Answering the Bears’ biggest draft, free-agency questions

The draft has passed, but the Bears still have questions to answer.

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Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson returns an interception for a 100-yard touchdown against Stanford in 2018.

Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson returns an interception for a 100-yard touchdown against Stanford in 2018.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The draft has passed but the Bears still have questions to answer. The Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley tackles them:

Who was the most important veteran the Bears acquired this offseason?

He won’t be as good as edge rusher Robert Quinn and doesn’t play as important of a position as quarterback Nick Foles, but new safety Tashaun Gipson is as snug of a fit — at a bargain price — as anyone the Bears added all offseason.

The Bears’ best draft pick was …

Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson was a first-round talent who slid because he had shoulder surgery in March. With the start of the season in flux, this was the perfect year to bet on a player that might not be able to practice until August.

Grade Ryan Pace’s 2020 draft …

B for boring. Kmet and Johnson could both slot into the Week 1 starting lineup, but the remaining five draft picks will be lucky to be on the active roster at all. And none of them are named Jake Fromm, the Georgia quarterback whom the Bears passed on twice in Round 5.

What’s the expectation for Cole Kmet in 2020?

To be as good of a player is he is a story — and that might prove impossible. As a “Y” tight end, the St. Viator and Notre Dame alum will be tasked with learning the blocking techniques of a lineman and the routes of a receiver, all without having any on-field work for the foreseeable future.

Which veteran is most in danger of being released before the season starts?

Tight end Adam Shaheen has played 26 out of a possible 48 games. The Bears drafted Kmet and signed Demetrius Harris to play his position.

Should the Bears pick up Mitch Trubisky’s fifth-year option?

No. Declining it will be embarrassing to Pace and Trubisky alike — and it should be. But there’s no sane reason to promise someone who might not start this year $24.8 million in 2021, even if it’s only guaranteed for injury.

With the schedule coming out in a week, which matchup intrigues you most?

The NFL vs. reality. The league plans to release a 16-game schedule. Forget fans — how can the NFL justify having two teams gather together? The Bears’ tight ends room — 10 players plus a coach — is in itself a violation of social distancing laws.

Did the Packers drafting Jordan Love help or hurt them?

Aaron Rodgers has thrown one touchdown pass to a first-round pick, ever. He and Love are the only two first-round offensive skill position players the Packers have drafted in the first round the last 15 years. The Packers should have given Rodgers a stud receiver instead.

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