Mel Kiper Jr. Goes All-in to Fix the Bears Offense in New Mock Draft

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Mel Kiper Jr. Goes All-in to Fix the Bears Offense in New Mock Draft

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears entered the 2020 offseason with several major needs on the offensive side of the ball. And as we approach the NFL Draft, those needs still exist.

But leave it to ESPN football guru Mel Kiper Jr. to cure what ails the Bears’ offense with a mock draft addressing a pair of needs by infusing Matt Nagy’s offense with some much-needed playmaking firepower.

Check out Mel’s latest mock draft:

Even after adding Jimmy Graham in an attempt to bolster the tight end’s room, Kiper isn’t sold on the cast of characters the Bears have assembled at what might be the most important skill position on Nagy’s offense. Hence, Kiper’s most recent mock draft sends Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet to the Bears with the 43rd overall pick.

“Kmet is the best tight end in an unspectacular class,” Kiper writes about Kmet (ESPN’s top-rated draft-eligible tight end prospect). “But the talent is there for him to be a good blocker and receiver.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the pass-catching aspect of a tight end’s role in the offense, but we shouldn’t overlook the importance of being a capable blocker. I’m not saying the Bears need a bulldozer at tight end, but a two-way player with youth, upside, and the ability to put defenses in a bind because his presence on the field doesn’t tip a run or pass would be a wonderful addition to the room.

With Chicago’s other pick, Kiper has the Bears taking Penn State wide receiver K.J. Hamler with the 50th overall selection. Hamler is ESPN’s No. 12 draft-eligible receiver prospect, but one who has a tremendous amount of skill. Hamler projects to be a versatile enough receiver to play inside the slot and outside the numbers, with plenty of speed to burn. Of course, Hamler isn’t a perfect prospect, either. If he was, he wouldn’t be in the discussion for being picked where the Bears are drafting. With that being said, Kiper highlights Hamler’s short-comings in a way that makes me think they’re correctable.

“His problem last season was drops — he had nine,” Kiper points out. “If he can get that corrected, Chicago will have a really good player on its hands.”

Part of me wants to be concerned about the drops. After all, the 2019 Bears were among the league leaders in dropped passes. The butter-fingers that were on display last season were part of the reason Mitch Trubisky and the entire offense took significant steps in the wrong direction in 2019. But the year prior, Chicago’s pass-catchers were among the league leaders on the other side of the spectrum with the fewest drops. It’s statistics like this that make me think about the difference between predictive stats and those that vary from year-to-year, sometime out of one’s own control.

In any case, Kiper’s idea for the Bears’ draft tickles my fancy. Sure, it brings the Bears’ tight ends room to 11 players, but the fat will eventually be trimmed from that group and the team will be left with four guys on 55-man (remember, it goes up from 53 in 2020).

And any time you can get younger and possibly better at a position that has long been a sore spot, you should probably go for it. As for the Hamler pick, there is no secret Chicago has a need for speed. And that Hamler still projects to be one of the fastest players in this draft – even after suffering a hamstring injury that prevented him from working out at the Scouting Combine – speaks volumes about what the tape says about his speed.

Chicago goes on the clock in 10 days, and the mock drafts will continue to roll in as we approach the actual draft. Are you ready?



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.