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Marino | Chicago Bears draft class reaction

APR 28 Chicago Bears Mitchell Trubisky Press Conference
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

NFL Draft

Marino | Chicago Bears draft class reaction

Over the course of May, both Kyle Crabbs and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Chicago Bears.

The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:

Selection Position Player School
2 QB Mitchell Trubisky North Carolina
45 TE Adam Shaheen Ashland
112 S Eddie Jackson Alabama
119 RB Tarik Cohen North Carolina A&T
147 G Jordan Morgan Kutztown

Best Value:  S Eddie Jackson, Alabama

Eddie Jackson is an extremely sound coverage safety. A converted cornerback, Jackson shows an advanced understanding of coverage concepts while doing well to squeeze routes and work into the catch radius of the receiver. Capable of lining up in single high alignments, man or in shorter zones, Jackson provides versatility to his scheme. He is best at playing in a true centerfielder roll where he can read the backfield and break on the football. His route awareness and pattern matching skills are excellent.

Jackson was my 63rd overall player and a graded in the second round so his selection at 112 overall in the fourth round is great value. Jackson projects as a starting free safety in the NFL.

Worst Value:  RB Tarik Cohen, North Carolina A&T

Tarik Cohen is a pocket rocket type back that is electric in space. With his ability to make sharp, rare cuts in tight quarters, Cohen is difficult for tacklers to get their hands on and is slippery in space. He sees the open field well and is difficult to get an angle on. He offers plus receiving skills out of the backfield and runs well-timed routes.

Cohen does have his deficiencies and at the top of the list is a propensity to unnecessarily bounce runs and get horizontal. While this does lead to an occasional circus run, too often it equates to a negative run. Cohen needs to stay the course more often and take the yards available to avoid a loss of yards. Cohen offers little in pass protection and lacks a power element to his game. A niche back, Cohen profiles as a backup who warrants touches in space and can be used as a receiving weapon out of the backfield.

A fourth round selection on a running back of his profile is too steep for me. I valued Cohen in the sixth round.

Could Surprise:  G Jordan Morgan, Kutztown

When evaluating Division 2 football players, you expect them to dominate, and Jordan Morgan did just that. A four-year, well-decorated left tackle, Morgan projects inside at guard in the NFL. Despite his ability to simply overwhelm opponents with power, Morgan has the technique needed for transitioning to the NFL. He does well to lead with a violent punch and square his hips. Morgan know how to establish his hands with good inside position and has good grip strength to sustain.

Effective in space, Morgan is able to come to balance, anticipate, and seal defenders with good timing. His pass blocking is adequate, but his feet are only average and he has a tendency to get his weight off-balance by working his upper body too far over his hips. Morgan may not have much of an impact early in his career, but has starter potential by year three.

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Joe Marino

Marino began his career as the Assistant Editor for USA Today Digital Properties Draft Sites Network in 2011. A member of the FWAA, Marino writes about the NFL, College Football and NFL Draft for FanRag Sports.

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