The NFL Draft is over: What does this mean for the Bears?

The Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley answers the biggest questions facing the Bears after the draft.

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Texas running back Roschon Jophnson runs gainst Kansas in November.

Texas running back Roschon Jophnson runs gainst Kansas in November.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley answers the biggest questions facing the Bears after the draft:

What pick revealed the most about Ryan Poles’ thought process?

Taking Darnell Wright showed the emphasis the Bears put on athleticism across their draft board. His Relative Athletic Score of 9.68 was — get this — 44th out of 1,287 draft-eligible tackles since 1987. He finished third among tackles at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine in athleticism score, which measures everything but the bench press.

The Bears’ decision to trade back in Round 1 and draft Darnell Wright was…

Boring — fans don’t typically buy jerseys of right tackles — but necessary to protect quarterback Justin Fields. Poles’ draft was short on sizzle from Round 1 on; the Bears in theory had the first pick of every pick, but only drafted there twice. When they did — in Rounds 3 and 7 — they took defensive tackles. Bored Bears fans should be comforted by next year’s Panthers first-rounder and receivers DJ Moore and Chase Claypool, whom Poles got as part of his trade return.

My favorite pick after Round 1 was…

Roschon Johnson only started five college games behind the great Bijan Robinson, but I think he’ll be the Bears’ leading rusher two years from now.

What need do they still need to address — and how?

They need to sign their own players to extensions. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson and tight end Cole Kmet just turned 24, while Mooney is 25. All three are young and talented enough to be a part of the next good Bears team, which is, charitably, at least a year away. Chase Claypool is, like the three above, entering in the last year of his deal. Poles has said (wisely) that he wants to see more from him before offering a new contract.

Have the Bears done enough to help Justin Fields?

We’ll see. The Bears’ receivers room is light years better than at this time last year, and their offensive line should be improved. But as Poles said Saturday, there’s a difference between feeling good about a roster on paper and watching a team gel. “It’s got to come together,” he said.

The pressure will be on this player …

Braxton Jones. Drafting Wright means the Bears will count on the former fifth-round pick from Southern Utah to once again play every snap at left tackle, which remains a premium position in the NFL. If he’s not up to it, then the Bears have two first-round picks next year to look for another one.

Where do the Bears fit in the NFC North?

Last — with a possible jump to third if new Packers quarterback Jordan Love turns out to be as poor as I think he will be.

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