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Ryan Poles began Day 3 of the draft by acquiring more picks.
A lot more picks.
• The Bears started Saturday by trading the 2023 sixth-round pick they received in the Khalil Mack trade back to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for the 254th and 255th pick in this year’s draft.
• Poles then made another trade, sending the 148th overall pick to Buffalo in exchange for picks 168 (fifth round) and 203 (sixth round).
• A few minutes later, the Bears … traded again. Chicago sent the 150th overall pick to Houston for picks 166 (fifth round) and 207 (sixth round).
But three trades weren’t enough for Poles!
• As the Bears were about to go on the clock with pick 166, the first-year general manager did it again, going for his fourth trade in the last three hours.
Chicago traded the 166th overall pick to Cincinnati in exchange for picks 174 (fifth round) and 226 (seventh round).
When the dust settled, the Bears had compiled eight trades for the day.
- Round 5: 168 and 174
- Round 6: 186, 203 and 207
- Round 7: 226, 254 and 255
Here’s a quick look at each draft pick:
Round 5, Pick 168: OT Braxton Jones
The former offensive lineman (Poles) made the Southern Utah product his first offensive lineman drafted with the Bears’ first pick of the day.
Jones is a 6-foot-5, 310-pound tackle who started 29 games at left tackle for Southern Utah last year. He was named a first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Sky.
With 35 and 3/8 inch arms, his length is one of his best strengths when facing opposing edge rushers. At the 2022 Senior Bowl, he used that length plus his quickness to help him compete against some of the best seniors in the country.
The Bears added another player in their offensive line room that can help create competition at the position.
Round 5, Pick 174: DE Dominique Robinson
Poles goes with back-to-back players who participated at the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl by selecting Miami Ohio edge rusher.
The 6-foot-4, 253-pound edge rusher finished last season with 29 total tackles and 4.5 sacks. He earned Third Team All-Mac honors in 2021. Robinson started off his college career as a dual-threat quarterback and then transitioned to wide receiver before finally landing as an edge rusher.
Robinson was someone who made the most out of his Senior Bowl opportunities, especially since he was going up against competition outside of the Mid-American Conference.
In Robinson’s press conference with the media, he did say he considers himself to be “a really, really raw” pass rusher at this point in his career, but he has been working on expanding his arsenal of pass rush moves in Florida with trainer Nathan O’Neal.
Round 6, Pick 186: OT Zachary Thomas
The Bears stick with addressing the trenches by taking the 6-foot-4, 308-pound right tackle out of San Diego State. As a redshirt senior, Thomas was elected to First Team All-MWC and was a team captain for the Aztecs.
He does have some positional versatility on the line. Last season, he started 12 games at left tackle. From 2019-2020, Thomas played 17 games at right tackle.
“I’m coming off a season at left tackle, so I probably have to say that,” Thomas said on where he would prefer to play. “I feel comfortable anywhere on the line. I’ll be ready to go as soon as I get there dude. To just kind of fill in and do what I can.”
Round 6, Pick 203: RB Trestan Ebner
The Bears’ added their first skilled position on Day 3 of the draft with Ebner. The 5-foot-10, 206-pound running back out of Baylor finished his senior season with 148 carries for 799 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He also added 28 receptions for 284 yards and two touchdowns in the receiving game.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Ebner ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and that speed shows in the kick return game. He returned 23 kicks for 511 yards for a 22.2 yard average, and he had has returned three attempts in his career for touchdowns.
Round 6, Pick 207: C Doug Kramer
Poles went with a local prospect for his fourth pick of the draft on Day 3. Kramer started 48 games at center for the University of Illinois and was named Second Team All-Big Ten last season. He also was a team captain his last two seasons at Illinois.
The Hinsdale Central High native grew up as a Bears fan and said he had an Olin Kreutz jersey. Kramer also mentioned that he was a fan of Kreutz’s game and highlighted his physicality and leadership.
Round 7, Pick 226: G Ja’Tyre Carter
The Bears added their fourth offensive lineman of the day with former Southern left tackle Carter. At 6-foot-3, 311 pounds, he is projected to play inside at the guard position for Chicago.
Carter started 37 games at left tackle in his four-year career at Southern. Last season, Carter was named Second Team All-SWAC.
Poles made up for not drafting any linemen on Day 2 of the draft and has now added plenty of depth and competition to his offensive line.
Round 7, Pick 254: S Elijah Hicks
After adding safety Jaquan Brisker with the 49th overall pick in the draft, the Bears added another for defensive coordinator Alan Williams. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound safety from Cal ended his senior season with 72 total tackles, one sack, four forced fumbles and three interceptions.
Hicks also had experience at the cornerback position, and it shows in his ability to track the football and make interceptions. Like in the play against Oregon State.
Coming into the draft, DeAndre Houston-Carson was scheduled to be the starter opposite of Eddie Jackson. Now, with Brisker and Hicks, the room has plenty of depth at the position.
Round 7, Pick 255: P Trenton Gill
With Poles’ final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Bears took a punter from North Carolina State.
Gill ended his career with the Wolfpack as 12th in school history in punting yards (4,997), according to NC State’s official website. He also ended his redshirt junior season with a 46.3 punt average, which was the second-best “among returning ACC players.”
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