No fanbase in the NFL has suffered as much as the Chicago Bears did this offseason. An NFL mock draft is a good way to fix that. Going into this now unforgettable offseason, there was a feeling of foreboding aimlessness coursing through the chilling Chicago air. The Bears had made the playoffs, but only because the NFL allowed an additional seventh playoff spot that the Bears just barely clawed their way into.
Contrary to what the whole purpose of allowing an additional playoff team in each conference was for, the Bears got smothered and humiliated in primetime to a clearly superior New Orleans Saints team. And to kick a man (or Bear) while he’s down, that same game was broadcasted for the first time on Nickelodeon, where both SpongeBob and children alike got to laugh and jeer at a comical Bears football team.
Since then, the talk around the Bears organization has been nothing but whispers and rumors: “The Bears might get Russell Wilson, the Bears might get Deshaun Watson, the Bears might get Kenny Golladay!”, etcetera. What happened after the dust cleared you may ask?
Well, general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy still have their jobs. Ryan Pace continues to display his ineptitude at quarterback evaluation by signing Andy Dalton, and the Bears had to suffer a massive casualty by releasing All-Pro cornerback Kyle Fuller to make way for lesser impact players like Robert Quinn and Jimmy Graham. The last place you want to be as an NFL franchise is caught somewhere in between, and it seems as if the Bears are stranded in no man’s land.
Despite the bleak darkness surrounding the Bears, a small, but fierce light pierces the veil: the NFL Draft. And while the Bears seem to be spiraling, one of the teams’ strengths is how well-rounded the talent is on both sides of the ball. The few places the Bears are devoid of talent are positions of crucial importance, and that has been the figurative bat-swing to the kneecaps the last few seasons. Will the Bears try to obtain their quarterback of the future early, or will they try to fill crucial holes at tackle or cornerback? Let’s put our analyst caps on and dive into the 2021 Chicago Bears Six Round NFL mock draft.
Chicago Bears 2021 Six Round NFL Mock Draft
1.20 | Alijah Vera-Tucker | OT | USC
Hold on, hold on, I know what you’re going to say. “Did you not see that the Bears released Kyle Fuller?! The Bears have a huge hole at cornerback!”. Or, “The Bears literally have a statue behind center, how can they pass on Mac Jones or Trey Lance?!”. Let me address the first point of contention first: yes, replacing Fuller is no small feat. However, despite Ryan Pace’s horrid offseason, he has made one thing clear: he values offense more than defense.
He signed Dalton, signed Damien Williams for running back insurance, Allen Robinson signed his franchise tag, and the Bears signed OT Elijah Wilkinson for depth. The Bears are clearly content to let Dalton captain this ship, and Pace is looking to reinforce the hull of the ship.
“Okay”, you may say, “but what about quarterback? Surely you’re not saying Dalton is the clear starter with complete assurance of his job, right?”. Well… yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. A month ago, I was certain that the Bears would target Jones or Lance, or, in a perfect world, Justin Fields. That scenario is still in play if they trade up. While it’s certainly possible they will trade up in the draft, I think it’s more realistic that the Bears will sit pretty at the twentieth spot and take a great prospect at tackle.
Okay, now on to the first pick of this NFL mock draft, Alijah Vera-Tucker. This young man is perfect for what the Bears are looking for. I say that for three key reasons: he’s an exceptional pass blocker. His claim to fame is his natural athleticism, quick feet, and natural bending of the knees to match the leverage of speed rushers. In today’s day and age, where the majority of NFL pass-rushers sacrifice power for speed and finesse to get their prize, getting a bodyguard for your QB who is just as quick is paramount.
Secondly, his run-blocking skills are right in line with what the Bears’ run scheme is. His natural quickness and intelligence allow him to reach his designated zone in the zone-run scheme and lets him throw his body at defenders for the running back to make his read and get to the second level. While he’s vulnerable with his strength and at maintaining blocks in running situations, the Bears’ zone-run scheme can cover up for those deficiencies.
Lastly, the third reason he’s perfect for the Bears: he’s versatile and able to fill in at guard competently if the need arises. With the Bears’ recent struggles of keeping their interior offensive line healthy, having such a malleable talent who can maintain the offensive line’s integrity even with injuries is a fantastic, and rare, asset to have on your football team.
2.52 | Aaron Robinson | CB | Central Florida
So, I was between two players here: Aaron Robinson or another cornerback in Greg Newsome ll from Northwestern. As fun as it would be to draft the local prospect to the Bears, I think Robinson is going to be more of a fit in this familiar-yet-new defense from defensive coordinator Sean Desai. The pleasure of an NFL mock draft is that you can pick who you want, and who benefits the team.
Robinson is a tough, versatile, and technically sound defender who has the ability to play both off-coverage and press-man coverage. He can play the ball well, and some NFL personnel believe he has substantial upside.
His one big knock is that he can over-analyze the opposing offense on a play-by-play basis, which can lead to him making incorrect reads and being a second slower to the ball. Overall, his physical traits are very promising, and his skillset in man coverage can really complement Sean Desai’s man-to-man, blitz-heavy defense.
3.83 | Kellen Mond | QB | Texas A&M
While this may be not the sexiest pick the Bears have, this will probably be one of the picks I’d be more excited about. Yes, I’m doing it. I’m giving the Bears Kellen Mond. The buzz around Mond had been gradually growing in the last month. Evaluators and NFL analysts, like former QB Chris Simms, had sung their praises for Mond. Couple that with an impressive Pro Day, and Mond has many NFL evaluators and scouts excited, me among them.
Mond has impressive traits that you love to have in a QB: intelligence, pin-point accuracy, goes through his reads quickly, a great arm, and, most importantly, he had gotten better as the season progressed. Early in the season, he scarcely used his legs and big frame to make plays happen, purely relying on his mind and arm. However, as the season progressed, he began to read whether he’ll be able to make a play in the passing game and escaped to salvage yards out of a broken play. While it’s clear I’m firmly in the Kellen Mond Fan Club, I can’t deny his flaws.
While he did improve as the season went on, he did have inconsistent games against tough opponents, like Clemson and LSU. On the other hand, many QB’s in this draft struggled against good teams, even the prospects at the top. Overall, Mond has all the qualities you love to have in a project, potentially a long-term answer at QB. If, like this NFL mock draft, Pace makes this selection he deserves a lot of credit.
5.164 | Tony Fields ll | ILB | West Virginia
NFL fans who aren’t as in touch with the Bears organization will be confused with this pick. “Linebacker is a position of strength for the Bears.”, they’d say, “why do they need a linebacker?”. I’ll tell you why, and it’s for one reason, and one reason only: pass coverage. When Roquan Smith came out of the lineup for a few games last season, the Bears inside linebackers struggled mightily at covering slants, drag routes, in-cuts, and anything that would go across the field.
Danny Trevathan is a good all-around LB, but he has lost a step in his older age, and can’t keep up with the foot-speed of the majority of receivers and running backs in the NFL. Pace realized this and signed Christian Jones to help the Bears in this area, as he did a few seasons ago. Backup LB Josh Woods had injury problems as well in the past, so drafting a fast and quick player who’s a solid tackler like Tony Fields ll is a smart choice.
6.204 | Abraham Lucas | OT | Washington State
A project tackle who has promise with his pass-blocking ability. He can both be a good depth piece at a crucial tackle position, as well as serve as a potential fill-in if Germain Ifedi, Bobby Massie, or Vera-Tucker were to get injured.
6.208 | Shaka Toney | OLB | Penn State
Shaka Toney is next to go in this NFL mock draft. Toney showed improvement in both run defense and pass rush in 2020. He would be a nice piece to fill out the OLB rotation and could be a decent contributor on special teams. Yes, I picked him because he has a cool name, what about it?
6.221 | James Wiggins | S | Cincinnati
He’ll mainly be a contributor on special teams, but as a safety, he was a solid tackler, a trait the Bears need at that position. He also can make nice plays on the ball.
6.228 | Stewart Reese | G| Florida
Finally, in this Chicago Bears NFL mock draft, they select a project guard who was solid as both a run-blocker and pass protector. He’ll be nice depth to a position that had some trouble staying healthy in recent seasons.
Chicago Bears 2021 NFL Mock Draft Recap
Chicago seems to be happy to pay Andy Dalton starters money and as a result they go out and get him some protection with their first pick. After that it’s all about a replacement for Kyle Fuller and then the inevitable task of replacing Dalton. Some late round picks add some depth to a squad that will be hoping to reach the playoffs once again in 2022.