From Rounds 2 to 7, a look at whom the Bears selected:
Notre Dame TE
6-6, 262 pounds
Background: A baseball/football star at St. Viator in Arlington Heights who grew up in Lake Barrington, Kmet was a fifth-round draft pick by the White Sox in 2017 but chose to play football and baseball at Notre Dame. Blossomed in football as a junior in 2019, with 43 receptions for 515 yards (12.0 avg.) and six touchdowns after entering the season with 17 catches for 176 yards (10.4 avg.) and no touchdowns.
The skinny: Despite modest college stats, Kmet is considered an NFL-ready “Y” tight end who could excel in Matt Nagy’s offense, with the size and athletic ability – hand-eye coordination and excellent hands — to develop into an all-around blocking/receiving tight end. Ran an unofficial 4.7 40 at the scouting combine.
He said:“A guy I’ve always looked to was Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] and his physical style and being able to use his size at 6-6. It’s something that’s unique and something I feel like I can do.”
6 feet, 193 pounds
Background: The Fresno, Calif., native was a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 cornerback — and a two-time All-Academic player — before leaving school a year early. His dad Johnny played cornerback at Fresno State, and his brother Johnny Jr. did the same at UCLA and Fresno State.
The skinny: Johnson is seven weeks removed from right shoulder surgery that he had immediately following the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s expected to be ready to participate fully in early August — presuming teams are allowed to gather by then. Johnson tore his labrum in September, but played through the injury. He had two surgeries on his left shoulder earlier in his career.
He said: “I’m going to go out every week and show who I am and who I could have been to any team that would have selected me. … I’m going to do all I can to make teams regret the decision.”
Tulsa outside linebacker
6-3, 261 pounds
Background: The son of a former Texas basketball player and the little brother of a Kansas State power forward, Gipson chose football because he “knew that I could go farther” with it. A state champion in high school, he became the Golden Hurricane’s best player. He had eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss as a senior. He had four sacks, nine tackles for loss and five forced fumbles as a junior.
The skinny: The Bears traded the Vikings a fourth-round pick in 2021 to draft a developmental project behind starters Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn. Gipson credited a stint at the Von Miller Pass Rush Summit last May for helping him to refine his pass-rush moves, film-study habits and approach to nutrition. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compared him to Roy Robertson-Harris, whom the Bears signed as undrafted free-agent outside linebacker out of UTEP.
He said: ‘‘I don’t think I’ve reached my full potential just yet.’’
Georgia Southern CB
5-10, 191 pounds
Background: The Atlanta-area product got playing time as a true freshman, was a three-year starter for Georgia Southern and made all-conference his final two seasons. His best year was as a junior in 2018, when he had four interceptions, 15 passes defended, 4.5 tackles for loss and 42 tackles. He played through an ankle injury most of last season.
The skinny: Vildor already has NFL speed and finished ninth among defensive backs with a time of 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine. He has good cover skills, but it’ll be a big adjustment going from the Sun Belt Conference to the Bears. He’ll have time to acclimate, however, because the Bears have Kyle Fuller, Buster Skrine, Kevin Toliver and second-round pick Jaylon Johnson ahead of him at corner.
He said: ‘‘[The ankle] was a little bit of an issue and lingered throughout the season, but now it’s good. I’m not even worried about my ankle anymore. I forgot all about it.’’
Tulane wide receiver
5-10, 176 pounds
Background: Undersized even by American Athletic Conference standards, Mooney started the last 41 games of his college career, leading the Green Wave in receiving the last two seasons and finishing with 19 career touchdowns. He had 217 receiving yards on only six catches against East Carolina in 2018.
The skinny: The Bears needed a speedy receiver to fill Taylor Gabriel’s old role and paid to add one, trading the Eagles two sixth-round picks and swapping seventh-rounders to move up. Mooney ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Draftniks compare him to nine-year veteran Travis Benjamin, but Mooney will need to learn to protect his slight frame if he wants to last that long in the NFL.
He said: ‘‘I played bigger than my size. I don’t have a problem with doing anything like blocking someone like a linebacker or a safety. I don’t really think about my size as a problem.”
6-4, 307 pounds
Background: It has been a wild ride for Hambright since leaving his Detroit-area home. He went to Garden City Community College and Oklahoma State before landing at Colorado. He settled in nicely there and started every game at offensive tackle. He was nominated for Pac-12 offensive lineman of the week three times last season.
The skinny: Hambright wasn’t talked about much leading up to the draft and was the 22nd offensive tackle selected. But the Bears found a player who thinks he can play all five positions on the line, and he likely will compete for a backup spot at guard. As of now, the Bears will go in with James Daniels at left guard, with the other spot likely to be determined by a competition between Rashaad Coward and Germain Ifedi at right guard.
He said: ‘‘It’s crazy. It’s a blessing. All I can do is thank God and thank my family and prove to the Chicago Bears that they picked the right guy.’’
Tennessee State OL
6-5, 315 pounds
Background:A two-way player at Selma (Alabama) High School, Simmons started 26 games on the offensive line at Tennessee State — at left guard, left tackle and right tackle. He started six games at left guard as a redshirt junior in 2018 and started all 12 games in 2019, when he earned first-team all-Ohio Valley Conference honors at offensive tackle.
The skinny: Simmons, a self-described ‘‘bloody-your-nose type of guy,’’ was under the radar as an FCS-level player but gained the notice of pro scouts at the College Gridiron Showcase in January in Fort Worth, Texas, and at the Hula Bowl the same month in Honolulu. He is projected as a guard at the NFL level. He was invited to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities scouting combine, but that was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: ‘‘I’m a physical player with long arms, and I like to dominate blocks. I think I’m a guy who can compete on the first day because I’m a blue-collar guy who grew up on a farm, throwing hay bales, disciplined. I feel like my hard work can match anybody’s.’’