Bears 2024 NFL Mock Draft: Team lands two blue-chip prospects

The Chicago Bears move up the board for two blue chip prospects and round out their draft class with a hoard of reigning national champions

Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Missouri v Ohio State
Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Missouri v Ohio State / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Round 5 Pick 163 via trade (BUF): James Williams, S, Miami

The first words that come to mind? Kam Chancellor. Big, intimidating, hard hits, everything the Bears are looking for. Though the franchise has recent investments in their secondary with the signing of Kevin Byard and the drafting of Jaquan Brisker, adding a talent of Williams' caliber could provide a transformative impact on their defense. Plus, they need more vicious hitters.

Williams brings an imposing physical presence to the safety position, akin to Chancellor's imposing stature. Like Chancellor, Williams is a ferocious hitter who excels in run support, often delivering bone-jarring tackles that set the tone for his defense. General manager Ryan Poles wants player that are tough, violent, and fast. Additionally, if safety doesn't work out, adding a few more pounds and turning Williams into a pass rusher makes it all worth it.

Round 6 Pick 204 via trade (BUF): Caedan Wallace, OT, Penn State

Wallace possesses the physical attributes desired in an NFL offensive tackle. His agility and quickness for his size allow him to excel in both run blocking and pass protection schemes, giving him the versatility to adapt to various offensive systems. Additionally, the depth at tackle for the Bears is a bit thin, and adding Wallace to the mix can only help their cause.

However, there are areas of improvement. Wallace has some inconsistency in hand placement and punch technique, leading to struggles with maintaining balance, particularly against speed rushers off the edge. That's not going to help in the long haul. Refining his technique and enhancing his strength and conditioning could unlock his full potential. At the same time, he could kick inside to guard and be more flexible in that role if playing on the edge doesn't work.

CHISEA

Round 7 Pick 235 via trade (SEA): Dallas Gant, LB, Toledo

Velus Jones Jr wasn't able to work out, so the Bears send him to Seattle where he could have a chance to revive himself. In the meantime, they give love to their head coach by taking a linebacker from his alma matter. Dallas Gant. Granted. Gant isn't a highly touted linebacker, but he is aggressive on the ball and has a chance to make an impact on special teams right away.

At this point, Chicago is feeling like they have a good enough starting core and just need some pieces as depth and for special teams. Gant can come in and address that. Not to mention, he is very instinctive and should turn heads quickly. Usually in the 7th round, you take fliers on players you don't want to hit UDFA. Gant would have been a good target in that range, and the Bears avoid falling into that trap.

CHINYJ

Round 7 Pick 256 via trade (NYJ): Hayden Hatten, WR, Idaho

Shipping off Dylan Cole for Dallas Gant makes sense. But the Bears have one more draft pick to work with. This time, they take a flier on an underrated wide receiver who did produce on offense but also could find a special teams role. Hayden Hatten has good size for a wide receiver and is Idaho's all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 33 and has over 3,000 yards receiving in his career (five seasons).

The yards may be a bit puzzling, but the touchdowns work. At the same time, he's got good hands and can move the chains, similar to what Keenan Allen can do. Hatten will not see the field immediately, but he may get a few red zone opportunities in the preseason. If he can take advantage of that opportunity, don't be surprised to see him make the 53-man roster. If you can play, they will find a place for you in the NFL.

Next. Rams 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Reclaiming the NFC West. Rams 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Reclaiming the NFC West. dark