In his final mock draft before the NFL Draft begins on Thursday, Sports Illustrated's Don Banks projects the Chicago Bears to select North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples with the No. 19 overall pick in the first round. With Chicago seemingly turning its focus towards the defense early in the draft, Banks sees an easy fit:
Everybody seems to think the Bears are in the market for another pass rusher to help lighten the load on Julius Peppers, so why not go out and land his fellow Tar Heel? He's the most accomplished sack artist at North Carolina since Peppers went second overall in 2002.
With the Bears in the market for a pass rusher, Coples could potentially be an ideal fit. He didn't dominate for the Tar Heels like some thought he would, but he's a quality athlete that's got significant potential in the right system. Other defensive ends being projected around Chicago's pick are Syracuse's Chandler Jones and Illinois' Whitney Mercilus.