UA-59049186-1 Chicago Bears 2020 NFL Draft Recap - Good if it Goes

Chicago Bears 2020 NFL Draft Recap

Round 2, Pick 43 overall: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

Many called Kmet the best tight end in the 2020 draft class. Your author was not among them. On top of that, being the best tight end in this year’s class is faint praise, as the position group was underwhelming to say the least. Your author did not give any of the tight ends higher than a 3rd-round grade. In fact, had I evaluated Chase Claypool as a tight end, he would have been the top prospect on my board, so not only did Pace not get the best prospect in the class, he didn’t even get the best prospect from Notre Dame in the class.

The upside to this pick is that it should be relatively safe. Kmet should be a solid player for a long time. He’s fundamentally sound, a strong blocker, and an asset in the red zone. The downside is he doesn’t appear to have much star potential. Kmet’s not overly fast, runs stiff, and doesn’t separate well on routes. He’s also more of an in-line TE, or TE-Y, not the more dynamic move/flex/whatever-term-you-like-to-use TE-U that’s so important in the Andy Reid family of offenses. To make matters worse, Pace passed on a lot of talented prospects, including Grant Delpit, who I had a mid-1st round grade on and who would have made a great complement to Eddie Jackson, to take Kmet. At least when he took Adam Shaheen in 2017, one could look at Shaheen’s tape and see what Pace found so intriguing. This was just a total reach. Grade: F

Round 2, Pick 50 overall: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

Trevon Diggs and Kristian Fulton were both still on the board when Pace made this pick, but were it not for injury concerns about Johnson, your author would have slotted him very close to the pair from the SEC. Johnson’s tape is very impressive and shows strong outings against multiple top receivers. He possesses impressive instincts and ball skills and is the prohibitive favorite to start opposite Kyle Fuller week 1. Grade: A

Round 5, Pick 155 overall: Trevis Gipson, EDGE, Tulsa

A high upside pick, Gipson was highly productive at Tulsa and has a long frame at 6’6 3/8. At Tulsa, he was a 3-4 DE, a role he’s quite a bit undersized for in the NFL at only 260 pounds. Your author’s first instinct was the team would want him to bulk up and be a Roy Robertson-Harris type, but apparently, the Bears like him as an edge rusher. His coverage ability is a major question mark. Grade: B+

Round 5, Pick 163 overall: Kindle Vildor, CB, Georgia Southern

Last year, the Bears took Duke Shelley in the late rounds. Shelley is an undersized CB probably limited to the slot in the NFL, but was productive in college. Pace went back to that well here taking Vildor. Vildor has good, not great, speed, and solid ball skills. Grade: B-

Round 5, Pick 173 overall: Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane

Mooney’s a smaller, speedy receiver with quality route running skills. A very high-upside prospect, plenty of fans are already predicting that he’ll turn out to be the steal of the draft. Mooney’s got all the tools and can play on the outside or in the slot, but does need to work on his hands. In a draft that’s less deep at wide receiver, Mooney almost certainly goes a round or two higher. Your author cautions against expecting too much too soon from him, but does see why fans are excited. Grade: A-

Round 7, Pick 226 overall: Arlington Hambright, IOL, Colorado

Hambright played left tackle at Colorado, but will slide inside in the NFL. His tape shows impressive athleticism, but at 24 already, I have to question his upside. He may have the skills to provide quality depth, but I wouldn’t expect much more than that. Grade: B-

Round 7, Pick 227 overall: Lachavious Simmons, IOL, Tennessee State

Not going to lie, I didn’t know who he was. After watching tape on him, I see why Pace took a shot here. Simmons played all over the line in college. He’s better suited to guard at the next level, but could probably play tackle in a pinch. Simmons is a strong run blocker, but raw technically, especially when it comes to pass protection. His ceiling looks like decent depth player and looks like he’ll need quite a bit of work to get there. Grade: D+

Overall: While I hate the Kmet pick, Pace did a pretty solid job after that. Jaylon Johnson is an exciting prospect and a solid value at the spot he was picked and Pace found a pair of guys in Mooney and Gipson who could turn out to be quality players in the 5th round. I’m not very high on either of the linemen he took, but in the 7th round, you can take a flier or two. Class Grade: B-


Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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