Over the last few years, the Chicago Bears have made some weird decisions, standing by John Fox was one of them. Nonetheless, the Bears have had a fantastic offseason to date that has gone massively under the radar.
To compliment 2nd-year players Adam Shaheen and Mitchell Trubisky the bears have so far added Super Bowl winner Trey Burton, Aaron Lynch, Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson are all fantastic signings. Some would even argue the Chicago Bears picking up former Denver Bronco Bennie Fowler is a smart move for specials team ability alone.
Moving on to the draft and once again, the Chicago Bears knocked it out the park. here are my thoughts on how it all went down:
Chicago Bears ILB Roquan Smith (8th overall):
This monster out of Georgia will star next Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker with a ferocious ability to rush the passer that’ll instantly make him a favourite in the windy city.
He’ll fly all around the field going sideline to sideline, (‘soccer’ fans would know this as a box to box midfielder), he’ll lead the dressing room and I believe will firmly fit in with that working attitude of Chicago.
Comparison: Lavonte David with added aggression.
OL James Daniels (39th overall):
He’ll likely start out playing guard in Chicago but eventually can see him adapting to his more natural centre role. Either way, Daniels will no doubt add some much-needed grit to the Chicago Bears offensive line. He’s fantastic in zone running and acts as a brick wall in the pass rush which just so happens suits the Bears to a tee.
Comparison: Chris Chester (disclaimer: I’m not very good at evaluating O-line play)
WR Anthony Miller (51st overall):
One of my favourite picks this year was Miller. His ability to run the entire route tree will allow him to bring something to the table from day 1 for the Chicago Bears. Trubisky must be dancing with joy and the thought of dropping the ball to one of Howard, Cohen, Miller, Robinson, Gabriel, Burton or Shaheen.
It’s going to be a good year for Chicago Bears fans.
Comparison: Doug Baldwin (if he only played slot)
LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (115th overall):
Wasn’t the best option on the table for sure, and it was definitely a reach but it’s the 4th round and from this point onwards you’re effectively looking for special teams contributions. He could provide some situational playability but I wouldn’t expect much.
A few things going for Joel are (in 2016);
- He had 64 tackles
- 10 tackles for a loss
- 3.5 sacks
- plans on going to med school after he retires from the NFL.
Comparison: In all honesty, I don’t really have one.
DL Bilal Nichols (145th overall):
Nichols was one of those who looked fantastic at the NFL combine this year, he came out with 5.5 sacks in 2017 playing out of a base 3-4 defence. I think he’ll compete for playing time, will most likely play on situational downs although he does have a lot of potential going forward.
Comparison: Star Lotulelei
OLB Kylie Fitts (181st overall):
I love edge rushers and even more so I love edge rushers that are in the boom or bust category. A 6th rounder can hardly be considered a waste of investment so why not take the punt. The former Utah edge rusher well in 2015 but injuries have held him back ever since. If he can get his fitness in order I have no doubt he may be able to start week in, week out.
Comparison: Ryan Kerrigan
Javon Wims (224th overall):
Wims is a guy that has a fantastic frame and a relatively respectable record to build upon of 270 yards for 7 TDs in 2017. If anything he adds to that core special teams role and provides an opposite gunner for Bennie Fowler.
Comparison: Allen Hurns
Final grade: A+
I just love everything about this draft from top to bottom. Trading up for Miller may cost them but honestly, I don’t think it will really, he fits Nagy brilliantly. Smith and Daniels offer a focus towards reliable play and I think that’s what you’ll get from them, they won’t steal headlines but they’ll do a job so well you won’t even notice they’re there.
Iyiebuniwe could still offer something, every team has a player they reach for every year and I feel this is no different. Perhaps we could have seen more attention paid to bringing in a competitive edge rusher but Roquan Smith makes up for that in a big way.