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2019 NFL Draft grades: Bears’ haul gets mixed reviews from experts

Georgia wide receiver Riley Ridley was the Bears' fourth-round pick. | AP Photo/Sean Rayford

The Bears came away from the 2019 NFL Draft highly positive about the five players they selected despite lacking early picks. GM Ryan Pace described third-round pick David Montgomery as “everything you look for in a running back.” All of the team’s scouting staff “had high grades on” fourth-round pick Riley Ridley.

The team, like all of the others, gushed about its new prospects after the three-day event.

That same sentiment doesn’t appear to be shared by all of the draft experts out there, however. While the team is clearly happy with how things played out in the draft, post-draft grades from various outlets are mixed on the work done by Pace and his staff. Some of them are highly positive, including one “A” grade, but most aren’t as high on what the team did.

NFL.com’s Chad Reuter was highly complimentary of the Bears, calling Ridley an “absolute steal” and sixth-round pick Duke Shelley “a nice slot corner.” He also says that Montgomery can “carry a heavy workload,” which bodes well for the team given its need to replace Jordan Howard’s carries.

The Bears also got a strong grade (“B+”) from ESPN’s Mel Kiper, who said that the only reason he didn’t give the team an “A” was that they didn’t address their need at safety.

Other outlets weren’t as positive about their picks.

The Sporting News noted the value of picking Montgomery and Ridley but said the focus on offensive skill positions “ensured the class would be short on needed defensive pop.” Others knocked down their grade due to the lack of high selections that would’ve yielded better talent.

The grades aren’t as positive as a year ago, when major outlets were positive across the board about the team’s class led by Roquan Smith, Anthony Miller and James Daniels. The Bears didn’t have the chance to be as flashy this time around without any picks in the first two rounds, and it shows in the enthusiasm experts have for their 2019 draft class.

Bears draft grades 2019

NFL.com: A

Yahoo! Sports: A-

ESPN: B+

USA Today: B

Sports Illustrated: B-

The Washington Post: C+

Pro Football Focus: “Average”

CBS Sports: C

SB Nation: C

Bleacher Report: C

Sporting News: C-