It's draft season NFL fans! For Bears fans, this might be the best time all season, and very well could be the draft that kicks off our rebuild for championship glory. (A guy can dream can't he?!) While outsiders may view the Bears as one of the worst rosters in the league, Bears fans know that this is a roster that is one player away from being a real contender, unfortunately that one player is quarterback as it always seems to be for the Bears.
But this is a fantasy football website, so enough about me lamenting my favorite team's current situation. Let's preview the incoming rookies that could make an impact from a fantasy standpoint in the coming 2017 draft. All rounds are approximated because, well, I'm not a “draft expert” and let's be honest even those guys don't know what teams are doing most of the time.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
1st round pick 3
No one, including myself, expects the Bears to take a QB at number 3 after signing Mike Glennon this past offseason. However, teams are always unpredictable when it comes to QB. Trubisky has rapidly moved up draft boards this season and is now pretty much universally considered the top prospect in the class. Scouts praise Trubisky for his accuracy, polished mechanics and decision making. He may only have one year as a starter, but limited game tape has never stopped a team from taking a shot on a potential franchise quarterback. Mike Glennon’s deal seems like a huge investment, but it's basically a one year prove it deal. If the Bears front office falls in love with Mitchell, they could take him at 3 and give him a year to acclimate to the NFL style while Glennon starts. I doubt it happens, but crazier things have happened before.
Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
2nd round pick 36th overall
Now that Alshon Jeffery is a Philadelphia Eagle, the Bears receiving corp is Kevin White, for the three games he's healthy, Cameron Meredith and Markus Wheaton. That seems pretty gross to me. While I like Meredith as a player, he's more effective coming out of the slot. Anyone that doubts Chris Godwin as an NFL talent needs to watch the 2017 Rose Bowl as it was probably the most impressive game by a college wideout this year. Godwin ran a 4.42 at the NFL Combine, proving that he has the speed to beat NFL cornerbacks downfield. Matt Harmon’s excellent Perception Reception days loves Godwin as well as he lead all college wide receivers with a ridiculous 85.7 reception conversion rate. Godwin may be the most underrated wideout heading into the NFL draft, and if the Bears take him at the top of the second round he would be a welcome addition to a depleted and untrustworthy receiving corp.
David Njoku, TE, Miami
2nd round 36th overall
Talk about a guy that has been flying up draft boards! Njoku is one of the fastest rising players of the offseason and is now pushing O.J Howard as the top tight end prospect in the draft. At 6’4 246 pounds Njoku has the prototypical size to be able to box out defenders in the redzone, and proved in college that he has the speed to make plays downfield. Njoku boasts a 97th percentile Burst Score on playerprofiler.com and didn't fall below the 76th percentile on any of that sites workout metrics. If he's sitting there at the top of the 2nd round the Bears should definitely consider him as it could give Mike Glennon (or whoever is the Bears QB) a great security blanket tight end and a matchup nightmare for years to come.
Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State
3rd round 67th overall
The last guy I want to talk about might actually piss a lot of fantasy owners off. People who have invested heavily in Jordan Howard might be angry at the thought or McNichols coming to an already crowded backfield, but I don't think they should. At 5’9 212 pounds McNichols may not have the size to hold up to a full NFL workload and a situation like being in a platoon with a bruiser like Howard might benefit everyone involved. While Howard was highly effective on the ground last year, he was inconsistent at best in the passing game. A 3rd down back with the ability of McNichols, 5 catches of 25 yards or more in 2016, could give Mike Glennon a nice security blanket and help the offense be more proficient. This would lead to more red zone opportunities and more touchdown chances for Howard. Given that Howard has already proven himself to be a workhorse back, McNichols would most likely be relegated to deep PPR leagues, but would be a nice investment in dynasty leagues and a great addition to the Chicago offense.