A History Lesson
Antonio Brown, Andre Ellington, Alfred Morris and Tom Brady. What do all of these players have in common?
They were all drafted in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.
The Bears have three picks in the sixth round this year. Don’t overlook the guys getting drafted late, as the guys mentioned above have left their mark on the teams they have played for. I believe there is definitely some overlooked talent in this draft and I’m expecting that at least one of the three players we draft in the sixth round will make an impact in his rookie season.
Just like the previous big boards, the players below are in no particular order of importance, but rather just a list of names to keep an eye on as we move closer to the draft.
There are still plenty of other guys to look for late, and if you have a suggestion of who else to watch tweet at us or comment below! We love to hear what you guys think!
I won’t delve too far into how these players will impact the team just yet, that will come closer to the draft. For now, here’s a few names and small takeaway for each player mentioned below.
Hassan Ridgeway, Texas University, Defensive Tackle
Standing 6’3 and weighing 315 pounds, the junior finished 2015 with 36 total tackles and 3.5 sacks. Ridgeway has good strength and knows how to read a developing play.
DeAndre Houston-Carson, William & Mary University, Safety
It’s not often you see a safety lead the team in tackles, but DeAndre Houston-Carson led William & Mary with 109 tackles in 2015. He has the build to succeed in the NFL at 6’1 and weighing around 200 pounds.
Fahn Cooper, Ole Miss, Offensive Tackle
From Crystal Lake, Illinois, Fahn Cooper has the size to play either tackle or guard. He is at his strongest in pass protection.
Max Tuerk, University of Southern California, Center
A red flag to wave right away is that Max Tuerk tore his ACL in early October. Since we are not sure if they will sign another center in free agency or not, look at Max Tuerk in the middle rounds to fill in behind Hroniss Grasu. He’s 6’5 and weighs 285, making him a mobile center who could pull during outside rushes or screens.
Ben Braunecker, Harvard University, Tight End
Ben Braunecker had a solid senior season at Harvard in 2015, bringing in 48 receptions for 850 yards and eight touchdowns. The Ivy League isn’t quite known for its football, but I think taking Braunecker if he’s available is a “smart” gamble.
Devon Cajuste, Stanford University, Wide Receiver
Devon Cajuste is 6’3 and weighs about 215 pounds. Not only can he play at wide receiver but with that frame, Cajuste can be a smaller-sized tight end as well. He’s got a slow acceleration but he is still a solid player to pick up in the 6th round, as he could be a unique developmental project.
Anthony Zettel, Penn State University, Defensive Tackle
Anthony Zettel has also played defensive end in his collegiate career. In 2015, he had four sacks and in his career at Penn State he has four interceptions. That’s quite impressive for a defensive lineman.
Jake Coker, Alabama University, Quarterback
He knows how to win. Jake Coker has won two championships at the University of Alabama, and while it’s different in the NFL, knowing that you can win is the first step regardless of what level you are playing at. I think that Coker can bring the winning mentality to the locker room.
Jared Norris, Utah University, Inside Linebacker
He played only 10 games in 2015, but still accumulated 86 total tackles. He may not be the fastest linebacker on the field, but he tackles well and does the fundamentals correctly.
Joe Dahl, Washington State University, Guard
Joe Dahl is 6’4 and weighs 300 pounds, which suits him well as an offensive guard in the NFL. His footwork is already at an NFL level, and his playing style allows him to soak in a bull rush instead of getting run over.
Daryl Worley, West Virginia University, Cornerback
Daryl Worley finished 2015 with six interceptions and 49 total tackles. His height,6’2, is an advantage to him in helping defend taller receivers. I feel that Worley could be a late round steal for whoever drafts him.
Jordan Walsh, Iowa University, Guard
Jordan Walsh has the mentality of a blocker, if he isn’t blocking someone then he is looking for someone to block. Comparatively, he is very similar to Grasu in size, which could be a concern.
Marshall Morgan, Georgia University, Kicker
Robbie Gould wasn’t his usual self in 2015. Bringing in another kicker may help Gould realize his job is not going to be guaranteed.
Wrapping Up the Final Rounds
Rounds four through seven are just as pivotal as the first three rounds. With as many picks as the Bears have late in the draft, a lot of positions can be upgraded if Ryan Pace sticks with the best available strategy. This draft has the potential to be another big one for Pace and John Fox as they look to continue to add to the core of young guys on the team.
Closer to the draft I will come out with a more detailed picture of who I think the Bears should draft.
Will and I are attending the NFL Combine between this Saturday, plus the players pro days will be happening after that. There’s a lot to influence round selection between now and then, but once the dust settles, I will be updating prospects for every round of the draft.