The Bears rookie class was a solid one. There is a lot of potential for them to grow into everyday starters/good rotational players. One of them already has in second-round pick Jaylon Johnson. Cole Kmet, another second-round pick, received more playing time in the second half and showed his toughness. WR Darnell Mooney became a household name after his electric rookie season. The remainder of the Bears draft class has lots of questions marks, but still are young, developing players. It’s time to grade each rookie from the Bears 2020 draft class.
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43rd Overall: TE Cole Kmet
When Kmet was drafted, it was a little confusing because of how many TEs the Bears already had. However, after clearing that up, Kmet was the No. 2 TE behind veteran Jimmy Graham. We didn’t see much of Kmet early on because of Graham’s success in the red zone and the Bears limited use of the play-action. However, after Bill Lazor took over and Mitchell Trubisky came back in, Kmet started to turn into a contributor. He finished the season with 28 receptions, 243 yards, and two TDs. Bright future for Kmet.
50th Overall: CB Jaylon Johnson
There were six cornerbacks taken before Jaylon Johnson. The Chicago Bears got a steal in the CB out of Utah. He missed the final three games of the regular season and the Wild Card game with a shoulder injury, but when on the field, Johnson is a starting CB for this defense. In 13 games, Johnson recorded 42 tackles and 15 passes defended (4th in NFC). He’s a shutdown corner and forms a dynamic duo with Kyle Fuller. Like Kmet, the future is bright for the 21-year old.
Rounds 3 and 4
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155th Overall: OLB Trevis Gipson
Gipson didn’t see the field much during his rookie campaign. He appeared in seven games, totaling five tackles and no sacks. He’s still a project for the Bears and could see more success under new DC Sean Desai. For now, Gipson is a rotational defensive player who needs time to develop.
163rd Overall: CB Kindle Vildor
Vildor was thrust into a starting CB role after fellow rookie Jaylon Johnson and veteran Buster Skrine went down with injuries. He did struggle, but that’s not surprising. However, he got better as time went on. He finished the season with 17 tackles and one pass breakup. A special-teamer at first, Vildor showed he can be more than that.
173rd Overall: WR Darnell Mooney
Arguably the steal of the draft, WR Darnell Mooney turned into a star for the Bears. 61 receptions, 631 yards, and four TDs for the rookie out of Tulane. Behind star WR Allen Robinson, Mooney was the go-to-guy. His speed and route running go very well, and he was often seen as the deep threat. We saw a connection between him and Mitchell Trubisky during the final week of the regular season that went for 50+ yards. It showed everything Mooney is capable of. He jumped Anthony Miller on the depth chart, and Mooney will continue to get better.
226th Overall: OL Arlington Hambright
227th Overall: Lachavious Simmons
The Bears tried to stockpile some O-Line depth late in the draft, but neither provided much of it. Hambright was only on the field for 82 snaps. Additionally, Simmons never saw the field with COVID issues and being limited to the practice squad. Both will probably have to fight to make the roster or at least the practice squad. For now, it’s hard to evaluate their play.