The Chicago Bears’ reward (if you want to call it that) for a 5-11 season is another pick inside the top-10.
When draft day rolls around on April 26 in Arlington, Texas, the Bears will have the eighth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. And if you’re really trying to think big, they’ll also choose 39th when their pick comes around in Round 2. The Bears were one of four teams to finish with a 5-11 record, but the strength of schedule tiebreaker dinged them and pushed them behind the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round … but not out of the top-10.
This will mark the fourth straight year in which Chicago is choosing within the top-10. Prior to this stretch of high draft choices, the Bears hadn’t picked in the top-10 in consecutive years since 2000 (Brian Urlacher) and 2001 (David Terrell). In fact, the last time the Bears had the eighth overall selection, GM Jerry Angelo used it to pick Terrell.
If you’ll recall, Terrell was a stud wide receiver who played his college ball at Michigan. He was a two-time All-Big Ten receiver and an All-American as he became the first player in school history to have multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He was a pretty darn good prospect, but never panned out in the 53 games (29 starts) he played with the Bears from 2001 until 2004.
I can already feel some of you cringing at the idea of GM Ryan Pace taking another receiver at the position, but the team could go that route depending on how the draft shakes out ahead of them. There will be much to unpack between now and draft day, probably starting with a new head coach.
The top of the draft is set with the Cleveland Browns picking first for the second straight season, followed by the New York Giants, and Indianapolis Colts rounding out the top three. Because of a trade with the Houston Texans during the 2017 NFL Draft, Cleveland owns two of the first four picks in the draft. Then again, that deal helped the Texans land quarterback Deshaun Watson, who fits the mold of the kind of franchise quarterback that has eluded the Browns since their return to the NFL.
Here is what the top-10 looks like:
- Cleveland Browns (0-16)
- New York Giants (3-13)
- Indianapolis Colts (4-12)
- Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans, 4-12)
- Denver Broncos (5-11)
- New York Jets (5-11)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
- CHICAGO BEARS (5-11)
- San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
- Oakland Raiders (6-10)