The Chicago Bears are set to embark on what might be the most important draft weekend of GM Ryan Pace’s tenure. After delivering a dud in 2019, they must make changes at important positions to get back on the winning track. After navigating the early waves of free agency, the team has moved into NFL Draft mode. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more promising draft-eligible prospects to see if there’s a fit for the Bears in 2020.
Potential Target, Position, School
Brycen Hopkins, tight end, Purdue
Measurements: 6-4, 245 pounds, 32 1/8-inch arms, 10 1/8-inch hands
Performance, Prospect Rankings, and Accomplishments
2019 stats: 11 games, 61 catches, 830 yards, 7 touchdowns
Career stats: 40 games, 130 catches, 1,945 yards, 16 touchdowns
Accomplishments: Big Ten Tight End of the Year (2019), First-team All-Big Ten (2019), Third-team All-Big Ten (2018)
Position ranking: 11th (ESPN), 2nd (Pro Football Focus), 4th (CBS Sports), 10th (Walter Football)
One Thing the NFL.com Draft Profile Says…
“Hopkins could be viewed as a one-dimensional slot tight end with Day 3 draft potential, but his issues as a pass-catcher could limit his long-term prospects.”
The Bears have linked up with Hopkins three times during the pre-draft process, most recently in a video chat.
Where’s the Fit?
The Bears signed two free agent tight ends with a history with GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy. And as of right now, the team has 10 tight ends on its roster. That group will be dwindled down to a more manageable number by the time the season rolls around, but probably not before Chicago adds another prospect to the room.
That player could very well be Hopkins, who is generally viewed as a solid prospect in what seems to be an underwhelming class.
Hopkins is a pass-catcher with route-running skills, which helps offset a lack of top-end speed and relative inexperience as a blocker. And while the Bears might have a preference to add a tight end who could be a play-maker in the passing and blocking game, beggars can’t be too choosy.
Bringing in a younger pass-catching option with Hopkins’ credentials could be just what the room needs after adding a pair of veterans.