With general manager Ryan Pace’s second draft for the Bears in the books, the Sun-Times examines the strengths and shortcomings of his nine-player haul:
Was Leonard Floyd the right pick at No. 9?
Absolutely. Floyd might be a hit-or-miss prospect, but the Bears’ need for playmakers is so acute that it’s worth taking a chance on a player with Floyd’s skills — especially in the hands of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and head coach John Fox.
My favorite pick is …
Deiondre Hall, the cornerback from Northern Iowa. He’s considered to be raw and in need of development, but physically he’s everything the Bears are looking for — height, length, versatility and a nose for the ball.
The Bears will regret …
That this was a bad year for tight ends in the draft. Only three tight ends were selected in the top 100, and they went 35th, 81st and 94th. Can’t blame the Bears for passing but this draft leaves them extremely thin behind Zach Miller and too one-dimensional overall at tight end.
Should the Bears have taken a QB …
Not necessarily. They had three shots at Mississippi State’s intriguing Dak Prescott in the fourth round and two shots in the fifth/sixth to get Arkansas’ Brandon Allen and passed each time. Prescott in particular seems to have right stuff to become a quality starter in the NFL. Acquiring a quarterback of the future will be a must-have for Ryan Pace after this draft.
The Bears filled this need:
General manager Ryan Pace gave John Fox players he can work with — a good mix of players with not only talent and length but instinct, aggressiveness, versatility and a passion for the game instead of their next contract. The football DNA and coachability of this team went way up. Now it’s up to Fox and his staff to make something with it.
The Bears missed this need:
Tight end, but there wasn’t much they could do about that in this draft. Arkansas’ Hunter Henry was taken by the Chargers in the second round (35th overall). Drafting a guard in the second round (Cody Whitehair) and an inside linebacker with their first fourth-round pick (Nick Kwiatkoski) — neither of whom filled a gaping hole — indicates the Bears were set on taking the best player available at every turn. Teams that reach usually over-reach. No need for the Bears to do that in this draft.
Draft grade …
A-. The Bears’ biggest need was on defense, and Pace gave Fox and Fangio a lot to work with. Floyd is a wild-card, but there’s a lot of potential here. This draft could produce the most starters of five or more years since 1983.