By: Jay Patel
The NFL Draft concluded today, and the Bears came away with five new rookies. It was a solid draft for Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy, and company as they addressed key area of needs. Here’s a recap of Day 3 and what each rookie brings to the Bears.
The Bears did not have a Round 4 pick after trading it to the Jaguars for QB Nick Foles.
Ryan Pace had a busy Round 5. He made two trades to move up, and the Bears ended up with three overall selections.
#155: Trevis Gipson, OLB, Tulane
Trade: Bears Receive: Pick #155, Vikings Receive: 2021 4th round pick
The Bears traded up with the Vikings to draft Gipson. He was a sack machine last season, recording eight of them in his senior season. He also set a career-high with 49 tackles and 15 tackles-for-loss. Gipson plays with tenacity, something the Bears are known for, and has the scrappiness to make a big impact on the pass rush. He’ll play behind Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, but I see some Bilal Nichols type success with this pick. Gipson is still a project, but he has enough upside to make an impact on the Bears.
#163: Kindle Vildor, CB, Southern Georgia
Vildor was the second CB the Bears took after drafting Jaylon Johnson in the second round. Vildor’s quick, running a 4.44 40-yard dash at the combine. He still has a lot to learn, but he has the tools to make him a worthwhile pick. If he’s not getting reps at CB, he’ll surely be used on special teams.
#173: Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane
Trade: Bears Receive: Picks 173 and 227 Eagles Receive: Picks 196, 200, and 233
The Bears moved up 23 slots to draft a quick WR in Mooney. After releasing Taylor Gabriel earlier in the off-season, Chicago needed another quick wide receiver. Mooney fits the bill as the 5’10, 176-pounder ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine. He’s perfect player to run screens and deep routes, and can burn the opposing CB with his speed. The one concern with Mooney is his hands as he struggled with dropped passes during his college career. If he can bulk up a little and improve his catching abilities, Mooney should be a solid slot receiver for Chicago.
The Bears did not have a 6th round pick after trading them to move up in the 5th round.
The Bears finally attempted to improve the offensive line after selecting back-to-back offensive lineman to end their 2020 draft.
#226: Arlington Hambright, OT, Colorado
After looking at initial scouting reports, Hambright worked hard to get to the NFL. He went from JUCO to Oklahoma State to Colorado. Hambright battled a significant injury during the 2018 season, and didn’t get much experience after coming back. However, he can play anywhere on the offensive line, and has decent size (6’4, 307 lbs.). He’ll get a chance to play for a backup role, but that’s all I see him as.
#227: Lachavious Simmons, OG, Tennessee State
Simmons (6’5, 315 lbs.) was the Bears final pick in the draft. Ryan Pace and Co, dug deep to find him. Simmons played at both guard and tackle during his two seasons at Tennessee State. He started in 18 games total, and will compete for a backup role on the Bears. Both Simmons and Hambright will also be solid candidates for the practice squad.
The Bears had a productive draft, filling in areas of need. Looking ahead, Chicago still needs to figure out the starting secondary (CB2, SS alongside E-Jax), wide receiver depth chart, tight end logjam, and starting O-line. However, the Bears walk away from the 2020 draft with much to smile on.