Bears earn widespread praise in early 2018 NFL Draft grades

SHARE Bears earn widespread praise in early 2018 NFL Draft grades

Roquan Smith of Georgia poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. | Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Bears GM Ryan Pace did some of his best work at the 2018 NFL Draft if the early grades coming in following the three-day event are to believed. Not every analyst is equally effusive in their praise for the moves made by the Bears, but the general reaction has been overwhelmingly positive after a more divisive 2017 draft haul.

The Bears opened the draft by taking Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick. Smith is considered a potential cornerstone in the middle of the defense and should play a major role from Week 1.

The second round saw a couple more well-liked picks in Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels at No. 39 and Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller at No. 51. Pace traded a 2018 fourth-round pick and 2019 second-round pick to draft Miller, who could become one of the Bears’ top playmakers in short order.

The team’s Day 3 haul wasn’t as exciting but included intriguing fliers on Western Kentucky linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe and Utah pass rusher Kylie Fitts.

Here’s a quick look at the Bears’ draft grades from a variety of sources.

Bears draft grades 2018

CBS Sports: A A

Sports Illustrated: A

USA Today: A

Bleacher Report: A

Yahoo! Sports: A-

SB Nation: B+

Sporting News: B+


Pro Football Focus: “Good”

Every single grade for the Bears’ draft is positive. CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco says the Bears “knocked it out of the park with their first three picks.”’s Chad Reuter says Smith was the top player on the board at No. 8 and Miller is an “outstanding” wideout. USA Today’s Nate Davis gave Pace a “bravo.”

The Smith pick in particular got a love of love. Just about every grade had something good to say about the Georgia linebacker. PFF called him “a perfect linebacker for the 2018 NFL.” Mel Kiper said he’s “going to become the face of the Bears’ defense.”

It’ll be a few years before we know whether the Bears’ picks pan out, but the early indications are positive. There’s reason for optimism that this could be Pace’s best draft class yet.

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