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We have officially reached Draft Week.
Soon the mock drafts, the speculation, and the uncertainty will be all over. But until the Chicago Bears are finished selecting their 2022 draft class, we here at CHGO will continue to produce draft content.
And Bears coach Matt Eberflus can be thanked for the latest draft exercise.
“It’s great, I go to (Luke) Getsy and I tell him we are going to pick six defensive guys,” Eberflus said after Thursday’s final voluntary minicamp practice. “Then I go to Alan (Williams) and say hey, we are going to pick six offensive guys. Man, you better start lobbying. That’s fun. I can play both sides of the fence there, so that’s pretty cool.”
Let’s say Getsy won over Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles and the first-year offensive coordinator got to have six new players on offense.
In this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator and used TDN’s Predictive Board to select the Bears’ six picks.
Round 2, Pick 39: Tyler Smith, OL, Tulsa
I decided to help the Bears’ offensive line room with the Bears’ first pick in the second round. Smith was a three-year starter at Tulsa and finished his sophomore season with Second Team All-AAC honors.
Poles wants linemen who play with an edge. Well, Smith definitely fits that requirement. At 6-foot-4, 324-pounds, he constantly plays with aggression and uses his frame to finish blocks, especially in run blocking.
Smith also showed he can be an effective pass blocker, especially in third-down situations.
At just 21 years old, Smith is also one of the youngest players in the draft, and according to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, he is the youngest offensive lineman listed out of the 29 in “The Beast.”
In CHGO’s “Making The Case” video series, our very own Olin Kreutz mentioned that Smith could move in to play guard, and that is also where The Draft Network projects him to play. For this mock draft, I also have him filling in at the guard position for the Bears.
Right now, the Bears just need to bring in guys to add competition in the offensive line room. Whether Smith plays guard or tackle, drafting a player like him raises the level of the entire unit and makes the group more versatile.
Now, some of you may be wondering, what other offensive players were available when I made the selection at 39.
Here are a few of the names:
- WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan (No. 40)
- WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State (No. 43)
- WR George Pickens, Georgia (No. 44)
(I promise I address the wide receiver position. You just have to keep on reading. )
Round 2, Pick 48: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
The Bears are loading up on the offensive line with their first two picks in this mock draft.
Originally from Austria, Raimann came to Central Michigan as a tight end. In two seasons, he caught 20 passes for 164 yards. He then transitioned to tackle in 2020 and did so during the pandemic. Raimann spoke about that process in an interview with NFL Network.
Despite gaining 60 pounds from the time he entered Central Michigan, Raimann kept a lot of his athleticism, showcasing his quick feet and ability to mirror opposing pass rushers.
Raimann has just 18 games of experience at left tackle, so he would still need time to develop at the position. He could sit behind Larry Borom to start his career and take over when the coaching staff feels he is ready.
Also, in case you were wondering, here are some of the other players who were available at positions of need after I selected Raimann.
- EDGE Logan Hall, Houston (No. 51)
- WR David Bell, Purdue (No. 53)
- WR John Metchie III (No. 56)
Round 3, Pick 71: Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
Finally, I have the Bears addressing the wide receiver position by selecting Pierce. The former Cincinnati Bearcat gives Getsy an “X” receiver for his offense and a vertical threat for second-year quarterback Justin Fields.
I already wrote an in-depth breakdown on Pierce in the “Making The Case” series. So make sure to check that out to see why Pierce is a good fit for the Bears.
Round 5, Pick 148: Danny Gray, WR, SMU
Just like the first two picks of this mock draft, I have the Bears double dipping but this time at wide receiver. Simply put, Gray is a playmaker. Last season at SMU, the 5-foot-11, 186-pound receiver caught 49 passes for 803 yards and nine touchdowns.
With his 4.33 speed and ability to track the football, he proved to be a consistent deep threat for the Mustangs’ offense. And those exact traits are exactly what the Bears should look to add in their offense.
A wide receiving group consisting of Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle, Pierce and Gray gives Getsy options and plenty of speed to attack opposing defenses.
Round 5, Pick 150: Zamir White, RB, Georgia
At some point in the draft, I wanted to add another running back, and I couldn’t pass on White with the 150th overall pick. Last season, the former Georgia Bulldog finished with 856 rushing yards on 160 carries and 11 touchdowns.
White, who is listed at 5-foot-11, 214 pounds, runs with low pad level and physicality. Fitting for someone whose nickname is “Zeus.”
In addition to his aggressive running style, White also displays good vision, patience and an understanding of reading blocks, which allowed him to average 5.4 yards per carry the last two seasons.
Although fans may not want to hear this, the Bears would be wise to look into adding another running back in the draft, especially since David Montgomery is going into the last year of his rookie contract.
That said, the Bears are projected to have the cap space in 2023 to sign Montgomery to an extension. However, it’s common in today’s NFL to see teams not pay running backs and opt to draft young players who will be on a rookie contract.
Round 6, Pick 186: James Mitchell, TE, Virginia Tech
The Bears add a fifth tight end to the roster by drafting Mitchell with their final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Mitchell was a three-year starter for Virginia Tech and finished with 52 career receptions, 938 yards and seven touchdowns. His senior season was unfortunately cut short due to a torn ACL in his right knee, but he still showed plenty of great attributes that should make him an enticing prospect.
At 6-foot-4, 249 pounds and having a basketball background in high school, he has the size and athletic ability to line up in the slot, out wide, as the Y or U tight end. He also produced all over for the Hokies’ offense, ending his ended his career with a 71.2 percent first down/touchdown rate, according to The Athletic’s “The Beast.”
Also, Mitchell is more than a willing blocker. He shows great patience and moves his feet well to stay with blocks.
Mitchell provides the Bears with a high-upside prospect that can produce down the road if he can stay healthy.
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