Like all NFL general managers, Chicago’s Phil Emery is tight-lipped about which players he hopes to draft next week. But Emery did pull back the curtain a bit on the process the Bears use to narrow down their list of potential draft picks.
Specifically, Emery said the Bears have identified six players they might pick in the first round, where Chicago owns the 14th overall pick. They’ve presumably eliminated the top tier of players — Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Greg Robinson, Sammy Watkins and maybe a couple of others — as sure to be gone at No. 14. And they almost certainly won’t use their first-round pick on a quarterback after they gave Jay Cutler a huge new contract. Beyond that, they’ve got their list of six guys, and they’re hoping one or more are still around when the Bears are on the clock.
“Yeah, every day we keep narrowing it in terms of defining who that group is,” Emery said. “I’d be happy that two out of the six were on the board at our pick, and I’d be ecstatic if three out of the six were on the board at our pick.”
Only those in the Bears’ draft room know the identity of the six players they’re considering, but Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Louisville safety Calvin Pryor and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard are among those who have been identified as potentially heading to Chicago.
And if all six players on the Bears’ list are gone at No. 14? That’s when they’d look to trade down.