There are an increasing number of mailbags as we get closer to the draft, so let’s round up a few more:
- ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson looks at two top defensive line prospects the Bears could target in the first round of the draft, Shane Ray and Danny Shelton. Dickerson believes that Shelton, who is more of a two-down player, would be a good choice for the Bears if they were to trade back in the draft, but Chicago would be reaching if it took him with the No. 7 overall pick. Although Ray would need to adjust to playing outside linebacker after lining up primarily as a 4-3 defensive end in college, Dickerson believes the Bears would do well to add the elite pass rusher with their first selection.
- A number of publications have mocked Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Erving to the Browns, and Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com–who did the same thing in his own mock draft–says there’s a good reason for that. Erving is the best center in the draft, and he also projects favorably at guard. Grossi writes that Erving is the only offensive lineman the Browns should consider in the first two rounds.
- The Lions also have big needs on the offensive and defensive lines, and Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com writes that it would not be a surprise to see the team address those areas in the early rounds of the draft. In a separate mailbag, Rothestein believes the team should let George Johnson leave for the Buccaneers, who recently signed the defensive lineman to an offer sheet.
- David Newton of ESPN.com believes that Washington’s Shaq Thompson, one of the best athletes in this year’s draft class, would be the ideal player for the Panthers to groom as an outside linebacker behind Thomas Davis. Speaking of Davis, Newton reiterates his belief that Carolina will get an extension done with the 32-year-old before the season begins, which, along with the planned long-term deal for Cam Newton, would require the team to somehow lower Charles Johnson‘s $20MM+ cap number.
- Mike Wells of ESPN.com examines whether or not the Colts will–or should–offer a long-term extension to head coach Chuck Pagano.