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2018 NFL mock draft: The Bears have to think defense in the 1st round

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Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds would be the playmaker Chicago needs.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears hit the reset button this offseason by hiring head coach Matt Nagy. The first-time head coach face the tough task of turning around a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2012.

There is some reason for hope, though. The Bears already have their franchise quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky, and they added wide receiver Allen Robinson and tight end Trey Burton in free agency. For the most part, Chicago is set at the skill positions on offense. That should allow the team to target the best defensive player available in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft.

In the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, Lester Wiltfong Jr. of Windy City Gridiron goes for a defender, but is it the best choice?

8: Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Wiltfong Jr.: Edmunds’ upside is too high to pass up. He’s only 19-years old and he just racked up over 100 tackles in the ACC. At this point he’s probably still more athlete than football player, because his instincts aren’t all the way there. But like I said, he’s only 19-years old. His technique could use some tightening up, but have I mentioned he’s just 19-years old?

There’s also the question on where to play him. If he stays at inside linebacker he could be a sideline to sideline eraser, but with his size (6’5, 253), converting to outside linebacker makes sense too. The good thing is Edmund’s is young enough to mold into whatever fits team need. I think the Bears may play him outside, but he’s athleticism and potential versatility would give defensive coordinator Vic Fangio plenty of options.

Analysis: There is a challenge with this pick. It’s what you assume Edmunds can become versus what we know Georgia’s Roquan Smith is right now. Although Edmunds may have more potential, Smith is a ready-made player coming out. Smith is a side-to-sideline dynamo who showed last season that he has some ability to get after the quarterback. Still, if you’re drafting for potential, it’s hard to say Edmunds is a bad pick.

Dan Kadar’s top five players remaining

  • 3. Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
  • 4. Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  • 7. Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  • 9. Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  • 13. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

We’re now through eight picks in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, and there is still plenty of top players available. Will they come off the board on Wednesday? Find out at 9 a.m. ET starting with the ninth pick courtesy of David Fucillo of Niners Nation.

Poll

What grade would you give the pick of Edmunds by the Bears?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    A
    (311 votes)
  • 44%
    B
    (410 votes)
  • 14%
    C
    (135 votes)
  • 4%
    D
    (43 votes)
  • 3%
    F
    (31 votes)
930 votes total Vote Now