The 2012 NFL Draft starts on Thursday night at 7 p.m. central time with Round 1 at Radio City Music Hall, and the Chicago Bears will be very busy trying to maximize the value of the No. 19 pick overall. New general manager Phil Emery still needs to address holes in the defensive secondary, along the offensive line and at wide receiver, but there should be an impact player on the board at one of those positions when the Bears are on the clock.
Prospects like Michael Floyd, Whitney Mercilus, Quinton Coples and Dre Kirkpatrick have been linked to Chicago over the past few months, but in SB Nation's latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft, Ryan Van Bibber has projected that all of those guys will be off the draft board by pick No. 19. As a result, he believes the Chicago Bears will select USC defensive end Nick Perry.
Getting another pass rusher is a top priority for the Bears, and Van Bibber thinks Perry would fill the need:
19. Chicago Bears, Nick Perry, DE, USC
The Bears could go several directions here. Going with a pass rusher in the first round, something that would help considerably in the NFC North, is a smart move. Speaking of moves, Perry has them.
Perry is listed as the seventh-best defensive end prospect in the draft according to Mocking The Draft.
Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Bears be sure to visit Windy City Gridiron. And drop by SB Nation NFL for more news and notes from around the league.