Never to early to talk about what Bears will do with first pickContinue reading.
Who are the top ILBs if the Bears trade No. 20 pick?
So don’t get too caught up in all the hullabaloo surrounding ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper’s current projection that has the Bears taking Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o at No. 20.
“[Signing tight end Martellus Bennett and left tackle Jermon Bushrod is] going to give us so much flexibility,” general manager Phil Emery said when his two big free-agent prizes were introduced on March 13.
“To put it bluntly, we’re open for business. If teams want to approach us about trading back, we’re all ears. We’re not going to pass up on a really good player at 20 that we feel will have an immediate impact on winning right now.
“But certainly the draft has strengths and if we have the opportunity to pull back so that we can collect picks, we’re very open to that.”
The Bears need to get younger overall, but inside linebacker remains a need.
So who could be there for the Bears if they do trade down and pass on an inside linebacker at No. 20? We asked Kiper on his conference call on Wednesday.
“Well, I think if you decide obviously at linebacker, if you’re passing, say, on a Manti Te’o and somebody wants to jump up and get him or somebody else at that point, there’s going to be a lot of viable options,” Kiper said when told of the Bears’ willingness to trade the No. 20 pick.
“You look at the second round, you say Kevin Minter from LSU. Will he be there? I don’t think so,” Kiper continued. “Jonathan Bostic [from] Florida, Steve Beauharnais from Rutgers are all second- and third-round possibilities. Then you have Kiko Alonso from Oregon maybe in the third-round mix along with Kevin Reddick from North Carolina, Jonathan Stewart from Texas A&M, A.J. Klein from Iowa State in that fourth-round mix.
“At hat stage, if you pass on, say, Te’o, then I think you’re looking more at hoping that Minter is there, and I don’t think Kevin Minter is getting out of the late first, early second round. So then you’re looking at Jonathan Bostic from Florida. So it’s a little bit of a dropoff there down from the top two or three, because [Georgia linebacker Alec] Ogletree is in that mix, too, as a mid to late one.”