The Bears are missing a third-round pick this year after trading it last year to move up to take QB Mitch Trubisky.
Rumor has it that GM Ryan Pace wants to get back into Round Three, and the best way to do that is by trading down in the first round. It doesn’t sound like Pace wants to move down more than a few spots, but he needs a willing partner to make a deal.
For now, we’ll assume they remain at No. 8.
And, one final thing before we get to the picks, if you haven't already, subscribe today for Greg Gabriel's full scouting reports on more than 200 draft prospects. Whoever the Bears select, you'll want Greg's full report, and it's only 99 cents to start.
Round 1 (No. 8 overall) OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
After four straight seasons with at least 10 losses, Pace has to be feeling the heat, even though he’s only been around for three of them. The Bears have several positions that could benefit from this pick.
What makes Nelson the most attractive option is that he’s perhaps the closest thing to a can’t-miss star in this draft, and Pace cannot afford to miss after WR Kevin White in 2015, and Leonard Floyd in 2016. White has contributed just 21 receptions in three years because of injuries that sidelined him for 43 of 48 games. Floyd has been a more productive pick, but he’s missed 10 of 32 games and has 11.5 sacks.
The consensus is the 6-foot-5, 329-pound Nelson could be a Pro Bowl-caliber guard as a rookie and might be good enough to play left tackle. After declining the $8-million option on four-time Pro Bowler Josh Sitton, the Bears have a gaping hole at left guard. That’s where Nelson started for three years for the Irish, where he often dominated. He also spent four years under Harry Hiestand, the Bears’ new OL coach.
The Bears also have a question mark at right guard, where Kyle Long is trying to bounce back to his Pro Bowl form after three surgeries since his last game.