What To Expect in Round Three
By this time, the Bears will have already made two selections. Last year, in Ryan Pace’s first draft as GM, he shocked Bears fans by selecting Hroniss Grasu.
Will he pull out another surprise pick in the third round again in 2016? We’ll find out on draft day, but don’t put it past him to make a pick that will leave you scratching your head. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing Grasu in any way.
Keep in mind that by this point in the draft there have been 71 players taken off the draft board. We also don’t know who the Chicago Bears will select beforehand (we obviously will on draft day though).
Between now and draft day the Bears will make deals with free agents and they will be attending the combine and the players pro days. There’s a lot that can change, so here is Brandon’s Bears Big Board for round three!
Just like the first two rounds, this list is in no particular order of importance.
I Have My Eyes On…
Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma University
In an effort to create stability at the wide receivers position, Sterling Shepard can be a guy to pick up in the third round to help the cause. He’s listed at 5’10” and weighs 193 pounds. Not the biggest guy on the field, but he is a reliable target. Having no less than 45 receptions in any year at the collegiate level, I think his numbers prove his reliability. I think that should speak to the Bears scouts because without Brandon Marshall, the Bears have had instability at that position since Jay Cutler has been in town.
In his four years at Oklahoma, he caught 233 passes for 3,482 yards and 26 touchdowns. He is good at going to get the ball instead of it falling into his lap, and he has the agility to make the first defender miss on his tackle more times than not. His height might turn you off, but don’t overlook the ability this small receiver has to make a big play.
Vonn Bell, Safety, Ohio State University
He finished the 2015 season with 92 total tackles and six interceptions, plus has a high ceiling and reminds me of Adrian Amos. He tackles very well and has good fundamentals Bell is also not a stranger to putting on the big hit.
Bell is 5’11” and 205 pounds and I believe that he would definitely be an upgrade to the safety position. I don’t see Antrel Rolle getting much playing time next year if Vonn Bell is around. Once he settles into the position, with some guidance from the veterans around him, he will become a threat in the secondary. Bell is good at finding the ball and that can help the Bears force more turnovers next season, which is something they must improve on.
The Chicago Bears had eight interceptions, four of which came from defensive backs, three came from linemen, and one from a linebacker. Not to mention that the Bears finished the season with a -4 turnover ratio. Forcing more turnovers is important for any defense. I think that Bell is a guy that the scouts must look to as a way to help the defense increase the turnovers.
Sheldon Day, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame University
To add depth at the defensive tackle position, Sheldon Day may be that surprise pick that I talked about in the earlier. I’ve seen a lot of reports that Sheldon Day is undersized at 6’1″ and 285 pounds. (For comparative purposes, Eddie Goldman is 6’4″ and 330 pounds) Is he undersized? Yes, slightly, and that is why he falls this far in the draft. However, that doesn’t mean that Day can’t make an impact. He finished with 45 total tackles and four sacks in the 2015 season.
However, that doesn’t mean that Day can’t make an impact. He finished with 45 total tackles and four sacks in 2015.
Notre Dame typically doesn’t play the easiest schedule. In 2015, their schedule consisted of Texas, Clemson, Stanford, and they played Ohio State University in their bowl game. Typically those teams have some pretty big offensive lineman, and frankly, his stats against those teams are not all that impressive. That raises some concerns, but with some work Day could end up being a surprise pick in the 2016 draft.
Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford University
You can’t go wrong with a guy that is 6’7″ and weighs 302 pounds! Murphy is tall and has long arms which work to his advantage, especially in pass blocking. He has the frame to excel in the NFL and he might also be one of the most overlooked guys in the draft. Like I mentioned in my First Round Big Board, the Chicago Bears need to address the offensive line. Kyle Murphy would not be a bad start. I will caution that he likes to time the snap to beat the defenders and that tends to create false starts. With some proper coaching, the Bears could find a stud lineman in the third round if he’s available.
Wrapping Up the Third Round
All the guys listed above could come in and make an impact on day one. There’s no shortage of talent in the third round. If the Bears decided on a pass rusher there’s still defensive end Shawn Oakman (Who I’m not too wild about) or Delon Jones or Eric Striker at outside linebacker.
On offense, Kenny Lawler or De’Runnya Wilson, the tallest receiver in the draft, could still be available.
After the third round, teams will start to look for the diamond in the rough or the guys that have been neglected by other teams that are still on their big board. Having an early pick in every round will help the Bears reel in the top prospects of the 2016 draft.
I don’t anticipate Pace changing his draft strategy from last year. It worked, and I think that this year it will help upgrade the roster that currently has some under-talented positions.