How we are grading these picks and players will be considering the following: Where the player was drafted, how much value that player has given the Bears, and the hazards the Bears avoided from not drafting a different player. However, we will not be grading these picks based on how many years this player played with the team.
5. Cody Whitehair, a great center who was a “plug and play” guy from day one and has made an impact since his first snap. Whitehair has been nothing but an absolute anchor for the Bears since being drafted. He has started every single game of his career, and while doing this Whitehair has also logged a Pro Bowl appearance in 2018, definitely asserting himself as one of the best centers in the league.
4. Adrian Amos, a fifth round pick who has also been a “plug and play” type of person since he has been in the league, as he started all 16 games as a rookie and has started all but four games since debuting in 2015. During training camp in 2017, he was one of those fringe guys who definitely had something to prove as he needed to show that he was worth a roster spot, especially after the Bears drafted phenom Eddie Jackson and signed safety Quintin Demps.
Demps would eventually win the job over Amos and then get hurt which would lead to Amos being the starting safety, and he’s never looked back. Amos would eventually be named to the PFF All-pro team in 2017.
3. Eddie Goldman is one of the key guys to the infamous 2014 Jameis Winston Seminoles that is widely regarded as one of, if not the best, CFB teams of all time. In 2018, Goldman signed a contract that would make him a Bear until 2023. Great long term value for Pace as Goldman is one of the league’s premiere interior men.
2. Tarik Cohen, a guy who has recently been questioned by the Bears community after having an underwhelming 2019-20 campaign. Nonetheless, Cohen is an absolute game breaker as he has already logged an All-pro and Pro Bowl appearance.
Pace drafted Cohen in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL draft. This pick was a head scratcher to most analysts as they thought that Cohen was going to have to prove himself to even make the team, something that doesn’t usually happen to 4th round picks. Pace rolled the dice and won huge with this pick.
1. Eddie Jackson, or as NFL film analysis Brett Kollman calls him, “Eddie money.” An absolute home run of a pick by Pace as Jackson has already been in two Pro Bowls and has already made an All-pro team since being in the league since 2017.
There’s not a lot of explaining to do here as Jackson is already a top five safety in just three years of being in the league and will be wrecking NFC North defenses for years to come. Even better yet, Jackson was taken with the 112th pick in the 2017 draft, and is Ryan Pace’s best pick as Chicago’s GM.
Photo credit: Vincent Carchietta – USA TODAY Sports