By Adam Hoge-
(CBS) After months of evaluation and speculation, we are close to receiving some finality on where this year’s NFL Draft prospects will end up.
But as we count down to Thursday night’s first round, you still have some final questions.
Here are some answers (tweets left unedited):
could the notre dame te fall to the bears? – @jermaine611
Tyler Eifert could certainly be available to the Bears at No. 20. It’s been hard to pinpoint where he’ll land because, like the Bears, many teams are trying to decide how badly they need to address their tight end position. I could see him going anywhere between the early teens and late 20s.
Read More: Hoge’s Bears Mock Drafts
After Phil Emery signed Martellus Bennett last month, I decided not to take a tight end at all in my third and final Bears mock draft, but that doesn’t mean I would criticize the general manager if he took Eifert in the first round. Having had a chance to see Marc Trestman install the offense last week at Halas Hall, I feel like a dynamic tight end like Eifert would create enormous matchup problems for opposing defenses. Bennett already fits well in Trestman’s West Coast-like scheme. Put Eifert on the other side and you are virtually guaranteeing that either Bennett, Eifert, Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery will be open.
Of course, you still have to give Jay Cutler a chance to get rid of the football.
Does trading back into the first to obtain a third round pick sound like a likely move? – @Mr_Callas44
I wouldn’t call it likely, just because you have to have a trading partner and that all depends on how the first 19 picks play out.
That said, I do believe Emery would like to add at least one extra pick and if he can do that by trading back in the first round without losing “his guy” then he will.
Last week, Emery said there are two or three players the Bears would actually consider trading up for. I wouldn’t completely rule that scenario out because the New York Giants have a lot of similar needs at No. 19 — one pick ahead of the Bears. I would call that the least likely scenario, however, just because the Bears have a number of needs at other positions. Emery would likely have to give up his second round pick to trade up, meaning they wouldn’t have a selection until the fourth round. That’s dangerous.
I personally feel like there are a number of great options from about No. 20 to well into the second round. If the Bears can add a second pick in that range and get a 2-for-1, it would be a wise decision.
Who are the Bears most likely to trade down with in the 1st round and what will they get for it? Would like to see extra pick(s)! – @MJAkins1
This a great question, because as I pointed out before, you can’t make a trade without a trade partner.
I would pinpoint the San Francisco 49ers as the most obvious possible trade partner. They have 13 draft picks this year and need a safety. There could be a run on safeties in the 20s and the 49ers may want to move up from No. 31 to grab their guy.
The Broncos at No. 28 and the Falcons at No. 30 are also interesting possibilities because they could use a defensive end and might lose their guy in the mid-20s. The Broncos have six picks to work with, while the Falcons have 11.
Also keep in mind the Baltimore Ravens (12 draft picks) at No. 32. They might want to trade up to get Manti Te’o, but is Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome over the botched draft trade of two years ago? You would hope so since Jerry Angelo is long gone.
If the Bears trade back though, I would think Emery will be looking for a second round pick. The 49ers have two second round picks, including the No. 34 overall selection, so obviously that would provide the most value. Considering the Bears would be trading back 11 spots, this trade could be possible, although Emery might have to throw in his fourth round pick to even it out. The Bears would then hold the 31st, 34th and 50th overall picks.
If Tyler Eifert and Manti Te’o are still available when we draft, do we go Offense, Defense, or someone else? – @OnlyCarney
I addressed Eifert earlier, but Te’o is also a realistic possibility for the Bears. I’ve said in the past that I think Te’o is a third-round talent. He certainly won’t drop that far, but that’s where I grade him. And that’s not nearly as big of an insult as you might think. Third-round players are supposed to be NFL starters, which I think Te’o is. I just don’t think he’s an elite, future Pro Bowler worthy of the No. 20 overall selection.
To answer your question though, I’d probably go with someone else or Eifert.
Re: trading back 4 pics, are Bears better off w/good depth at many positions of need or fewer better players at certain positions? -@Tgeigs
This is something NFL front offices debate every April. Every general manager wants to add the best available player to their team, but they have to think bigger picture and work on filling their greatest need.
For the Bears this year, I think Phil Emery could make a case for taking the best player available at almost every position except for quarterback and running back (mainly because of the lack of first round talent at those positions). But because they also need to add depth at almost every position, it would be wise to keep all five of their picks and possibly add another.
Adam is the Sports Editor for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the Bears, White Sox and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHoge and read more of his columns here.