Ask Hub: Why Donald, Jernigan aren't fits for Bears

Pittsburgh defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) during warmup before an NCAA 
football game between Pittsburgh and Miami on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 in Pittsburgh. 
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Pittsburgh defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) during warmup before an NCAA football game between Pittsburgh and Miami on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

In this week's edition of "Ask Hub," I answered your draft questions with a focus at defensive tackle and the secondary, as well as talking depth at wide receiver and tight end. If you have a Bears or draft question, tweet it @Hub_Arkush. 

From @CanuckBoy670AM: Why are you opposed to the Bears drafting Aaron Donald with 14th pick?

From @clawlerclaw: You don't have either Jernigan or Donald anywhere near the Bears pick in your mock. What do you dislike about them?

Both are significantly undersized, even as three-techniques, and neither consistently dominated at the college level. The best you're going to get with either is an overachiever who makes the occasional play but can be double-teamed and erased whenever an offense chooses to attack them. Jernigan at least has more natural strength, but neither is strong enough to handle big time NFL guards. Donald's strengths are talents that won't help him in the NFL. I don't care if a defensive tackle runs a sub-4.7 40-yard dash, make him a linebacker. And the 35 reps in the 225-pound bench press is very impressive in the weight room, but meaningless once a 320-pound guard or tackle gets his hands on him. I think both will end up as third tackles in some team's three-tackle rotation who make occasional plays in the backfield when allowed to shoot gaps, but will be liabilities against the run and incapable of playing in a two-gap scheme.

From @seanmcguire23: How early do you think the Bears will pick offense, if at all? And what position?

The Bears will definitely draft on both sides of the ball and it will really come down to the best players available when they come up in each round. Keep in mind they have loaded up at defensive tackle and defensive end in free agency, re-signed D.J. Williams and loaded up at linebacker last year with their second and third picks on Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene, and Shea McClellin was the first pick two years ago, and in re-signing both Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman, they just seek depth at cornerback. The only spot where a rookie has a chance to start this year is safety, and the Bears need depth and future starters at running back and tight end as badly as they do at cornerback. If they love a Stephon Tuitt, Ra’Shede Hageman, Timmy Jernigan, Will Sutton or Aaron Donald, I suppose they could go D-line in the first round, but if Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Calvin Pryor and Justin Gilbert are all available at 14, or if at least two of them are there, I don't see how the Bears don't take one. In all subsequent rounds, it has to be best player available regardless of which side of the ball he plays on, and the second and third rounds could be great spots to find a tight end and running back who could back up immediately and possibly start down the road.

From @journofkabilyk: You project Bears take CB at 14. What would that mean for (Charles Tillman)? Bench? Wait for injury (and) insert rookie? Other?

First of all, that was Mock Draft 1.0, done the second week in March before most pro days and any private workouts had taken place. Over the next four weeks, we'll be working the phones, watching draft boards stack and re-stack, and by the time we get to Mock Draft 5.0, I could be projecting something totally different. But I like Justin Gilbert a lot and so do most of the smart personnel people I've spoken to so far. He could easily start at free safety for a year or two if you leave Peanut at cornerback, or I would move Peanut to free safety whether he likes it or not and let Gilbert start on the corner from Day One. That gives you upgrades at both positions. As much as I love Tillman, he's not a lockdown cover corner and Gilbert may eventually be. But Peanut covering a third wideout, running back or tight end at safety, and playing in the box and wreaking havoc against the run is exciting to think about. Gilbert also has nice return ability and could fill Devin Hester's vacant spot as well.

From @nacdownunder: If Bears go DBs first round (safety/cornerback) and want to target DTs in the second round, who are the tier-2 DTs best fit?

First of all, the second round is where I'd be happy to get Jernigan and the third round is where I'd feel good about Donald, but both will be over-drafted and gone by 51, which is where the Bears currently sit. Two players who I like better than both Jernigan and Donald are DaQuan Jones out of Penn St. and Will Sutton from Arizona St. Jones will probably be gone but if he's not the Bears should jump all over him. He is more likely to fit as an anchor or nose tackle, but could take snaps in either spot in running situations and will be a force in the run ‘D’. Sutton suffers from the same issues as Jernigan and Donald and his short arms really bother me. But go back and watch him in 2012 and you'll see one of the dominant tackles in the country week in and week out, something you didn't see in any season from Jernigan or Donald. You might even get him in the third round, but I doubt he lasts into the 80s. Another kid I like a lot is Shamar Stephen. Every time I turned on Connecticut, he was slanting the playing field and he has a great frame – 6-5, 309 – to work with.

From @talkCHIsports: Do you think the Bears are more likely to address TE depth or WR depth late in this year's draft?

Even with what they've done in free agency and with waiver claims, the Bears are dangerously thin at both positions. But if Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery gets dinged, you've still got the other, and while I didn't really see why last year, they seem to be excited about Marquess Wilson. If Martellus Bennett goes down for any period of time, the Bears have a real problem. My guess is they'll address both positions to try and create competition for backup roles, but developing a contributor at tight end is a much greater priority right now.

From @PrestonKeefe: Would the Bears consider taking Jimmy Garoppolo in Round 2? Good backup potential and possible future starter.

I would love it if they did but I don't see it. I'm a huge Garoppolo fan and think he will eventually make a difference in the NFL. But the Bears have just guaranteed Jay Cutler $54 million over the next three years and their chance to contend with the current roster is probably just this year, maybe this year and next and that's only if they get significantly better on defense and significantly deeper on offense. Garoppolo is a luxury the Bears can't afford in the second round this year. If they feel that strongly about him, why did they just give Cutler all that money?

From @1901Madison: Going into the draft, which are the top six teams in the NFC?

Assuming and hoping there is nothing to the allegations of sexual misconduct against and ongoing investigation in South Florida of Colin Kaepernick, I'd currently rank the NFC: 1A. San Francisco, 1B. Seattle, 3. Philadelphia, 4. Green Bay, 5. Carolina and 6. is a tie between New Orleans, the Bears and maybe Atlanta.

From @ItsJerryWithAJ: Always thought Pat Mannelly has added more value to team than most realize. How would his retirement impact 2014 Bears?

Pat Mannelly has been the best long snapper in the NFL over the past dozen seasons or so and that is very important. That said, there are a lot of guys who can do the job, none as well as Mannelly, but some well enough. Remember, though, a little over a decade ago the New York Giants had a season ruined because they undervalued the position and then couldn't find a deep snapper until it was too late. All of that said, I know nothing about Chad Rempel, who the Bears just signed as a backup plan in the event Mannelly retires - which, by the way, nobody expects to happen - other than the fact he has 10 years experience in Canada but none in the NFL, and he was a wide receiver in Canada. I've never heard of a wideout being a long snapper in the NFL.

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