Opinion: Will the Bears draft picks lead them to success?

Opinion: Will the Bears draft picks lead them to success?

Andy Hanrehan and Peter Harrison

Opinion: Will the Bears draft picks lead them to success?

 

To put it simply, the Chicago Bears have struggled over the last few years. Since the 2017 NFL Draft where the Bears selected North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky with the second overall pick ahead of star QB’s Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, the team has failed to make a substantial impact on the league. Since that draft Mahomes had two Super Bowl appearances with a Super Bowl win and Deshaun Watson has proved himself as a top QB in the NFL. While those stars thrived, Mitch Trubisky continued  to disappoint Bears fans and ended up being released this offseason. After yet another mediocre season, Bears fans have put little faith in the decision-making skills of the team’s General Manager Ryan Pace, head coach Matt Nagy and the rest of the front office. This year’s draft class for the Bears could turn out to be a major turn-around for the Bears, as the organization drafted a bunch of players to fill their team needs headlined by picking their franchise quarterback. 

 

Here is a complete list of the Bears picks in the 2021 NFL Draft:

 

1st round, 11th overall – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

2nd round, 39th overall – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

5th round, 151st overall – Larry Borom, OT, Missouri

6th round, 217th overall – Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech

6th round, 221st overall – Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina 

6th round, 228th overall – Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon

7th round, 250th overall – Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU

 

Early in the first round, the Bears made a last minute trade that had Bears fans thrilled; they bartered with the New York Giants to receive the 11th overall pick in the NFL draft. The Bears took advantage of the high pick by selecting Ohio State’s stand-out quarterback Justin Fields. Fans across the Chicagoland area rejoiced, as the selection paves a road for a missing piece to their offense for years. Seven rounds and seven picks later, the Bears had arguably their best NFL draft in decades. As fans speculate what the future holds for the Bears, we wanted to express our feelings on the draft.

 

Andy’s Opinion: The Bears 2021 draft class could be the end of their playoff drought 

The Bears have continued to blunder under the regime of Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace. After another disappointing 8-8 season in 2020 and a wild card loss to the New Orleans Saints, Matt Nagy is hoping that Justin Fields along with the Bears’ other draft picks will equip Chicago with the tools for a successful 2021 season. Justin Fields is a great fit for the Bears as Chicago needs a tough quarterback who has played in the biggest stage, and Justin Fields offers that.

 

Justin Fields is the perfect quarterback for the Bears on paper; an accurate passer with a cannon for an arm. Along with that he is a great leader off the field. Fields’ competition for starter will most likely be against Andy Dalton, a veteran quarterback who was named as of now the current starter, but Fields, a born leader and plenty of talent as well will surely edge him out. Although Fields has looked great in college, he has plenty to work on. At Ohio State, Fields tended to lock on to his primary target instead of searching the field for other recievers. The Bears only gave up a first and fifth round pick in 2022, and a fourth round pick this year to secure Fields, a small price to pay for in my eyes the second best quarterback in the draft.

 

The Bears also looked to improve the offensive line adding offensive tackle Teven Jenkins from Oklahoma State. This was another huge pick for the Bears, as he looks to be a big help to the Bears struggling offensive line. He is excellent in pass protection, making him ideal for a young star quarterback. After the release of the Bears’ longest tenured offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr., Jenkins looks like he might start at left tackle protecting the quarterback’s blindside. He should be a perfect fit, and has the ability to start at both tackle positions due to the fact he played both at Oklahoma state. Jenkins, a giant standing at 6’6” and weighing 317 pounds, has only one structural flaw — a 67 inch wingspan. Short arms will make it difficult to maintain the edge against pass rushers, however he could be a strong guard for the Bears although he would be an unusual tall NFL guard.

 

The Bears should be a true force to be reckoned in the NFC North. With veteran quarterbacks in the NFC North and Aaron Rodgers possibly on his way out from Green Bay, the Bears have potential at the quarterback position nobody else has in their division. Along with the strong defense, fresh offensive line additions and rookie quarterback Justin Fields the Bears have a real chance of making a long playoff run in 2021. 

 

Peter’s Opinion: Justin Fields along with a strong draft class will lead the Bears to success

Justin Fields is quite literally the savior the Bears needed. A far cry from the blunderous careers of Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles, Fields has potential to turn the whole Bears franchise around. In this year’s Sugar Bowl semifinal game against the Clemson Tigers, Fields’ standout performance led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a blowout win, 49-28. Fields ended the game throwing for 385 yards and a Sugar Bowl record 6 touchdowns. I think the Bears organization made an excellent pick selecting Fields who I think will prove to be worth that first round pick, as he comes to the Bears with extremely effective playmaking skills and incredible athleticism. 

 

Protecting Fields on the turf, however, is the most important skill the team needs to improve on in order for Fields to develop to his fullest potential. Historically, the Bears have had a bad rap with their offensive line, giving up numerous sacks, and failing to shield their QB’s from opposing defenders. The decision to pick up Oklahoma State’s offensive tackle Teven Jenkins in the second round and Mizzou’s offensive tackleLarry Borom in the fifth round will be a massive improvement to their line and give Justin Fields more time in the pocket to create plays.

 

Lastly, the decision to draft North Carolina’s “human highlight reel” wide receiver Dazz Newsome in the 6th round was an absolute steal for the Bears. Newsome, who ran a speedy 4.59 second 40-yard dash during his NFL Pro Day will help complement the team’s already quick WR room that includes Darnell Mooney and Marquise Goodwin. Not to mention a top wide receiver in the NFL in Allen Robinson. If Matt Nagy can clean up his play-calling skills, the Bears offense is set to be a tough team to stop.

 

I think the Bears had their best draft in years, with key additions to both the offensive and defensive side of the ball that will put the team in contention for one of the best seasons in recent memory. With one of college football’s best quarterbacks as the next leader of the team, the Bears are hoping to become a top-tier organization for the foreseeable future.

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