The Chicago Bears are overhauling the linebacker position this off-season. Gone are three players - most prominently long-time star middle linebacker Brian Urlacher - and new to town are two vets on one-year deals (D.J. Williams and James Anderson). The position has been addressed, but is still a need - and is in particular need of some youth.
|20. Chicago Bears||Arthur Brown, Kansas State||LB||6'0"||241||SR|
Dane Noble: "There was a very intriguing option still left on the board for this pick, most notably defensive end Bjoern Werner... He is the best player available, and that’s how GM Phil Emery has stated repeatedly that he will draft. But with Julius Peppers, Shea McClellin and Corey Wootton (not to mention the slight chance that Israel Idonije could return) on the roster, it would be too irresponsible not to address the biggest position of need for Chicago right now: linebacker.
"There are a handful of options here with only Alec Ogletree off the board, but a couple of them I think could step in and start day one in Chicago, and make an immediate impact: Arthur Brown and Kevin Minter.
"Between the two of them, Brown is the pick. Minter might be more aggressive, but I also watched him miss way more tackles than he should have over the last couple of seasons, and he can be a liability in pass coverage. Arthur Brown is a bit undersized, but is blazing fast, and can make plays from sideline to sideline. When you think of Chicago Bears linebackers, you think of aggression, speed, and athleticism, and Brown fits solidly into each of those categories.
"With the recent departure of Brian Urlacher, Nick Roach, and Geno Hayes, the Bears need some linebacker help asap. They recently signed D.J. Williams and James Anderson, but both to only one year contracts, and both come with question marks. Plug Brown in for the next few years, and let him work."
Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:
Brown could be plugged in for quite a bit more than just a few years in Chicago. Whether the Bears stick with the cover-2 4-3 system or use some 3-4 sets as some expect, Brown is a fit. In a 4-3, he’s a natural inside or on the weak side. In a 3-4, he can be used in the same way the 49ers use Navorro Bowman. It’s again worth noting that Anderson and Williams were only signed to one-year contracts. Anderson is a seven-year veteran and Williams is nine years in. Neither are long-term answers. With how the board fell, Brown is a best player available choice and gives the defense more athleticism.
Before this mock draft cedes your attention to March Madness for the weekend, we've got one more pick coming your way at 3PM courtesy of the fine folks at Cincy Jungle.
|11||Bjoern Werner *||DE||Florida State||6'3"||266|
|19||Tyler Eifert||TE||Notre Dame||6'6"||250|
|20||D.J. Fluker *||OT||Alabama||6'5"||339|
|21||DeAndre Hopkins *||WR||Clemson||6'1"||214|
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M|
|2||Jacksonville Jaguars||Geno Smith||QB||West Virginia|
|3||Oakland Raiders||Sharrif Floyd||DT||Florida|
|4||Philadelphia Eagles||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan|
|5||Detroit Lions||Ezekiel Ansah||DE||BYU|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Dion Jordan||OLB||Oregon|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||Barkevious Mingo||OLB||LSU|
|8||Buffalo Bills||Jarvis Jones||OLB||Georgia|
|9||New York Jets||Chance Warmack||OG||Alabama|
|10||Tennessee Titans||Dee Milliner||CB||Alabama|
|11||San Diego Chargers||Star Lotulelei||DT||Utah|
|12||Miami Dolphins||Desmond Trufant||CB||Washington|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Florida State|
|14||Carolina Panthers||Lane Johnson||OT||Oklahoma|
|15||New Orleans Saints||Alec Ogletree||LB||Georgia|
|16||St. Louis Rams||Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|17||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Tennessee|
|18||Dallas Cowboys||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina|
|19||New York Giants||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri|
|20||Chicago Bears||Arthur Brown||LB||Kansas State|