The NFL scouting combine will be held Feb. 22-25 in Indianapolis. The Bears have six picks in the draft including the 14th overall in the first round. This means general manager Phil Emery and his team will watch very closely as they evaluate the talent. This week’s mailbag is all about the combine.
What position will the Bears watch the closest at the combine? -Shane in Ukrainian Village
There are so many needs on defense but the Bears will look very closely at defensive tackle. Henry Melton returning is still a big question mark and the Bears were torched on the ground last year largely due to a lack of interior defensive line presence. The Bears likely need to come away from this draft with two defensive tackles and one must be a starter. They will monitor the position very closely at the combine.
What player might wow the Bears the most at the combine? -Cat in Logan Square
Keep an eye on Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald. He’s slightly undersized for a defensive tackle but has all the abilities to be a great player in the NFL. He is quickly moving up draft boards after strong showings at the Senior Bowl. Donald fits perfectly in a front four scheme the Bears have run in the past. He’s a very disruptive player who has been compared to All-Pro Geno Atkins. Right now Donald is projected in the last first round-early second round range. If he has a great combine, the Bears will have no problem taking him 14th overall, remember where Kyle Long was projected and drafted at last year.
Any late round sleepers to look out for? -Bruce in Kansas City
How about a guy who played his college football locally? Northern Illinois safety Jimmy Ward can be a late round steal. There’s no doubt the Bears need help at safety and could look at Ward in the late rounds. He covers slot receivers very well which was a big problem for the Bears last year. Ward could skyrocket the draft boards depending on what he does at the combine but as of now the Bears could target him around rounds four or five.