Even after committing more than $40 million in guarantees in free agency, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace is adamant about building through the NFL Draft.
Mike Glennon, Prince Amukamara, Dion Sims, Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Marcus Cooper, and Quintin Demps represented the Bears’ biggest offseason splashes when they signed free agent deals to leave their respective teams to land in Chicago. However, the most important moves the Bears will make this offseason toward rebuilding the team will come during the draft — which is 17 days away. With that in mind, Bleacher Report draft guru Matt Miller has an idea of how Pace should re-tool the Bears through the draft.
In his most recent scouting notebook, Miller answers the oft-asked question about the best way to put the Bears on the right track. You can read that in its entirety here, as Miller also puts together an updated two-round mock draft. But let’s focus on the Bears for just a moment.
Miller bases his mock drafts on what he hears teams will do, rather than making them an opinion on what they should do. It’s a small difference, but significant nevertheless. For this exercise, Miller uses Fanspeak’s On the Clock draft tool and produced a seven-round mock draft on how he would fix the Bears. And this is what he came up with:
- 1-3: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
- 2-36: Kevin King, CB, Washington
- 3-67: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
- 4-111: Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
- 4-117: Chad Hansen, WR, California
- 5-147: Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida
- 7-221: Aviante Collins, OT, TCU
I can’t imagine there would be too many complaints if this is how the Bears draft unfolds.
Miller takes a direct path toward filling the Bears’ needs while also adding players with upside. What stands out the most is how Miller aggressively tackles the Bears’ secondary concerns with each of the first two picks with players who could be Week 1 starters. Adams and King are among the best prospects at their respective positions, and both had stellar college careers at LSU and Washington, respectively.
He also accents the offense with fresh faces at tight end and wide receiver. Leggett was named a finalist for the John Mackey Award in each of the last two seasons and holds most of Clemson’s receiving records for a tight end. Hansen went from being a scholarship athlete at Idaho State, to a walk-on at Cal, to an All-Pac-12 first-team selection after catching 11 touchdowns and picking up 1,249 receiving yards. Hansen is a late-round flier with athletic bloodlines (his father and and brother were track-and-field stars at TCU) who could add to the Bears’ depth along the offensive line. while also taking a flier on an offensive tackle with the team’s final selection.
In Miller’s mock, the Bears add a player at every position group with the exception of defensive line and running back. And only the defensive line was seen as a major need for the Bears this offseason. The Bears weren’t going to solve all their problems overnight, but this kind of draft would go a long way toward plugging some holes.