Bears 2020 nfl draft

2020 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears 7-round mock draft

The 2019 NFL season is just getting started, which probably makes you wonder why in the world you’re reading a Chicago Bears mock draft.

To this I say, why not?

There’s no such thing as too early when it comes to studying the NFL draft, and it’s a useful exercise to begin running through different draft scenarios for the Bears. Yes, player evaluations will change — the process is inherently fluid. And yes, Bears team needs will change. They, too, are fluid.

But conducting a mock draft in September allows us to monitor just how much different the team’s strengths and weaknesses appear in April. One could argue Chicago needs more depth at linebacker and edge rusher right now, but there’s always a chance a young player will emerge at some point this season. If so? Move those positions down the list of 2020 draft needs.

The Bears currently have six draft picks at their disposal next April, including two in the second and sixth rounds. They’re without their third and fourth-round picks because of the trades for Khalil Mack and David Montgomery.

So, without further adieu, let’s get mocking.

Chicago Bears 7-round Mock Draft

One year later, Pro Football Focus gives Bears ‘average’ grade for 2019 draft

One year later, Pro Football Focus gives Bears ‘average’ grade for 2019 draft

NFL draft grades are often a silly exercise, especially when they’re issued just hours after picks are made. Generally speaking, draft prospects shouldn’t be assessed (or graded) as NFL players until at least two or three seasons into their careers.

So how about issuing a grade after one season?

Pro Football Focus recently looked back at each team’s 2019 draft class and issued a new grade (of sorts). PFF broke down the 2019 classes into the following categories: Excellent, Above Average, Average, Below Average.

The Bears, as usual, were average.

Chicago Bears

Without a first- or second-round pick, it was never going to be an impactful class for Chicago. Rookie running back David Montgomery (Pick: 73 | PFF Board: 79) struggled to generate big plays and had only two runs longer than 20 yards all season. He finished with 3.7 yards per carry and only 2.3 yards after contact per attempt. No other rookie played more than 115 snaps for the Bears.

Last year’s rookie class began and ended with Montgomery, whose season has been somewhat dismissed as underwhelming by many analysts. Rarely are the offensive line’s struggles mentioned when discussing Montgomery’s difficulty to pop off big runs; he was often dodging would-be tacklers as soon as he got the ball.

The Bears didn’t add any running backs in free agency or the NFL draft this offseason. It suggests the running game will once again center around Montgomery; he’ll have little-to-no competition for touches. That’s a good thing, too. Montgomery is the kind of player who needs as many carries as he can handle to really take advantage of his workhorse style.

As for the remaining rookies from last year’s class, wide receiver Riley Ridley has the best chance to make an impact in 2020, assuming he can secure playing time ahead of the likes of Javon Wims, Darnell Mooney, and the newly signed Ted Ginn.

Ridley began to flash his upside late in 2019. He’ll need to carry that momentum into training camp in order to have a legitimate future in Chicago.

But even if Montgomery is the only player who pans out from the 2019 class, it’s OK. Remember: The Bears ‘drafted’ Khalil Mack with their first-round pick. That’s a win by any measure.

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