The Chicago Bears entered the 2020 NFL Draft without a first-round selection, as we’ve finally reached the conclusion of the Khalil Mack trade. Still, they had two picks in the top 50 overall selections and multiple needs to be filled if they were going to get back into Super Bowl contention. With Mitchell Trubisky undoubtedly entering a “prove-it” year, it made sense for the Bears to target offensive help with their first draft pick. Today, I’ll take you through their overall haul and grade the draft class.
Who did the Chicago Bears draft?
Round 2, Pick #43: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
Round 2, Pick #50: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
Round 5, Pick #155: Trevis Gipson, DL, Tulsa
Round 5, Pick #163: Kindle Vildor, DB, Georgia Southern
Round 5, Pick #173: Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane
Round 7, Pick #226: Arlington Hambright, OL, Colorado
Round 7, Pick #227: Lachavious Simmons, OL, Tennessee State
Best Player: Jaylon Johnson
While the Bears used their first selection on Cole Kmet, I preferred Jaylon Johnson as a prospect. Johnson is a fluid cornerback and a natural in coverage who has a deep toolbox of press techniques, and the ball skills necessary to compete at the catch point. His skill-set projects into both man and zone coverage schemes.
Chicago's newest CB Jaylon Johnson career at Utah:
1,256 Coverage snaps
3 TDs allowed pic.twitter.com/CPF71nF2W9
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 25, 2020
Johnson’s physical tools gave him first-round consideration, and he should become a starting cornerback for the Bears as a rookie.
Best Value: Trevis Gipson
For the point in the draft that the Bears selected Trevis Gipson, he could prove to be one of the steals in the class. Gipson produced 8.0 sacks in his final collegiate season, some of them showing off flashy pass-rushing traits.
Checking in at 6-3 and 261 pounds, his length, and speed to power conversion makes him a dangerous rusher from multiple alignments. While Gipson qualifies as raw, the upside he displayed on tape and at the Senior Bowl could’ve warranted his selection about 50 picks sooner.
Biggest Reach: Cole Kmet
Chicago selecting Kmet at pick number 43 didn’t make sense for a variety of reasons. Coming into the draft, Chicago had the most tight ends on its roster among every team in the NFL. Kmet is already a strong blocker but is limited in his route separation and post-catch ability, which limits his overall ceiling.
On top of that, Kmet would be the only tight end taken in the first 90 picks of the 2020 NFL Draft, meaning they easily could have secured value at the position later in the process.
Biggest Sleeper: Darnell Mooney
Darnell Mooney was a late-round favorite among NFL Draft analysts, and for good reason. Mooney has the vertical speed necessary to stretch the field and has the suddenness to separate throughout the route tree. Despite his diminutive size, his 4.38s speed could help open up the short and intermediate levels for the rest of the Bears receiver corps.
Draft Grade: B-
When a team enters the NFL Draft without a first-round pick, it’s usually for a good reason. In the Bears case, the deal was a part of their acquisition of Mack, one of the best players in the league at his position. However, it becomes paramount for that team to hit on their top pick, and I’m not exactly sold on Kmet as that level of prospect.
With a lack of mid-round picks available to make up for reaching at pick number 43, the Bears dug themselves into a small hole. I believe the players that they drafted will find roles on the roster, but this wasn’t a class that decidedly moves the needle in the Bears favor.