By: Trent Pruitt
Unless Chicago GM, Ryan Pace decides to trade into the first round, the Bears will have no action until Friday. If you don’t recall, that’s because the Bears front office sent the 2019 & 2020 First Round picks to the Raiders for Khalil Mack. For the record, in my opinion, that trade was a win-win for both organizations.
Alright, so what should the Bears do with the 43rd and 50th picks in the 2020 NFL Draft?
First, let’s assess the needs of the Bears. This is what I believe are their biggest weaknesses that must be addressed:
Offensive Tackle: The tackle spots take top priority for the Bears. There’s no easy way to say this, but Charles Leno Jr. sucks. He’s probably one of the most unathletic LT’s that I’ve seen in recent history. Additionally, Bobby Massie has no business being in this league.
Tight End: The Bears just signed Jimmy Graham to a prove it deal about a month ago so he will likely not be a long term solution. He should be able to prove serviceable for a season, so this isn’t a top priority, although I’d like to see Pace grab a TE at some point. Also, Graham is a terrible run blocker, so my thinking is they grab a scrappy TE in the mid-late rounds to help with run blocking.
Defensive Secondary: At least one CB spot and one S spot should be addressed in the 2020 Draft. Chicago did go out and get former 1st-rounder, Artie Burns to compete for a cornerback role, so this isn’t pressing. Having the best front seven in football, the Bears don’t need a “Patrick Peterson type” to lock down opposing receivers (although it wouldn’t hurt). At safety, the Bears re-signed Deon Bush, but I don’t think he’ll be the long term answer to playing aside Eddie Jackson.
Wide Receiver: Besides Allen Robinson II, the Bears have minimal talent outside. Sorry, but Anthony Miller isn’t going to be one of those guys that we look back on in 10 years and consider an essential part of this team. And in all honesty, Robinson is good but not great. We need more weapons for Mitch/Nick.
My Prediction for Who The Bears Draft
43rd (R2, P11) – Grant Delpit (S, LSU): “But Trent, you just said the secondary can get away with lesser players in the secondary!” I know, but… if Delpit falls to 43, I think Pace scoops him up. This is a big bodied strong safety that can come in and make an impact right away. In my opinion, he’s the best safety available in the draft and I hope he falls as nothing gets me more excited than a duo of SEC safeties holding down centerfield for the Bears.
50th (R2, P18): Tee Higgins (WR, Clemson): A great route running receiver that showed a lot of potential at Clemson. The speedy Higgins would complement Robinson and should be enough to give a boost to this receiving core.
My Logic Behind These Picks
The most important need for the Bears is by far an offensive tackle. Unfortunately, all 5-6 of the top tier bookends will be gone within the first 25 picks of the draft. After those guys, it’s a large dropoff in talent between the next caliber of tackles. I think Pace opts to wait until the 4th round and snag Lucas Niang out of TCU. He’s a 6-6, 315 pounder who is talented and athletically gifted. He should be able to come in and compete for a starting spot right away.
Since no game changing tackles will be available, I think the Bears look to fill their next biggest needs in the 2nd round. If Delpit is available, they grab him. Next, they will look to pick up a WR as this is a deep receiver draft.
The only other guy that I could see the Bears pick up is Cole Kmet out of Notre Dame. Kmet is the top tight end in a pretty lousy class of TE’s. But hey, this guy draws comparisons to Gronkowski and not just because he’s big and white (lol). He will be a game changer in the passing game and can run block. The only reason I’d be cautious about drafting a TE is because Pace just signed Graham. And like I said, Graham should be serviceable for a year until the 2021 Draft when they can revisit this long term need. But hey, maybe Pace is feeling aggressive and takes Kmet. The TE is quickly becoming one of the most important positions on offense and this would supply a big speedy target for Mitch/Nick.
Disagree with my analysis? Tweet me @the_real_pruitt