The 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone, and the Bears have exhausted their selections after the third afternoon of the annual event. A whirlwind first night for the Bears that included a surprising move to jump up and grab the quarterback of the future, followed by trades on day two and day three in an attempt to recoup the picks spent, and solidify other positions of need on the Bears roster.
Here are my grades for all five of the Bears draft picks in this year’s NFL Draft, and be sure to look for draft grades from the rest of our Bears coverage team tonight and tomorrow, as well as profiles on all of the newest Chicago Bears this coming week.
Round One, 2nd Overall: Mitch Trubisky, QB – North Carolina
Patrick Flowers: Putting aside the picks spent to move up to get Trubisky, especially considering the fact that Pace made a deal on night two that got most of the picks back, I’m a big fan of the Trubisky selection. Trubisky brings the Bears a solid QB prospect who possesses excellent mechanics, great size at the position, and great mobility inside and outside of the pocket.
Trubisky will have to learn to work under center after spending his time in college working out of the shotgun, as is the case for most collegiate quarterbacks these days. Trubisky said to the Chicago media on Friday that he has been preparing to work under center since January, and that he believes that he can make the transition without issue moving forward.
Round Two, 45th Overall: Adam Shaheen, TE – Ashland College (D-II)
Patrick Flowers: I was disappointed that the Bears didn’t take a safety with their second round selection, one like Budda Baker out of Washington, but happy that trading back nine spots in the second round allowed them to recoup the majority of the picks spent on night one in the trade with San Francisco.
Adam Shaheen fills a void in the Bears offense at the TE position, giving the Bears a TE with solid hands, an excellent vertical, and an excellent knack for making the play at the catch point on jump balls, making him a future red zone threat for the Bears offense. Shaheen will need to shed some weight moving forward to add to his explosiveness off of the line, but keep in mind that he ran a 4.7 40-yard dash at his current weight at the NFL combine, so he’s in no way slow despite his current weight of 278 pounds.
Round Four, 112th Overall: Eddie Jackson, S – Alabama
Only fitting that the Bears made their third trade in as many days to start day three of the NFL Draft on Saturday, swapping a sixth round pick with the Rams to move up in the fourth round to take Alabama safety, Eddie Jackson.
Jackson fills the need to add a safety to the mix in the Bears secondary, and comes from one of the best defensive programs in all of college football in Alabama. Jackson, who began his career at Alabama as a cornerback, is known for his excellent coverage abilities, as well as his ability to return punts, notching a pair of return TD’s in 2016 before breaking his leg.
Jackson was the only defensive player in the draft that the Bears selected, and overall a solid selection at number 112, the Bears are getting a ball-hawking safety with good coverage skills and return skills, filling a couple of needs on the current roster.
Round Four, 119th Overall: Tarik Cohen, RB – North Carolina A&T (D-II)
I was a fan of the Bears last two picks, but this pick was a head-scratcher to say the least. We’ve addressed the QB and TE positions on the offensive side of the ball with the first two picks, and then addressed the secondary with the third, so at that point I think we’re heading in the right direction. Fittingly, Ryan Pace throws me another curveball, by doubling-back to the offensive side of the ball and taking a running back.
Tarik Cohen was thought by many to have gone somewhere in the fifth or sixth round, so not only did Pace reach for Cohen, he drafted an undersized running back (5’6″, 179 pounds), for a position least in need of attention on the offensive side of the ball, neglecting the chance to add more defensive pieces on day three. I have zero positive feelings about this pick, I just feel like it was a wasted selection because the Bears needed to add more on the defensive side of the ball.
Round Five, 147th Overall: Jordan Morgan, OL – Kutztown University (D-II)
Patrick Flowers: Another pick on the wrong side of the ball in round five as Pace goes offense again with the addition of Jordan Morgan of Kutztown University with their fifth and final selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. At 6’4″, 309 pounds, Morgan has the size of an NFL offensive lineman, and has the skill-set as well.
Viewed as a run-blocking offensive lineman, Morgan led a Kutztown rushing attack that averaged 226.5 yards per game in 2016, and has been noted as a hard-hitting offensive lineman. Whether or not those skills parlay to the NFL game, after playing his collegiate career at a D-II school will be the big question.
The move to take Trubisky turned out to be one of little consequence after Pace recouped the picks lost on day two of the draft, and now the Bears have their QB of the future, with Mike Glennon in front of him while he transitions to the pro-style offense and playbook. The picks of Adam Shaheen and Eddie Collins were solid choices by GM Ryan Pace, adding an athletic TE with a freakishly good ability to bring down passes, and wreak havoc on opposing red zone defenses and a speedy safety who is solid in coverage and possesses excellent on-ball skills fills two big needs for the Bears roster.
The Tarik Cohen Selection was a head-scratcher, but the kid is a freakish athlete and might just turn out to be a player who can do multiple things on the roster for John Fox. I like the Jordan Morgan pick, even though I would have liked to see another defender added, you can never have enough big, strong maulers on the offensive line. Based on the players that they selected I wanted to give the Bears a very low “B”, but passing on another defensive player in the fourth round to take an unnecessary running back forced me to knock a few points off of their overall grade.
Overall Grade: C+