Chicago Bears NFL Draft Picks & Grades 2021

The Chicago Bears are in a bit of a bind. They whiffed on Mitchell Trubisky, and their offensive line has suffered greatly over the past few seasons. They also need help at wide receiver, their cornerback group is less than desirable, and Khalil Mack is no spring chicken. Where will they go in the 2021 NFL Draft, and what grade will their selections earn?

Bears draft picks in 2021

  • 11th Overall Selection (R1-P11, from New York Giants): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
  • 39th Overall Selection (R2-P7, from Carolina): Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
  • 151st Overall Selection (R5-P7): Larry Borom, OT, Missouri
  • 217th Overall Selection (R6-P33, from Tampa Bay): Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech
  • 221st Overall Selection (R6-P37): Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina
  • 228th Overall Selection (R6-P44): Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon
  • 250th Overall Selection (R7-P24, from Seattle): Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU

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Who did the Bears draft on Day 1?

With the 11th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Bears selected Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.

Chicago Bears grades for 2021 NFL Draft

Fields is my QB2, and he’s an unbelievably talented player overall.

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

He was the most accurate passer in the 2021 draft class and has an NFL-ready frame at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds. Oh, and he runs like the wind. His physicality and toughness fit Chicago perfectly, and he has incredible upside.

He battled with Trevor Lawrence throughout their time in high school as the top overall recruit in the class. However, for some reason throughout the draft cycle, his stock took a hit, despite outplaying Lawrence twice in playoff opportunities during his college career.

Grade: A+

Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

The Bears doing whatever they can to secure some security for their franchise quarterback was important. They needed to improve the offensive line drastically. Teven Jenkins is a first-round caliber prospect who brings an attitude unmatched in any offensive tackle in the 2021 class. 

Grade: A+

Larry Borom, OT, Missouri

Larry Borom is a massive offensive tackle with unbelievable people-moving skills. His anchor is outstanding in pass protection, but his footwork is a bit clunky. 

Grade: C

Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech

Khalil Herbert burst onto the scene in 2020 after transferring from Kansas, and he played incredibly well in his one season with the Hokies. He needs to prove to be a consistent receiver at the next level to see the field consistently, but as a runner, he really shined in 2020. He could have gone two rounds earlier and no one would have batted an eye.  

Grade: B+

Dazz Newsome, WR, UNC

Dazz Newsome in the sixth round is an outstanding value for the Chicago Bears. Newsome has a strong lower body who is a good ball carrier with good vision. He could compete for a starting role in the slot and adds value as a potential punt returner. 

Grade: B+

Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon

The Bears grab some great value again in cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. He plays aware football and has more than enough athleticism to get the job done at the next level.

Grade: A-

Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU

Khyiris Tonga is a high-upside explosive nose tackle that could make a high impact on a defensive line if he can find a bit more guidance and hone in some of his overaggressive nature. If he works to play lower and more technically, he has starter potential.

Grade: A

Chicago Bears Overall Grade: A+

The Bears did two things in this draft that were absolutely necessary in order to provide hope for the future. They needed to attack in order to get a quarterback. Furthermore, they needed to try their best to protect him. They ended up with Justin Fields, who is an immensely talented quarterback, and Teven Jenkins to protect him. Then, they added to their team after Day 2 with great value picks.

Team needs for Chicago coming into the NFL Draft

The Bears’ defense is playoff-caliber, but their offense needs reinforcements.

Quarterback

If you don’t have a quarterback, you have nothing as an NFL franchise. The quarterback makes the world go round, and the only success the Bears had recently was with a historically exceptional defense. If they draft a franchise-level quarterback, their biggest issue dissipates.

Cornerback

After the departure of Kyle Fuller, only upcoming second-year cornerback Jaylon Johnson inspires any confidence in the position going into 2021. Desmond Trufant isn’t necessarily bad, but he is a stopgap until the next outside cornerback can take over. Luckily for them, they have an elite free safety to make up for their poor cornerback play.

Offensive Tackle

The Bears need to protect their most valuable asset. The position is a bit of an abyss with some absolute no-names at starter. It’ll be interesting to see if they make some moves to acquire a name they like in the future.

Wide Reciever

Darnell Mooney was a fantastic pickup for the Bears in 2020. Still, the uneasy situation surrounding Allen Robinson and the underwhelming production from Anthony Miller begs the question: When will the Bears get a receiver?

Want more 2021 NFL Draft prospect news? Want to do your own mock draft?

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Dalton Miller is the Lead NFL Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read more of his work here and follow him @daltonbmiller on Twitter and Twitch

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