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Ryan Pace: Bears pass on ‘D’ but stick to best player available

Bears coach John Fox and GM Ryan Pace. (AP)

With 107 players already -selected in the NFL draft, the Bears will spend Saturday morning finalizing any changes needed for their draft board.

But don’t expect them to push up defensive players after taking quarterback Mitch Trubisky with the second overall pick and tight end Adam Shaheen at No. 45.

“We’re going to take best player available,” Pace said Friday. “If it ends up being offensive players, that’s what it is.”

The Bears had a number of notable defensive players to consider with the 36th pick before trading it to the Cardinals, who selected Washington safety Budda Baker.

The Bears passed on Washington cornerback Sidney Jones, whom the Eagles selected with the 43rd pick. Jones is a first-round talent who fell to the second round after tearing his Achilles tendon on his pro day.

“Our medical grades are important,” Pace said. “Every one of those is a case-by-case basis, and it was for him, too.

“So we had a grade on him that would dictate, ‘OK, at this point in time, we would take him.’ It just didn’t line up for us.”

The Fox trot

Pace dismissed an ESPN report that suggested coach John Fox was not aware of the team’s intention to draft Trubisky.

“That stuff is so false,” Pace said. “The building, there’s consensus in everything we do, so we all work arm-in-arm, and that’s the way it is and that’s the way it should be.”

Pace called Fox “deeply involved from the very beginning” on their evaluation of Trubisky. It included the team’s dinner with him in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“John is involved in every decision deeply,” Pace said. “The respect I have for John is enormous, especially his experience and all the players he’s been with.”

Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns.

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

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