There’s a plan at Halas Hall and it seems to be trending toward rebuilding the defensive line with young studs. Lamarr Houston and Willie Young are two book ends but the Bears need a defensive tackle.
The decision to let Henry Melton walk was the right one. He simply wanted too much money to be an up and down player. His production just wasn’t there against quality opponents.
When you look at the draft, picking a defensive tackle would be the right move at 14 for the Bears. Aaron Donald would be a perfect fit. He’s a stout pass rushing tackle who would work perfect alongside Jeremiah Ratliff.
The problem is Donald’s stock is through the roof right now. He is reminiscent of Dontari Poe back in 2011. Poe was originally slated to be a second round pick but his combine and workouts catapulted him all the way to the Kansas City Chiefs with the 11th overall pick.
There would be competition for Donald from the New York Giants. They draft directly before the Bears and could be in the market for a defensive tackle. They also have holes at tight end, offensive tackle and cornerback so they could go in another direction.
What about a team who wants to trade up? The Cowboys, Seahawks and Broncos could all be interested in leapfrogging the Bears.
Donald has all the makings to be a special player in this draft. He’s just as explosive a defensive player as Jadeveon Clowney, Justin Gilbert, Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr.
The backup option if Donald is off the board is likely Timmy Jernigan. He’s more of a run stuffer who hasn’t really wowed people in his workouts. He did play on the National Champion Florida State team and is widely considered by many to be the top defensive tackle in the draft.
Jernigan fits a 3-4 scheme better. Donald falls in line more with what the Bears are trying to do on defense. They are really making an effort to get after the quarterback and Donald is the better player to do so.
Don’t be surprised if the Bears don’t draft a defensive tackle at all in the first round. If they can’t get the guy they want then they may take a corner, safety or even a defensive end.
There are some solid options who could be picked in round two. Will Sutton from Arizona State and Kelcy Quarles from South Carolina could be options.
Given the fact this is such an important position for the Bears in the draft, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the top names at the position. Our friends from the national site have put together the top defensive tackles in the draft. Click here to read who they are and find out where Donald and Jernigan fall on the list.