When creating a big board for the Chicago Bears ahead of tonight’s NFL Draft, it’s important to consider separate categories.
Ryan Poles has spoken about “blue” and “red” players. Blue players are obviously the elite, reds are a step down. He hasn’t been consistent in how many blue players he sees in this draft, but he had indicated that he thinks the team can get one with the ninth pick. Though he previously said there were seven blue players, including quarterbacks, we can probably figure out which players he might target early.
But there is another option.
The Bears don’t want to make a pick at nine. They’d certainly like to move back and pick up an earlier second-round pick, giving them two in the top 50. That opens up many other options But if the Bears stay at nine, they have to take a blue player.
On Tuesday, Ian Cunningham said there are six-to-eight players the Bears were comfortable taking with the ninth overall pick. I’m betting the list includes the likes of Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson, who aren’t likely to be there. I’m also comfortable with assuming Devon Witherspoon will be gone. With that, I took a shot at guessing the players atop the Bears board.
1. Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio St.
If there is an offensive lineman worth taking with a top-10 pick this year, it’s Johnson.
Unlike Peter Skoronski, Johnson has the length to translate seamlessly to the NFL. And unlike Broderick Jones, Johnson is polished enough to play immediately.
Johnson will need to add strength and refine his technique, but he certainly has the upside to lock down the left tackle position for years. Johnson isn’t the best player on this list, but he would fill the biggest need.