The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone, the most viewed televised draft in history. 55 million over the three days. I think it’s safe to attribute that to the nation’s quarantine policies and draft being completely virtual. Though it was an interesting outcome seeing commissioner Roger Goodell call out draft picks in his man cave from in front of his big-screen to his lounging chair by the third round. Another fun aspect was seeing the draftees and their families’ reactions when their names were called of new members of club NFL.
We even had comic relief, some of the best moments was seeing 17th pick wide receiver CeeDee Lamb showing off his hand-eye coordination by snatching his cellphone back from his girlfriend. How about defensive tackle, and 14th pick, Javon Kinlaw‘s father falling off the couch when his son was selected.
Lastly, and maybe the best one, was the 29th selection, offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson‘s mom yanking his girlfriend out the camera shot, (after she appeared to resist the first request). This was one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, teams could find solid value through all seven rounds. Only time will tell, let us not forget 20 years ago one of the greatest players in NFL history was found in the sixth round, Tom Brady.
2020 Bears Draft Recap
Mixed Emotions on Chicago Picks
Chicago’s draft was met with an array of feelings as the team decided for their first pick to opt for drafting the best of the worst, as far as depth, in this year’s crop. That was at the tight end position, the 43rd-overall pick Cole Kmet from Notre Dame, the 6’5″ 250-pounder is expected to come in and contribute immediately. Kmet did have an impressive junior year campaign amassing over 500 yards receiving and six touchdowns helping Notre Dame to an 11-2 record. Fun fact: those six touchdowns were all he had for his college career.
The team’s second selection, 50th overall, was more of a relief, picking Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson, another junior who finished with 7 career interceptions. The one big question surrounding Johnson is not his play but his health, he played the entire season with a torn labrum. Chicago then maneuvered to move up to the third round to grab EDGE Trevis Gipson out of Tulsa. A solid addition to provide more edge rush depth. Here are the rest of the new Chicago Bears as follows:
The Bears also signed undrafted free agent Ledarius Mack, younger brother of star Khalil Mack.
What to Grade Chicago’s Draft: C+
Grading the Bears 2020 draft can be debated but that’s my mark on it. Hey at least it’s a passing grade even though it started out shaky, they brought it up though. The immediate response was, “What are you doing??” Needs for the team are offensive line, wide receiver, and secondary; specifically safety. The team circumvented what direction they should’ve gone (see my previous article) but recovered some. As you’ll see, predictions were dead on as two of them went 44th & 46th.
Initially, it started out as a D, drafting a tight end to an already overcrowded position which brought the number to 10 (since down to nine) on the roster. Not to mention signing free agents Demetrius Harris and Jimmy Graham. With Kmet added unless the plan is to convert some of the many tight ends to offensive linemen, maybe Adam Shaheen, expect to see no more than four on the roster.
Speaking of offensive line it appears the staff is content with the unit as is and the free agents from the clearance rack they invested in. Seeing that the offensive line wasn’t addressed until the end of the draft. Possibly the addition of the new offensive line coach, 24-year vet Juan Castillo, will add improvement.
General manager Ryan Pace made strong moves thereafter adding substantial depth on the defensive side of the ball snatching up corner Jaylon Johnson and moving into the third round to bolster pass rush getting Trevis Gipson. He was even able to get considerable value in the fifth at wide receiver with Darnell Mooney, fast, he will need time to develop though.
What to Expect in 2020
With the current state of the sports world, it’s hard to gauge what to expect. Any team-related activities are virtual, there’s no timetable of when facilities will be open for players and coaches to meet. It’s an unprecedented time in the league right now, so we all have to play it by ear. At least the other teams in the division drafts were lackluster except for the Minnesota Vikings.
If there is a silver lining it’s the signing of Ledarius Mack, we can have the “Mack Attack” here on the defense. This could end up being Pace’s best move of this draft. Mack’s journey to the NFL can be compared to Vikings Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle, who was drafted 30 years ago. Talk about history repeating itself, Randle also had an older brother in the NFL, Ervin Randle.
It doesn’t stop there, the similarities of both Mack and Randle are uncanny! Both were considered undersized at their positions at 6’1, Mack weighing 240 lbs and Randle 244 lbs. Think of the possibilities of playing with and learning from your brother who’s a defensive player of the year and considered one of the best if not the best at his position. We could soon be witnessing history here in the Windy City but time will tell.