The Chicago Bears are no doubt happy with how the 1st round of the 2021 draft played out for them. They secured their quarterback of the future in Justin Fields. Many view the Ohio State product as one of the best in the class despite being the 4th off the board. He is somebody with Pro Bowl potential provided the Bears give him the right environment to thrive. Yet the best part may have been how they got him.
GM Ryan Pace engineered a trade up from #20 to #11. While it did cost them their 1st round pick in 2022, the only other pieces were their 5th this year and 4th next year. They didn’t surrender a single Day 2 pick in the deal. That means the Bears are a good position to continue adding to their roster tomorrow. It gets better too because there are still some really talented players out there.
Here are a few worth keeping in mind.
- Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
- Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
- Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
- Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
- Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
- Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
- Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
- Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
- Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee
- Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama
- Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
- Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama
- Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
- Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
- Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
- Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
- Jermar Johnson, S, Indiana
- Richie Grant, S, UCF
Among the biggest surprises of the 1st round had to be Jenkins, (Elijah) Moore, Owusu-Koramoah, and Moehrig all falling out of the top 32. Many had them penciled in as locks. It’s not entirely certain why they all fell. Such is the nature of the draft. What makes it great for the Bears is several key names remain available at positions of need. Especially offensive tackle and wide receiver. If the Bears are looking to build around their future quarterback, they’re in a great position to do so.
Chicago Bears set themselves up perfectly
It’s clear Pace knew what he was doing with that trade. Not only did he get a quarterback the team coveted, but he also managed to retain enough ammunition to come right back on the second day with a chance to fill out more of the offense. With Allen Robinson uncertain beyond 2021 and Anthony Miller on the trade block? One has to think a wide receiver is at the top of their list. However, don’t forget Charles Leno Jr. and Germaine Ifedi are working on one-year deals too. So tackle should be circled too.
The wild card to watch will likely be cornerback. Remember the Chicago Bears lost both Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine this offseason. That is two of their primary three starting corners from last year. While they did sign Desmond Trufant, that position could use an injection of young blood as well. It comes down to how the board ends up falling. Chicago holds the 52nd and 83rd picks on Day 2.
If they’re fortunate, they can come away with two more starters.
Pace proved last year he’s capable of finding contributors in the 2nd round. Cole Kmet and Jaylon Johnson were his picks last year. He found James Daniels in 2018 and Cody Whitehair in 2016. That speaks to a trend that he might be looking offensive tackle at #52 unless a receiver or cornerback he can’t pass on is there.