After arriving to the postseason a year early, and acquiring a franchise linebacker in Khalil Mack, the Chicago Bears are ready to rumble.
State Of The Team
The Chicago Bears went from a team that was rebuilding to turning themselves into contenders within a year. With Mitch Trubisky set his third season in the NFL and and his second with head coach Matt Nagy and, on defense, Khalil Mack still in his prime, this team has the potential to compete in 2019.
Total Draft Picks
The Chicago Bears have only five picks in the 2019 NFL Draft:
- Round 3, pick 24 (No. 87 overall)
- Round 4, pick 24 (No. 126 overall)
- Round 5, pick 24 (No. 162 overall)
- Round 7, pick 24 (No. 222 overall)
- Round 7, pick 40 (No. 238 overall)
Top 3 Draft Needs
Guard: Kyle Long took a pay cut and for good reason as he has struggled to stay healthy over the past three seasons. While he will be penciled in as a starter heading into the year, the Bears are going to have to replace him as soon as possible.
Running Back: The Bears traded Jordan Howard and need to add a running back who is better at catching out of the backfield. They are hoping that between a rookie, Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen that they have plenty of versatility in their backfield, as well as a cheap runner for the next four seasons.
Outside Linebacker: Despite adding Khalil Mack, the team currently has no depth behind him. Leonard Floyd has not quite lived up to the hype. Whether it be competing with Floyd or providing depth, there is a need to bring in another outside linebacker to the roster.
Top 3 Draft Targets
RB, Penn State
Miles Sanders has consistently been connected to the Bears since before the Scouting Combine. He brings a complete package and met with the team both in Indianapolis as well as during a private workout in Chicago.
RB, Texas A&M
Trayveon Williams has also met with the Bears twice so far this offseason. He is a bit smaller than Sanders but his pursuit in pass protection has to give NFL evaluators excitement.
OG, Notre Dame
Lastly, the team met with offensive guard Alex Bars at the combine. Bars is recovering from an ACL injury, but came from Notre Dame, where current Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand coached two years ago. The Bears could get a discount on an injured player that they are very familiar with and hope that he bounces back after his recovery.
Decision Maker (Or Who To Blame If Things Go Wrong)
The success of whichever running back the Bears draft will be tied to Matt Nagy. This will be the first running back that the offensive-minded coach picks on his own after moving Jordan Matthews to the Philadelphia Eagles in March. If it goes well, Nagy earns trust that positions him well with the franchise and fanbase.
If not, here come the pitchforks.
Otherwise, the success and failure of the 2019 draft falls on Ryan Pace. Pace has done a tremendous job of rebuilding the roster, but still has his naysayers. A successful draft haul this year without many resources could silence his detractors.
Best/Worst Pick In Current Draft Slot
Historically, who was the best pick and/or the worst pick based on where the team is currently picking.
Best Pick: Dustin Lyman, tight end, No. 87 overall in 2000 NFL Draft
Finding a solid player, let alone a starter, is hard to do with the No. 87 overall pick. Thus, the selection is slim when finding the Bears’ best player drafted at the spot. In this case, it’s tight end Dustin Lyman, drafted in 2000. Lyman appeared in 55 games with 21 starts and caught 37 passes for 278 yards and three scores. Despite his low production, he still stuck with the team for five seasons.
Worst Pick: Evan Pilgram, guard, No. 87 overall in 1995 NFL Draft
Guard Evan Pilgrim played four seasons in the NFL, but only two were with Chicago. He had six starts in his time with the Bears and bounced to Tennessee and Atlanta before calling it a career following the 2000 season.