurzi, NFL Spin Zone (April 8)
Pick: Houston CB Isaiah Johnson
Comment: A lot of teams have shown interest in Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson, but he still could be around when the Bears finally are on the clock at No. 87. The reason for him hanging around is that he’s still a bit of a work in progress at the corner position. Johnson is a redshirt senior who played wide receiver in 2015 and 2016 for the Cougars. He moved to the defensive side of the ball full-time in 2017 and took to it rather well. He was credited with 45 tackles and had two interceptions that season. He improved upon that season in 2018 when he added 66 tackles and two more picks. Even with the leap from his first to his second season on defense, Johnson has a lot to work on. His technique is understandably raw, but he has everything that cannot be taught. Johnson came into the Scouting Combine and measured out at 6-foot-2 and 208-pounds. He also hit a 4.4 even in the 40-yard dash, which is unsurprising when you see him run on film. On top of that, he has more than enough leaping ability and is great with his hands — after all, he was a three-star recruit at wideout. He may not be ready to start day one, but the Bears could end up with a long-term starter if they’re patient with his development.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com (March 28)
Pick: TCU edge rusher Ben Banogu
Comment: Khalil Mack proved to be worthy of the price the Bears paid for him. Finding a young pass rusher to complement Mack and Leonard Floyd will make the Bears' defense even scarier.
R.J. White, CBS Sports (April 10)
Pick: Penn State RB Miles Sanders
Comment: The Bears have no picks in the first two rounds, which actually isn't terrible for them as they don't have many pressing needs to address. With their one Day 2 pick, they take advantage of running backs sliding down the board to land a good one in Sanders, who is a much more versatile running mate for Tarik Cohen in the backfield. He has the potential to carry the load if called upon down the road.
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (April 10)
Pick: Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson, Jr.
Comment: Johnson is a tall, physical corner who is still growing into the position.