The Chicago Bears have seven picks in this year’s NFL draft; one in Rounds 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7, none in Round 3 and two in Round 4. GM Ryan Pace splurged in free agency to fill some holes, and now it’s time for him to deliver in the draft. With the Bears securing their Quarterback of the Future in last year’s draft, it’s time for Pace to address some of the other holes the Bears have, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. Here is who the Bears should take with their picks:
1-8: Quenton Nelson, Guard, Notre Dame
In the off-season the Bears hired an offensive-minded coach in Matt Nagy, gave the keys to their franchise to a young QB in Mitchell Trubisky, and splurged on offensive weapons Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, and Taylor Gabriel. None of that will matter if they can’t protect Trubisky this upcoming season … especially with that Vikings defensive front, and with the Packers signing Muhammad Wilkerson. Losing Josh Sitton makes guard one of the Bears’ biggest needs.
I know many are against taking a guard this early in the draft, but times have changed. Look at how teams are building. The Los Angeles Rams for example will now have Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh bringing heat up the middle. The Eagles were able to bring pressure up the middle to disrupt Tom Brady. For those reasons, it will be important for teams to solidify the middle of their o-line, so look for guards to be more valued moving forward.
Nelson is one of the three best players in this draft. Don’t forget that Harry Hiestand, his former O-line coach at Notre Dame, is now with the Bears, which would make this even more of a no-brainer:
2-39: Christian Kirk, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M
With Cameron Meredith and Kevin White still question marks going into the season, Kirk – aka OBJ Lite – would be the perfect weapon for this revamped offense. I’ve been in love with him ever since he put on a show in the Bowl game (13 catches, 189 yards, three touchdowns). Kirk is electric after the catch as you can see from some of his highlights:
Bears reps were also at his pro day 👀
4-105: B.J. Hill, Defensive Tackle, NC State
The Bears desperately need depth at the DT position. Hill is 6-foot-4 and 311 pounds, which makes him the perfect size for a 3-4 defensive lineman. He did 35 reps of 225 on the bench and ran a 4.99 40 at the combine, which has him shooting up draft boards.
4-115: Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, Edge/ OLB, Arkansas State
Rolland-Jones finished his college career as a two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year and with the second most sacks in NCAA history. He has a plethora of moves, and is a natural at getting to the quarterback. Some have questioned his size to hold the edge, but with his speed, he would look good in the Bears 3-4 front as an OLB. He is hands down one of the best pass-rushers in the draft. Bears fans, remember Mark Anderson? Rolland-Jones can possibly provide that same kind of spark Anderson did in his rookie season when he tallied 12 sacks.
5-145: Will Richardson, Offensive Tackle, NC State
Richardson did well at the combine with a 31.5 inch vertical (4th among O-Linemen), 9’0” broad jump (10th), and a 5.26 40 (13th). He has had some off-the-field incidents, which has caused him to drop down some boards. With the Bears needing depth at the OL spot, a guy like Richardson, who was one of the more athletic tackles at the combine, not only has tremendous upside, but could help right away.
6-181: Quadree Henderson, WR, Pittsburgh
One of the best returners in the country, which is a need for the Bears. Has that lateral quickness that reminds me a lot of Devin Hester. Also in this day and age, guys like Henderson can do damage in space if used the right way – a Tavon Austin type. Coach Nagy seems like a guy that will come up with creative ways to use offensive talent, so Henderson would fit right in.
7-224: Malik Reaves, Defensive Back, Villanova
Aggressive DB that tackles well in space. Had the flu during his pro day so he is slipping down some draft boards, but he fits what the Bears are trying to do by adding tough, physical players on defense. Tidbit I love about Reaves: he did not allow a touchdown pass this past season. Had a strong week at the East-West Shrine game, and can play CB or Safety.