Grading the Draft - Chicago Bears

nfl's picture

Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Most of the Bears’ offseason moves were geared towards helping quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. And while they added a pieces on offense in the draft, Chicago made a concerted effort early on to strengthen the defense.

Round 1 (No. 8 overall): Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Round 2 (No. 39): James Daniels, OC, Iowa

Round 2 (No. 51): Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

Round 4 (No. 115): Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, Western Kentucky

Round 5 (No. 145): Bilal Nichols, DT, Delaware

Round 6 (No. 181): Kylie Fitts, DE, Utah

Round 7 (No. 224): Javon Wims, WR, Georgia

UDFA: Dejon Allen, OG, Hawaii; Abdullah Anderson, DT, Bucknell; Rashard Fant, CB, Indiana; Matt Fleming, WR, Benedictine College; John Franklin III, S, FAU; Jeremi Hall, OG, USF; Tyrin Holloway, CB, Western Illinois; Garrett Johnson, WR, Kentucky; Michael Joseph, CB, Dubuque; Ryan Nall, RB, Oregon State; Elijah Norris, LB, Shepherd; Nick Orr, S, TCU; Shaq Roland, WR, West Georgia; Bunmi Rotimi, DE, Old Dominion; Kevin Toliver II, CB, LSU; Andrew Trumbetti, LB, Notre Dame; Cavon Walker, DL, Maryland; Ryan Winslow, P, Pittsburgh

There was a strong chance Roquan Smith would not be available when the Bears were called to the clock in Round 1, but once the Colts decided on Quenton Nelson, the junior linebacker fell to the Bears. Smith is a tremendous pursuit defender who has the potential to add to the lore of great linebackers who have worn Chicago Bears uniforms in the past.

Most figured James Daniels would be selected in the first frame but when he fell to the 39th pick, the Bears quickly swiped him up. It’s an interesting choice for Chicago considering Cody Whitehair, the team’s second round pick in 2016, has started every game the past two years. The athletic Daniels should be able to transition to guard.

Chicago still needed help at receiver despite signing Allen Robinson in free agency, and they hope Anthony Miller is the answer. Miller is a terrific pass catcher but lacks great size and speed and has injury concerns. If he stays healthy, I would expect Miller to contribute this season.

Joel Iyiegbuniwe was an interesting pick in Round 4 considering he’s very much the same type of linebacker as Roquan Smith. I think the team would’ve been better off doubling up at receiver and selecting DaeSean Hamilton.

Bilal Nichols is an excellent fit for the Bears defense. Even though he lined up at tackle in college, Nichols has the athleticism and size to play end for the Bears three-man line.

Kyle Fitts will compete for a roster spot as a rush linebacker, and I think the selection of Javon Wims in Round 7 was a winner. Wims is a big-bodied receiver who lacks great upside but fits well as a possession receiver.

I love the UDFA signings by the Bears.

Dejon Allen will compete as a backup on the inside of the offensive line. Corners Michael Joseph, Kevin Tolliver II and Rashard Fant will end up on the active roster or the practice squad. Elijah Norris and Bunmi Rotimi each have a chance to end up on the active roster as pass rushers if Fitts does not impress coaches this summer.

Analysis: Smith will be an immediate starter and was a no-brainer selection, while Miller improves the receiver position. Daniels and Iyiegbuniwe are good players, but I question where they will fit on the depth chart. All the late-round picks have a chance to make the active roster, as do several of Chicago’s UDFA signings. Grade: B+