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NFL Draft: Chicago Bears have high hopes for today’s second round

April 28, 2018 GMT

There could be a lot of down time for the Bears when the second and third rounds of the draft commence at 6 Friday night, but they’re positioned to get another potential starter with their only pick of the day.

The Bears currently own the seventh pick in Round Two (39th overall), but have no other selections until Saturday, when they have five picks in Rounds 4-7. There are a number of starter-quality players still on the board after the first round, and at least a few should be available when the Bears pick at No. 39. The Bears have two picks in the fourth round (105 and 115 overall), a fifth (145), a sixth (181) and a seventh (224).

“We’re really fired up about (Friday),” Bears G.M. Ryan Pace said at Halas Hall late Thursday night after the completion of the first round and the selection of Roquan Smith at No. 8 overall. “There are a lot of good players. We’re gonna go back upstairs right now and kind of line it up. The seventh pick in this (second) round, there’s another opportunity to get better. And there’s a lot of players available that excite us.”

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The Bears should have an excellent opportunity to acquire either a quality interior lineman or a talented edge rusher. Texas-El Paso OG Will Hernandez and Iowa C James Daniels are both still on the board, and both were considered fringe first-round talents. Boston College’s Harold Landry and LSU’s Arden Key could both give the Bears’ pass rush a boost at outside linebacker. Both had huge seasons in 2016 but slumped in 2017. Key plummeted from 12 sacks to four, while Landry slumped from 16.5 down to five.

If Pace considers the second-round talent deep enough, he could deal down from 39 and pick up a third-round pick that he is currently missing after using it last year to move up one spot to get QB Mitch Trubisky.

“You’ve seen the last couple of years our ability to maybe move around in the second round,” Pace said. “If need be we could do that, or if there’s a player that we love, shoot, we could (move) up. We’ll see. Having two fourth-rounders, which helps us. I think this is a pretty deep draft in that area, so we’re comfortable we’re gonna get some pretty good players at that part in the draft, too.”

Two of the top cornerbacks are still on the board – Iowa’s Josh Jackson and Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver. There are also two wide receivers some thought might go in the first round – SMU’s Courtland Sutton and Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk. Stanford’s big, strong DL Harrison Phillips is a player who could interest the Bears as an end in their 3-4 base and he also has a little pass-rush ability to kick inside in nickel.

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