With the entire NFL set to descend on Indianapolis for the combine next week, speculation about the April 23-25 draft is heating up.
While the Bears traded their first-round pick to the Raiders as part of the blockbuster trade to land outside linebacker Khalil Mack in 2018, they have two selections in the second round: the No. 43 choice they obtained from Oakland in the Mack deal and their own pick at No. 50.
In his second mock draft posted Monday, NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter is predicting that the Bears will select LSU guard Damien Lewis at No. 43 and Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyle Dugger at No. 50.
Lewis played the last two seasons at LSU after transferring from Mississippi Community College. He started all 27 games at right guard, including all 14 in 2019 when the Tigers won the national championship. The 6-3, 332-pounder was named first-team All-America by The Athletic and was part of an LSU line that won the Joe Moore Award as the nation's best unit.
Dugger won the Cliff Harris Award last year as the best defensive player in Division II despite being limited to seven games due to injury. He recorded 31 tackles, two interceptions and four pass breakups while also averaging 14.6 yards on 12 punt returns with two touchdowns. Dugger seemingly boosted his draft stock with an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl.
In another mock draft, Pro Football Focus' Michael Renner is predicting that the Bears will select Washington quarterback Jacob Eason at No. 43 and LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry III at No. 50.
Eason bypassed his senior season to enter the draft. Last year in his only season at Washington he completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 3,132 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Eason sat out the 2018 campaign after transferring to Washington from Georgia.
Cushenberry was a two-year starter at LSU who lined up next to Lewis on the Tigers' national championship team that went 15-0 in 2019. Cushenberry started his last 28 games over the past two seasons—the Tigers were 25-3 in those contests—and was the starting center for every game of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow's LSU career.
In his mock draft, Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm is projecting that the Bears will choose Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet at No. 43 and Auburn left tackle Prince Tega Wanogho at No. 50.
Kmet is skipping his senior season to enter the draft. He was a three-year contributor and one-year starter at Notre Dame. Last season Kmet established career highs in all receiving categories with 60 receptions, 691 yards and six touchdowns despite missing the first three games with a broken collarbone.
Wanogho made 32 career starts at Auburn. Wanogho is new to football. He arrived in the United States from his native Nigeria in 2014 as a teenager seeking a college basketball scholarship. But instead opted to play football, originally arriving at Auburn as a defensive end. After redshirting as a freshman, he was switched to offensive tackle.