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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Projects Bears To Select DE Andre Branch

As we close in on the 2012 NFL Draft, is releasing computer-generated mock drafts every few days based on established needs for each organization and a "Big Board" that ranks every prospect in terms of value. In their latest edition that came out recently, they project the Chicago Bears to take Clemson defensive end Andre Branch with the No. 19 pick:

Bears sources are now saying that the most likely scenario in the first round will be for Emery to focus on the D-Line. Branch fits the need for a bookend pass rusher, but Chicago could go in several directions here. With the defection of A. Okoye and the age of C. Tillman, DT and CB are both in play as well. Q. Coples is the prize if he falls due to concerns about effor, but include Branch in a group of potential picks that includes Poe, Brockers, Kirkpatrick and Gilmore.

After it seemed like the Bears would use the draft to address their offense early in the offseason, it's become increasingly likely that they go in a different direction with their first pick. Landing a pass rusher seems to be the most commonly brought up suggestion, and they've been rumored to be seriously interested in Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on theChicago Bears be sure to visit Windy City Gridiron. And drop by SB Nation NFL for more news and notes from around the league.