2017 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears Draft Review
Before the 2017 NFL Draft began, all was quiet. There was no buzz, there was no juice, there was nothing really happening outside the occasional rumor mill buzzing. Then came draft night and the Chicago Bears. They brought new meaning to the phrase “On The Move”. It would be the overriding theme of the Bears draft. It began in the first few moments when they traded up only one spot, taking North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The trading of three draft picks to move up that one spot was the start of a wild ride. There were two more trades, one down in Round 2 and up in Round 4.
Here is how the Chicago Bears drafted:
Round 1/2 – Mitchell Trubisky, QB, 6-3, 225, North Carolina
He’s Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace’s guy, after giving up two third-rounders and a fourth-rounder to move up and make the pick. A quick-footed passer who can move in the pocket and out of it to make plays, Trubisky ran a Combine 40 time close to Deshaun Watson. He had only 13 games starting experience but threw for three touchdowns or more seven times. Trubisky played behind Marquise Williams until his final season. Scouting reports say he needs to develop better downfield accuracy. He played in a shotgun offense and only began practicing snaps under center in January. A former Mr. Football in Ohio, leadership ability is counted among his greatest strengths.
Round 2/45 – Adam Shaheen, TE, 6-7, 278, Ashland
Although he’s from a Division II school, Shaheen wasn’t a complete unknown. Dubbed by many scouts as “baby Gronk,” his blend of speed and power made him a dominant player who set a Division II touchdown record (16) in 2015. Shaheen started out a basketball player in Division II before switching to football. He had been 195 pounds when he started college and then put on 83 pounds while making the move to football. “For a guy of his size, his athleticism jumps out,” Pace said. “He’s one of those guys when you’re watching tape, you have to keep looking down and saying, ‘Man, this guy’s 6-6, 278 pounds and he moves like that?'”
Round 4/112 – Eddie Jackson, S, 6-0, 201, Alabama
The Chicago Bears dealt up from 117 and gave away their sixth-round pick to select Jackson at a need position. Jackson didn’t play football for academic reasons in high school until his senior season but made up for it as a senior. For the Crimson Tide, he had a knack for returning interceptions long distances, with a school record 303 yards in returns on nine career interceptions. It goes hand in hand with an ability to return punts. He returned the first punt he saw for a touchdown against Mississippi 85 yards. A cornerback originally, Jackson made a transition to safety as a junior and played both strong and free at different times. As a senior, he suffered a season-ending leg fracture and did not play in the postseason run for the Tide.
Round 4/119 – Tarik Cohen, RB, 5-6, 179, North Carolina A&T
Cohen was the Black College Player of the Year and the MEAC all-time rushing leader. He was known for spectacular open-field cuts and quick bursts. Cohen averaged 7.5 yards a carry as a senior and is adept at receiving. He also can return punts, although he did this sparingly in college. One knock on his ability by scouts was how often he attempted to cut runs outside instead of letting interior blocking schemes develop. Cohen ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds but said he stumbled on the first run or he felt he could have been in the 4.3s.
Cohen thinks his size will be a benefit instead of a weakness. “I think it will play a key role in helping me and benefiting me because the linemen are going to be bigger, so it’s really going to be hard to see me behind my linemen and I can use that to my advantage,” Cohen said.
Round 5/147 – Jordan Morgan, G, 6-3, 309, Kutztown
Morgan played only a half-year of high school football following an early-season injury as a senior. He then walked on at Kutztown State. Last year, he won the Gene Upshaw Award, given to the top Division II lineman. Morgan also was named his conference’s top offensive player, an award usually reserved for skill position players. Morgan figures to play guard in the NFL rather than tackle.