It’s been a long time coming, but FINALLY, the Chicago Bears will go on the clock tonight at the 2022 NFL Draft. Last night was a rough one for some, especially those of us watching nine offensive linemen and six receivers go off the board in the first 32 picks. Knowing that six more selections will be made before the Bears go on the clock will create some anxious moments for anyone with a specific player in mind.
The good news is that there is still quality talent to be had for Chicago’s football team. And by virtue of owning the 39th and 48th picks, the Bears are in a good place to snag something(s) nice for themselves.
Here’s a sampling of who could be in play for Chicago, based on today’s updated mock drafts.
• 39th pick: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
• 48th pick: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
• 71st pick: Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler puts together what might arguably be the best-case scenario Day 2 mock draft. Brugler checks boxes for the Bears by sending them a receiver (Pickens) and lineman (Kinnard). Seeing those particular needs filled with their first two picks would soften the blow of seeing so much talent fly off the boards on Day 1. Both Pickens and Kinnard were top-10 prospects at their respective positions on our composite positional board, and I wouldn’t complain one bit if the Bears were successful in their attempts to land a pair of premier prospects with their most premium selections.
As for Winfrey, he was on the outside looking in on the top-10 defensive linemen. But when it came to the defensive tackles, both PFF and NFL media had Winfrey in the top-10. The volume of edge rushers pushed Winfrey down overall defensive line rankings. Landing that 3-technique sounds awfully important for these Bears.
• 39th pick: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
• 48th pick: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
• 71st pick: Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State
NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein envisions the Bears going all-defense with their picks, which might start a mini-riot in comment sections/Chicago football circles. Coming out of your first three picks with no offensive help at all (after coming empty in free agency and trade) will be tough to sell. The optics won’t be great and I certainly won’t be looking forward to the discourse featuring the perception that this front office has it out for Justin Fields.
With that in mind, Roger McCreary was the seventh-ranked corner on our BN consensus board at the position. A SEC standout who had his moments at the Senior Bowl, McCreary could be a solid starting corner opposite of Jaylon Johnson. Meanwhile, Troy Andersen was our LB7 and could pair nicely with Roquan Smith. As for Jaquan Brisker, he was our No. 4 safety, which robs us of rolling lucky 7s in Vegas. Aww, nuts!
• 39th pick: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
• 48th pick: Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
• 71st pick: Nick Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
Another mock draft, another mention of Kinnard and the Bears. That’ll play for those who are pining for offensive line help. And, hey, look at this — another Oklahoma defensive lineman. But instead of Winfrey, it’s Nick Bonitto. Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports lists Bonitto as an edge rusher. Other draftniks have him as a linebacker. In either case, that could be a position to watch.
The Skyy Moore pick is an inspired one. Moore projects to be an impact slot receiver at the next level. In addition to having what sounds like a good football name, Moore has this going for him:
• 39th pick: Travis Jones, DT, UConn
• 48th pick: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Whaddya know, yet *ANOTHER* mock draft sending Pickens to Chicago. It’s nice to see some consensus building right now.
Travis Jones is a new name on our mock draft radar. The UConn defensive tackle was our 11th ranked defensive lineman based on the BN consensus big board. It even put him ahead of Logan Hall, who is widely believed to be the best 3-technique defensive tackle option available.