With the draft in the books time to go back and do a wrap up of how teams made out. I might be a bit of a harsh critic to the top 3 round picks, but that is where you need to hit in the draft to be successful. Sure most of the league is 4th rounders and later, but any that turn into Pro Bowlers or All-Pro players is mostly out of luck. So without further adieu, let's go over the tight end laden Chicago Bears.
2 (11) - Cole Kmet TE Notre Dame - C+
2 (18) - Jaylon Johnson CB Utah - A
If you asked me why Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are so obsessed with finding a tight end I really have no answer for you. Sure, Kmet seems like a lot better prospect than Adam Shaheen was or even picking up Jimmy Graham this off season was. Had they not gone out to get guys like Shahee, Graham, Trey Burton, and the rest of their tight ends this pick would have gotten an A. Since Kmet many saw as a late first round talent and despite what Walt says, many analysts saw him as the best tight end by far with his blocking and pass catching ability. At only 21 and sort of raw as a two sport athlete he has a lot of potential. My biggest issue is why do the Bears with a bad quarterback, a shaky o-line, and needs elsewhere feel the need to keep throwing talent at the tight end spot. Name me a team outside of the Patriots or Chiefs that really relied on tight ends in the passing game. There are a rare find and I really do not see it as a valuable position of need on an offense. It's sort of just a nice luxury piece if you already have a great offense or quarterback at the very least. No matter how good Kmet turns into he will always be held back by Trubisky or Foles until the Bears find a new quarterback. I do not hate the pick since I do think he can play in this league, but he was not a big need at all for the Bears. Then Pace comes around and gets maybe my favorite pick of Day 2 by snagging Jaylon Johnson. Getting him after guys like Damon Arnette, A.J. Terrell, Jeff Gladney, and Noah Igboghene is a major steal in my mind. He has high end starting ability with very good length, ball skills, and technique. I also love him coming out of Utah that has been almost as good as LSU of late putting great talent in the secondary into the NFL. He very easily should start across from Kyle Fuller from Day 1 and like many believe could eventually be even better than Fuller who is one of the most underrated corners in the league.
5 (10) - Trevis Gipson DE/OLB Tulsa - C-
5 (18) - Kindle Vildor CB Georgia Southern - B-
5 (28) - Darnell Mooney WR Tulane - D
7 (12) - Arlington Hambright OG Colorado - C
7 (13) - Lachavious Simmons OG Tennessee St - C-
This was a terrible draft in my opinion despite getting some interesting prospects, especially in the 2nd round who can help right away. I never understand moving up in the later rounds in the draft. Is Gipson's, Vildor's, and Mooney's really that much better than other Day 3 picks that they could have just sat and waited for. In fact, for Mooney they gave up two 6th round picks for. In a receiver rich class, you cannot tell me you had to budget the two picks for him. Most even see him as just a gadget type player who will just replace Taylor Gabriel in the offense. It makes no sense with guys like Allen Robinson, Tarik Cohen, Riley Ridley, Anthony Miller, Javon Wims, and Cordarelle Patterson to throw to along with Cole Kmet, is Mooney really going to make an impact. A better blocking prospect was needed and could have been had in the 5th or 6th round where they had two picks in the 6th round prior to trading them all away. They then went and gave up a future fourth rounder to divisional rival Vikings for Gipson who is a huge huge project. It makes no common drafting sense to make moves like that for guys who are not necessary. Gipson will have a hard time making any difference on a deep defensive front in Chicago. Vildor is a fine pick and one who can provide value. However, again the corner back room is crowded with Fuller, Buster Skrine, Artie Burns, Kevin Toliver, Duke Shelley, and now Jaylon Johnson. Was he a necessary pick, not at all, but he can play. To me this feels like a similar pick to Ridley last year where Pace just went best player available despite not needing another corner. The only saving grace of the last two guards they took in the 7th round is the fact Pace has done a decent job of finding good value with late round blockers. Some turn into quality starters, but most have turned into at least valuable back ups. The issue is, they need help on the line now at guard and right tackle in the worst way. To me if this class does not pan out at all this season and they bottom out, Pace's job might be on the line with so many first and second round whiffs while budgeting the future all too often. Limiting yourself in the draft by trading up in the late rounds is never a good idea and budgeting the future is why we are here today in Chicago praying their 4-5 draft picks each year hit big. The more picks you have the better your odds are finding success in the draft. This draft gets a big fat D+ in my opinion and the only saving grace is the value they got with Jaylon Johnson. As a Bear fan I kind of hope next season is a disaster with Foles and Trubisky allowing them to get rid of Pace, while also being in the running for Trevor Lawrence. Unfortunately, it might come at the cost of Matt Nagy's job, who I do think is a pretty good coach.