Having eyes on the upcoming NFL Draft in early November isn’t new to Bears fans, but the team playing well and not having a pick in the first two rounds has put draft-related thoughts on the back-burner. And frankly, I’m OK with that because our eyes should be laser-focused on a team whose front office aggressively opened a competitive window for this season and the next few years.
Right now, playoff seeding is taking precedence over draft position … and I’m totally here for it!
With that in mind, I still found Maurice Moton’s piece at Bleacher Report on NFL Draft prospects each team should have eyes for right now to be interesting. Moton mows through each of the league’s 32 teams in search of a college standout who the team should be keeping tabs on as this season moves along.
For the Bears, it’s Wisconsin offensive tackle David Edwards, who WalterFootball.com ranks Edwards as the fifth best draft-eligible offensive tackle in college football. Edwards is pegged to be picked in the second or third round, so while it’s probably a bit too early to mock up a three-round draft, Moton’s post serves as a reminder of the types of players we should be on the look-out for when the time comes to make the draft a focus again.
Because of the money earmarked for recent big-ticket free agent additions and loss of first-round picks in the next two seasons due to the Khalil Mack trade, the Bears need to be thriftier in the middle and late rounds in the upcoming NFL Draft(s). I suppose the good news is that GM Ryan Pace has struck gold outside the first round in each of his drafts, which could bode well for the continued building of a competitive roster. Chicago has nine players drafted by Pace outside of the first round who are either starters or play enough significant snaps to be considered as much. These players have come in rounds two (James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, Eddie Goldman), three (Jonathan Bullard), four (Tarik Cohen, Eddie Jackson), and five (Bilal Nichols, Adrian Amos, Jordan Howard). But for the Bears to keep on the right path, they’ll need to keep this up.
We won’t obsessively watch college football as we have in recent years because there is an obvious focus on what’s happening with the NFC North leading Bears. But we’ll chime in from time to time when a prospect fit seems too right to ignore.