Chicago Bears 2021 NFL Draft Recapby Brandon Braasch May 5, 2021 0 comments
Bears General Manager, Ryan Pace, was all about making moves in the 2021 draft. In fact, outside of the compensatory picks, the Bears did not draft from their original draft position in any of the seven rounds of the draft. They were all acquired during trades. The Bears had seven total picks after trading up twice in the first two rounds and trading back in round six. In moving up, they lost their first and fourth-round pick in 2022. Pace definitely made a splash in this year’s draft.
Make sure to check out all of our 2021 NFL Draft Team Recaps.
Best Pick: Justin Fields (Round 1, Pick 11)
Trading up in the second round for Teven Jenkins was a very good pick. However, getting Fields was easily their best pick. The Bears believe they have found their franchise quarterback. As Fields started to slip, the Bears started looking at ways to move up and steal the quarterback out of Ohio State. They attempted to move up with Denver but the price was too steep. The fall continued and after making it past pick ten, Pace made his move with the New York Giants at 11. Fields was considered by many as the second-best QB in this draft behind Trevor Lawrence. It may have cost the Bears a 2022 first-round pick but Pace and Matt Nagy got their quarterback.
Draft Grade: A+
For more on Fields, check out our scouting report on him here.
Worst Pick: Larry Borom (Round 5, Pick 151)
Believe it or not, Pace went a full draft and his worst pick was still a solid addition. Borom was a projected sixth-round coming into the draft. They took him a little early but if he can develop he could become a starting guard or right tackle. They could have waited on a lineman and took a risk on someone like Shaun Wade with this pick. However, it is tough to fault Pace for going after another offensive lineman especially with how disappointing the line has been in past years.
Draft Grade: B
Sleeper Pick: Dazz Newsome (Round 6, Pick 221)
Newsome was a late-round sleeper in many people’s eyes. He will likely be competing with Anthony Miller, Riley Ridley, and Javon Wims for snaps this season. He has good speed and is exceptional at getting yards after the catch. Ideally, he will slide into the slot with Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney on the outside. That would create a very good mix of receivers for Fields this season and for years to come. Another plus with Newsome is he can also return punts which the Bears struggled to do after Tarik Cohen tore his ACL last season.
Draft Grade: A-
For more on Newsome, check out our scouting report on him here.
Overall this draft was very successful. Pace and Nagy finally collaborated and added their hopeful franchise quarterback. They were also able to add Jenkins who will be a day one starting tackle. He was projected by many to be picked by the Bears at pick 20. Getting Jenkins without losing out on additional draft capital in 2022 was a huge win.
This draft class might have saved Pace and Nagy’s jobs. Nagy’s offense is obviously going to have to improve in 2021 or they may have to look at another head coach. As it stands now, this was the best draft class in Pace’s young career. He took over the GM position at only 37 years old and made some mistakes along the way. However, he seems to have learned from them and this draft class shows his improvement as a GM. Bears fans definitely have a lot to look forward to this season.
Overall Grade: A+