After addressing the wide receiver position in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night, the Bears will likely have to focus on defense with at least one of their two picks Friday night.
Here’s a look at some of the top options still available, starting with the prospects still available on my Bears Big Board (click on the links for a more in-depth scouting report):
1. OLB/DE Owamagbe Odigizuwa, UCLA – A stout run-defender with underrated pass rush ability, Odigizuwa could be an edge rusher the Bears target with the 39th overall pick. Two hip surgeries in his past have hurt Odigizuwa’s stock, but he had his best season after the surgeries and tested very well at the NFL Combine.
2. OLB/DE Nate Orchard, Utah – A polished pass rusher who was second in the country with 18.5 sacks last season. Orchard has good size and length but would be making the transition from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB if the Bears picked him.
3. TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota – Originally not on my Bears Big Board because the Bears didn’t seem to have the need, recent Martellus Bennett trade rumors make Williams an interesting option. He’s a big, athletic, pass-catching tight end.
4. S Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss – An instinctive free safety who plays better than he tests, Prewitt could actually still be available for the Bears in the third round.
5. S Landon Collins, Alabama – Surprisingly dropped out of the first round Thursday night. He’s been overrated by some, but Collins is still a very good box safety who could be hard for Ryan Pace to pass up if he’s still available at No. 39.
6. ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA – The Bears have a lot of question marks at inside linebacker and Kendricks is a very instinctive linebacker who would fit very well in the interior of a 3-4 defense.
7. CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon – This kid was a lock for the first round before tearing his ACL in practice leading up to the Rose Bowl. Whoever snags him Friday night will be getting tremendous value. Don’t be surprised if Eagles head coach Chip Kelly manages to draft his former player at Oregon.
8. DT Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma – Viewed as a first-rounder by some, Phillips is a shading, two-gapping nose tackle who would fit well in Vic Fangio’s scheme. Unfortunately, back issues have been a problem and he’s probably completely off some teams’ draft boards.
9. DT Eddie Goldman, Florida State – Another nose tackle who slipped out of the first round, Goldman could also potentially play as a five-technique in the Bears’ new defense.
10. OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska – The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn is as dialed in as anyone when it comes to the NFL Draft and he said the Bears were very interested in Gregory before off-the-field issues started piling up. Personally, he’s off my board completely, but he was once considered a top five pick, so the Bears might see some value.
11. OLB Hau’oli Kikaha, Washington – The edge rusher led the country in sacks last season, but lacks length, which Ryan Pace likes. Still, he would be an intriguing piece for Vic Fangio to move around.
12. RB David Cobb, Minnesota – This is probably someone you’d try to grab in the third round, but Cobb is a bruising, inside-the-tackle runner with surprising shiftiness. He’d be a good complement to Matt Forte and has the potential to be a No. 1 back in the NFL.
Adam Hoge covers the Chicago Bears for WGN Radio and WGNRadio.com. He also co-hosts The Beat, weekends on 720 WGN. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.