Top defender falls to Bears in PFF’s latest mock draft

The Chicago Bears are sitting at No. 9 in the NFL draft after trading the first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in a package that included two first-rounders, two second-rounders and wide receiver DJ Moore.

With the first wave of free agency in the book, the Bears still have pressing needs along the defensive and offensive lines. The good news is they have four picks in the top 64.

In a new three-round mock draft from Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema, defensive tackle Jalen Carter falls to Chicago at No. 9, given his off-field situation.

Who knows where Jalen Carter will be picked at this point? His off-the-field situation is clouding his entire draft projection. He’s one of the most talented players in this class, but there’s a chance he could be picked at the back end of the top 10 or even outside it.

There’s no question that the Bears need help along the defensive line, even after the first wave of free agency, as they’re still in need of that disruptive 3-technique. But the question is whether Chicago would take a chance on Carter, if he did happen to fall to ninth overall, given his off-field situation.

Carter was considered by many to be the top prospect in the draft. But after his arrest stemming from reckless driving and his pro day struggles, there are some who believe he could indeed fall to the Bears at No. 9.

Chicago also has a pair of second-round picks (from the Ravens and Panthers), as well as the first pick of the third round. In this mock draft, with the 54th pick, Chicago lands Auburn edge rusher Derrick Hall. Seven picks later, the Bears land an offensive tackle in Maryland’s Jaelyn Duncan at 61st overall. Chicago then goes running back with UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet with the 64th pick.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire