With the NFL Draft looming around the corner, each NFL team will look to either fill their holes or bolster their roster. One of the teams with the absolute most at stake would have to be the Chicago Bears as they look to fill their QB position and give the fans some form of hope, and after years of searching, find a true franchise QB. What’s on the line for the Bears? In addition to the excitement of drafting new players to the team, the Bears have a few more storylines to follow, as staff members such as Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy, and Bill Lazor will be fighting for their jobs on draft night, as the future of them and the Bears look rather murky. Pace’s job obviously being on the line for the doubt that he can draft or even acquire a franchise QB, and Nagy’s job in doubt because of the recent under performing Bears rosters. So, without any further ado here’s the Bears 2021 draft guide
High Profile Targets
Texas A&M QB, Kellen Mond, might not appear as a high profile target from the naked eye, but given the importance of the QB position, and how good of a prospect he appears to be, he is a high profile target in my eyes. During his tenure at Texas A&M, he showed off his plus arm talent and athleticism to some degree. Mond, unlike most college prospects in the past years, showed that he can read a defense from left to right in addition to showing off that he can target single defenders in coverage, targeting single defenders in coverage being something present in many new NFL level schemes. With as many positives as Mond’s games, there are some downfalls.
I question Mond’s ability to go and play some good ole fashioned backyard football, meaning that I haven’t seen enough of him making off schedule plays and escaping collapsing pockets. I also think Mond’s ability to anticipate throws needs to improve before he takes the reins of a NFL franchise. I also don’t love Mond’s dropback mechanics, as he has the tendency to have little to no rhythm to step into a throw and use his momentum to help put some velocity behind the ball. That being said I love Mond as a prospect due to the given arm talent and athleticism. If you take the leash off of Mond and don’t try to convert him into some professional pocket passer, you will see a Justin Fields-esque player. Mond is the perfect player for the Bears and would be a grand slam of a pick if the Bears would be able to take him.
Ohio State quarterback, Justin Fields, is quite literally Justin Fields, he needs no introduction. The arm pops off the screen, and the blazing 4.4 40 speed might be even more impressive. Fields puts respectable velocity behind his throws in addition to his great accuracy. Fields does have a question mark next to his name as most analysts question his ability to read defenses left to right. Even though this might be a red flag to some people, to me, it’s the least of my concerns as the league is growing to the point where you don’t need a guy who reads a defense from left to right. Most NFL concepts are built around reading one side of a field or even just one guy in coverage and if you do need someone to read left to right, there’s still time to learn how to if you work at it.
Also there have been concerns about Justin’s work ethic started by Dan Orlovski, who stated that teams are worried about his work ethic. Quite frankly, I don’t buy it that Fields’ has had no one come out and say anything bad about his work ethic. Bottom line, Fields would be a great fit for the Matt Nagy scheme that we saw in 2018 where the Bears were one of the most aggressive teams in throwing the ball downfield.
Oklahoma State Offensive Tackle, Tevin Jenkins, is probably my favorite non QB prospect in the draft. He’s truly dominant in the run game while also being extremely good in pass protection. During his years at Oklahoma State, he allowed just 2 sacks. Jenkins might not be there at 20 but if he is, it’s a no brainer to select him as he could easily be the next tackle of the Bears for the next 9-10 years.
Virginia Tech Offensive Tackle, Christian Darrisaw, out of Virginia tech is yet another great tackle in pass protection and another physically dominant run blocker like Jenkins. Darrisaw was graded as the number 3 ranked offensive lineman by PFF after a truly dominant 2020, where he was ranked as the highest graded power five pass blocker in the NFL draft. Darrisaw, like Jenkins, would be a long term solution for the Bears but like Jenkins, their availability at pick 20 is in doubt as many teams could use a tackle of his caliber.
Late Round Steals
UNC wide receiver, Dyami Brown is one of my favorite players of all time as he is one of the reasons I love college football. As a fan of UNC, I loved seeing him father the cornerbacks of the ACC on a weekly basis. Brown truly busted onto the scene in 2019, when he, and true freshman phenom Sam Howell made their agenda clear when they turned the Tar Heels’ future around by turning a 1-8 team to a New Year‘s Six Orange Bowl caliber team in just 2 years where they almost knocked off #5 ranked Texas A&M. Brown stretches the field vertically with his blazing speed and high IQ route running abilities. Brown shows off his excellence in vertical routes, where he stops his momentum and gets back up to full speed at an incredible level.
One knock on him is that he didn’t show off a full route tree in college, but that quite honestly doesn’t concern me because of how dominant his fly and slant routes are to the point where it doesn’t matter. Dyami Brown resembles AJ Brown in many ways to me in the sense of his after catch abilities, high motor, and vertical threats. Brown will likely be a second or third round guy, someone to keep an eye on for Bears fans and fill the vertical threat role that the Bears have not had in years.
Syracuse cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu, can fill the hole left by the Kyle Fuller departure. Melifonwu brings physicality to the table as well as great size and range. Melifonwu’s stock has risen from a potential third round pick to maybe even a first or second rounder as we count down the days until the draft. Melifonwu was one of my favorite sleepers going into the off-season, but his stock has taken off since then. Nonetheless he is a sleeper, and a great prospect to fill the Kyle Fuller role on this Bears defense.
Clemson wide receiver Cornell Powell looks to be a late day two pick, meaning he’s likely going in rounds three or four. Powell is a jack of all trades in my opinion as he has no weaknesses in his game. If you need a dig for five yards, he’s your guy, if you need a 5 yard fade in the red zone, he’s your guy, if you need a 20 yard comeback, you guessed it, he’s your guy. Powell was a rock for the Clemson dynasty, and could be a rock for some NFL franchises.
Powell, in my opinion, is a less flashy, discount Justin Jefferson. He might not be as good, but he does play extremely similar. Like I said he’s a Justin Jefferson minus the flashiness and explosiveness. He could easily be an anchor for this Bears team as Darnell Mooney is the only receiver in Chicago whose future doesn’t look in doubt.
Tre Brown out of Oklahoma is an undersized corner who can turn and burn. Brown’s blazing speed gets him a one-up on most receivers in the aspect that you’re gonna have to work to beat him over the top. Brown’s fluid hips and amazing speed and acceleration helps him recover and get back into the play after getting beat by a receiver which is something I love. Brown also brings solid ball skills, plus instincts and IQ to the table which boosts his stock greatly.
As an undersized corner, Brown has many question marks around his size in the sense of, can he fight back against physical receivers, or can he make open field tackles. Whether or not Brown is able to stay as an outside corner or if he be a primarily slot guy remains a question. Teams could easily be looking at a stud ball hawk corner with Brown on either day two or three if he falls to them, as Brown’s speed and ball skills make him a prospect to keep an eye on.
Trevon Grimes, Florida wide receiver, Grimes has been in the shadow of Kyle Pitts, and many other great Florida receivers during his career like Van Jefferson or Kadarius Toney. Grimes is a big time contested catch receiver that can go up and get it with the best. We saw this on full display when Grimes snaged a big time touchdown vs Patrick Surtain, one of the most dominant corners in college if not the most dominant. Even though Grimes is a contested catch guy, his IQ and the way he sets up his routes gives me more and more hope that he can work, and become a shorter route technician, something we saw him do at the senior bowl 1 on 1s. Grimes also has sneaky 4.49 40 speed in his back pocket.
I would bet that we see someone draft Grimes early on draft night because of how special of a guy he is and how lowly projected he is. If some team is looking for a five yard back of the endzone fade for the win, I don’t think there’s more than five WR prospects in this class that I would take over him in those circumstances. Grimes could fill the role that we might have open if Allen Robinson were not to be a bear in the coming years. Grimes could also co-exist with Robinson as both receivers have in my opinion, more of a diverse route tree than people give them credit for.
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