Prospects with first-round grades fall into the second round every year, but ESPN’s Todd McShay believes the Chicago Bears got a mega-steal with Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels.
McShay had Daniels as his 18th-best prospect, according to Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website. And the Bears grabbed him at No. 39 overall? Sweet. That means the Bears landed two top-20 prospects in the eyes of a well-respected football analyst.
McShay describes Daniels as “a young and athletic interior offensive lineman who should contribute right away: “I love what the Bears did early in this draft, taking Roquan Smith at 8 and trading up to 51 to add a dynamic wide receiver (Anthony Miller) for Mitch Trubisky, but Daniels is the best value here,” McShay said.
McShay loves it. Other pundits love it. I love it. Who doesn’t love it?
Now to be clear, best pick doesn’t equal best player … but that clearly didn’t stop McShay from gushing over what the Bears did in the 2018 NFL Draft, particularly the team’s second-round selection.
The cherry on top of it all is that it sounds like executives around the league didn’t expect Daniels to fall as far as he did either. ESPN’s Mike Sando collected thoughts from around the league regarding draft-related things, and praise continued to come for the Bears’ selection of Daniels.
“Beyond the top pick, multiple evaluators said they preferred second-round Bears center James Daniels to the centers Detroit and Cincinnati selected in the first round, Frank Ragnow and Billy Price,” Sando writes. The Lions and Bengals beefed up their lines with two highly regarded interior linemen, and yet, their moves were not as highly acclaimed as what the Bears did. Getting the best of the Lions, even in the draft room, is always something that is welcomed with open arms in these parts.
All things equal, you’ll totally take it when a first-round talent tumbles to you in the second round. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a win for a franchise that doesn’t have too many of those to talk about on the field in recent years. Take ’em now and hope they translate into wins on the field come September.