Prospect Profile: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Pros: Considered by many to be a franchise left tackle because of his size and athleticism. Has exceptionally long arms and held up very well in pass protection. Would improve the Bears pass-blocking from Day One and give them someone who can hold up against Clay Matthews, Ziggy Ansah and Everson Griffen.
Cons: Not really considered a mauler in the run game, which could be a big problem for the Bears. Some question if he really loves football. Looked really stiff and slow at the combine, but said it was because of a calf injury.
Summary: If NFL teams grade Stanley as a franchise left tackle, he won’t make it to the 11th pick. It’s going to come down the psychological evaluations, something nobody really has access to. Certainly has the talent to be a great left tackle. For the Bears, it’s worth questioning if they should invest such a high pick in the position when they have a quarterback who excels after the play breaks down.
Jeff’s Thought: I don’t know how good Charles Leno can be at left tackle but I think the Bears would be making a terrible mistake not finding out. Drafting Stanley would relegate Leno to the bench immediately.
Prospect Profile: A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama
Pros: Called “Body Beautiful” because he looks the part. Incredibly strong despite being just 20 years old last year. Was able to consistently push blockers into the backfield and rarely, if ever, lost ground. Will immediately improve and anchor any team’s run defense. Much better prospect than Danny Shelton was.
Cons: Didn’t test very well at the combine. Could be because he was only 20 years old or he just might not develop into a great athlete. Lack of speed and athleticism might limit his potential as a pass-rusher. Still needs to learn technique. With two big run-stuffers already on the defensive line, Robinson may not fit.
Summary: As the process has played out, Robinson has become one of my favorite players. I don’t think he’ll ever be Mo Wilkerson, but he can be a better version of Malik Jackson. Would love to have seen him get after the quarterback more in college, but there are plenty of reasons to think he’ll be better at doing so in the NFL.
Jeff’s Thought: Let’s call it a Crimson Flag. There is so much talent on the Alabama defense every year it’s impossible to know which of them will translate to the professional level.
Prospect Profile: DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon
Pros: Considered the best defensive line prospect in the draft. Has exceptional size and length, which could help him develop into a premier interior rusher. With the NFL out-lawing chop blocks, Buckner will be even more valuable.
Cons: Not really a great athlete and not really strong. He isn’t going to rack up sacks like Mo Wilkerson or JJ Watt because he simply isn’t that level of athlete. Also struggled against double teams at times at Oregon. Didn’t go against a lot of premier offensive line talent with the Ducks.
Summary: Not hard to see why he’s considered an elite prospect, even if he isn’t at the level of Wilkerson, Watt or even Leonard Williams a year ago. Would be ideal for the Bears because they have big bodies and speed to put around him, but probably won’t make it to 11.
Jeff’s Thought: Something about this guy feels like he’ll be the pick but, I don’t know, something doesn’t fit.
Prospect Profile: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
Pros: Very quick and explosive athlete. Had 14 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss the last two years at Louisville. Might be the most polished interior pass-rusher in the draft. Very good length for his size.
Cons: While he has good length for his size, he lacks length overall. He might struggle playing outside in base downs and isn’t really strong enough to hold down the middle. Didn’t see him take on and beat up double teams a lot. As athletic as he is, we’re not talking about Aaron Donald.
Summary: I like Rankins a lot, but I’m not sure he is what the Bears are looking for to help their defensive line. But, who knows? Maybe they see him as a situational pass-rusher subbing for either Akeem Hicks or Eddie Goldman on passing downs.
Jeff’s Thought: Feels like a position the Bears don’t view as an area of need.