Ryan Poles went into his first draft as the Chicago Bears general manager knowing they had plenty of holes to fill. After the Bears traded this year’s first and fourth-round picks to move up for Justin Fields last year, they were left with limited draft capital. Furthermore, they didn’t have their seventh-round pick but did add the Houston Texans’ fifth-round pick in a trade including Anthony Miller last season. Poles made it clear leading up to the draft that he wanted to add more picks. He did just that ending the draft with 11 total selections after four different trades. That was the most draft picks the Bears have made in a single draft since 2008.
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Best Pick: Kyler Gordon (Round 2, Pick 39)
Bears fans were upset after the Bear’s first pick in the draft was not a receiver. However, Gordon who was projected as high as a mid-first-round pick fell right into their lap. Poles and the Bears were ecstatic as they were able to fill an immediate hole as a day one starter with Gordon. Poles even said, “I would have made a huge mistake for this organization leaving those guys on the board,” when talking about Gordon and Jaquan Brisker, whom they drafted just nine picks after Gordon.
The Bears made it clear they valued the best player available for the first couple of picks in this draft. In their eyes that was the cornerback out of Washington. Gordon will now play opposite fellow and former PAC-12 corner Jaylon Johnson. Gordon has a ton of potential and is a very good athlete testing at a 9.69 on the RAS scale. If Gordon can fine-tune his technique, he has the potential to be an All-Pro at some point in his career.
For more on Gordon, check out our scouting report on him.
Worst Pick: Lucas Gill (Round 7, Pick 255)
Matt Araiza the “punt god” was highly rated by many draft analysts as the top punter in the draft class. He has a huge leg and had a few punts in college netting over 80 yards. However, despite being the third punter to come off the board the Bears were unable to come out of the draft with him. They passed on him twice in the fifth round and instead waited to address the punter position until their final pick of the draft.
With that pick, they selected Gill out of North Carolina State. He doesn’t have a huge leg and will have to beat out Ryan Winslow for the starting job. In 2021, Gill only had a net average of 41.5 yards per punt. Furthermore, he may have been available after the draft as an undrafted free agent. Time will tell and while Gill may be a solid punter for the Bears, they may be looking back in a few years wishing they took Araiza when he was available.
Sleeper Pick: Dominique Robinson (Round 5, Pick 174)
After trading away Khalil Mack, it was evident that the Bears would need to develop pass rushers for the future. They already have Trevis Gipson who flashed potential in his second season last year racking up seven sacks. Gipson along with Robinson could be the next duo of pass rushers in the Windy City for years to come. However, at least for next season, they will learn behind veterans Robert Quinn and Al-Quadin Muhammad. They will serve as great mentors for Robinson as he looks to take his game to the next level in the NFL.
Robinson is a former wide receiver who converted to edge after the 2019 season. He has plenty of speed but due to the position change, he is very raw as a pass rusher. That didn’t stop Robinson from racking up 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss over his final two seasons at Miami (OH) despite not starting a single game. In his first couple of seasons in the league, Robinson likely won’t see much action on the field as he has to learn the craft of an edge rusher. However, with the traits he possesses, Robinson can be one of the best value picks in this draft class.
The Bears came into the draft with a ton of holes to fill and not much depth on the roster. After seven rounds, this draft class at first glance looks very good. They were able to drastically improve their secondary while also adding depth to the offensive line. However, after only drafting one receiver they will need to turn towards free agency and add another veteran. All in all, Poles did a great job of building up the roster that he clearly was not a huge fan of coming into the job.
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