By: Will Farlow
The Chicago Bears finished the 2020 NFL Season with an exit loss in the Wild Card Game against the New Orleans Saints. The Monsters of the Midway to the surprise of Bears fans retained General Manager Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy. The Bears saw former first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky leave, Kyle Fuller to Denver, and Allen Robinson returning on a one-year franchise tag. The Bears have team needs at QB, WR, CB, and the offensive line. GM Ryan Pace is rumored to be considering a round 1 trade up for a QB or standing pat at 20 taking the best player available. The 2021 NFL Draft is a make-or-break draft for a Bears team needing results with NFL prospects that can help this team to better success moving forward. These are my takes on what Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears should do in this year's draft in Cleveland.
Round 1: Pick 20
Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
I like this first pick by Bears GM Ryan Pace solidifying a young receiving core by selecting the Minnesota Gopher Rashod Bateman. The junior played solid football as a lead wide receiver for Minnesota for three seasons. He has an average receiver size of 6'0 with good hands when catching the football. The trait that stands out to me is how Bateman combines great speed to get down the field catching the ball either deep or in between defenders. Bateman adds talent alongside Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin, and star franchise-tagged receiver Allen Robinson. This is a great best player available first-round pick for Chicago.
Trade with Atlanta: Chicago trades 2021 second rounder (52) , a 2021 sixth round pick (221) , and a 2022 fourth-round pick. Atlanta sends their 2021 second round pick (35) to Chicago.
Round 2: Pick 35
Kellen Mond QB Texas A&M
This is a pick by Bears GM Ryan Pace some Bears fans will question, while others see the potential of Kellen Mond. Mond played four seasons for the Aggies with a total of over 9,000 passing yards, The Aggie QB brings in both the ability to be a consistent pocket passer and has good mobility on the run. Comparison to Mond and where he is picked by Chicago reminds me of the Lamar Jackson picked by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft. I see Mond as a QB that can sit under Andy Dalton for a year, and then becoming the Chicago Bears starting QB in 2022.
Round 3: Pick 83
Spencer Brown OT Northern Iowa
Ryan Pace fills a very important role in the Bears offensive line by picking Spencer Brown. Brown has amazed NFL scouts with his size and good consistent play he displayed during his time as a UNI Panther. The UNI Panther is great at combining good speed into his blocks against any defensive opponent. I think Brown is a good addition to a Bears offensive line facing a need for a long-term upgrade to both tackle positions. The Chicago Bears had a great interest in Brown before the draft making this a smart addition alongside Cody Whitehair, James Daniels, and Sam Mustipher.
Trade with Philadelphia: Chicago trades QB Nick Foles, and two 2021 sixth-round picks (208,221) to Philadelphia . Chicago receives a 2021 fourth-round pick (123) from Philadelphia.
Round 4: Pick 123
Michael Carter RB North Carolina
The Bears send Nick Foles back to his former team in Philadelphia to acquire a fourth-rounder to fill another need on their offense. Chicago continues its trend of taking a running back each NFL Draft it had under GM Ryan Pace. I like this pick of Carter here in the fourth round as a good depth running back for Matt Nagy's talented Bears offense. Carter played seasons for the Tarheels with good speed getting down the field. This is a smart pick in my opinion as Carter can be a good backup to starter David Montgomery. The pick here in Round 4 By Chicago allows for Tarik Cohen to replace the return man role left by former Bear Cordarrelle Patterson. Smart trade up to pick here by Ryan Pace in the middle rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Round 5: Pick 164
Darren Hall CB San Diego State
The Bears fill the hole left by the departure of CB Kyle Fuller by taking Hall here in the middle rounds. The Aztec cornerback brings to Chicago good skills at coverage and interceptions are one of his specialties on defense. Hall is great in terms of awareness on the field, and getting the ball out of a receiver's hands forcing a turnover. Hall also brings good physicality to run support which the Bears need on defense. This is a smart pick for a Bears secondary with many cornerbacks behind Jaylon Johnson, however, there is not yet a clear-cut CB 2 for Chicago. Hall is great in terms of awareness on the field, and getting the ball out of a receiver's hands forcing a turnover.
Round 6: Pick 204
Christian Uphoff S Illinois State
Following the resigning of Safety Tashuan Gipson to a one-year deal, Ryan Pace adds a talented safety to the Bears secondary here by taking Uphoff. The Redbird safety brings good size and strength to this young Bears secondary. I like the consistent coverage Uphoff puts on the opposing offense which should fit in well alongside Eddie Jackson and Jaylon Johnson in the Chicago secondary. Smart pick by Chicago taking the Illinois native that Bears fans should enjoy watching for years to come.
Trade with Arizona: Chicago trades WR Javon Wims to the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona sends a 2021 seventh-round pick (243) to Chicago.
Round 7: Pick 243
Brady Davis QB Illinois State
Wims runs out of time in his short Bears career as Chicago sends him to Arizona to get a seventh-rounder to select more depth in their quarterback room. This is a smart trade-down move by Bears GM Ryan Pace finding another QB with upside in Redbird QB Brady Davis. Davis played seasons for Illinois State with his strong throwing arm and consistent completion rates. Davis has upside and gives Chicago another young piece to develop behind Andy Dalton and new second-round pick QB Kellen Mond. I think this also works well for Chicago as they traded quarterback Nick Foles earlier in Round 4.