Chicago Bears mock draft (5th round): Chris Hinton, DL, Michigan
There is growing chatter that defensive tackle Eddie Goldman will be a salary cap casualty. While the Bears should be in pretty good shape with the cap, gaining more space is always good. Goldman struggled after opting out of the 2020 season. The Bears could save $8.9 million by cutting him.
The Bears have Angelo Blackson and Khyiris Tonga as possible replacements. They’ll likely need someone else to add depth. Chris Hinton out of Michigan could be that help.
Hinton certainly has the family pedigree. His father was the Denver Broncos’ first-round pick in the 1983 draft and earned seven Pro Bowl berths and one All-Pro selection.
The younger Hinton looks to build his own NFL resume.
Hinton measures in at 6-foot-4 and weighs 310 pounds. Looking at his length and girth you won’t see something elite. What you do see, though, is that he has great width and a strong base. He has a strong lower body. He is really built like an offensive lineman. That isn’t surprising as his father was an offensive lineman for 13 seasons.
With his strength, Hinton can absorb double teams, freeing other players to do their thing. He isn’t gifted athletically, but he does have good lateral movement on stunts. He uses that lateral movement to also shade into run gaps. The Bears want to improve their run defense and he can help with that.
Without being an elite athlete, Hinton has to depend on proper execution. He does this well. He is able to use his length to generate power. He knows how to extend on the torso and knock a blocker out of balance. That, and his lower body strength, help him on bull rushes.
The interesting thing about Hinton is that down the road the Chicago Bears could try to convert Hinton into an offensive lineman. He saw how his father did it and his body is built like one so that may be an option. The Bears have moved players into different positions (Roy Robertson-Harris and Bilal Nichols are examples) so if they want to do it, they can with Hinton.