The 2022 NFL Draft is underway. The Chicago Bears didn’t have a pick in the first round but have three picks in the next two rounds on Day 2. They still have plenty of options to choose from.
The 2022 NFL Draft is underway. On Thursday night, the first round was completed. The Chicago Bears, without any picks in that round, had a quiet night.
On Day 2, however, the Bears have three picks in the next 39 picks. Having those picks bunched up there gives Bears general manager Ryan Poles some options to work with. They have six picks overall and would love to have some more. With two picks between 39 and 48, they can trade one of them to pick up other picks.
On the other hand, if Poles decides to use the picks he has, he has plenty of prospects who could have an impact on the field right away. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Nakobe Dean was the leader of the best defense in college football. He has excellent football IQ, instincts, and speed to be an impact player. Perhaps his 5-foot-11 stature might be a reason he fell out of the first round. However, teaming Dean up with Roquan Smith would give the Bears one of the youngest and best linebacker duos in the NFL.
Andrew Booth, Jr, CB, Clemson
This one is interesting. Booth is one of the top prospects in this draft. The run on wide receivers and offensive linemen might have been the cause of his drop out of the first round.
The Bears are in desperate need of an outside cornerback to join Jaylon Johnson. Booth is a high motor, aggressive player that Poles loves to have on his roster. At 6 feet, 194 pounds, he has the desirable size for the position. Additionally, he is athletic and agile and played in different schemes.
Booth also does well in run defense support. He loves to go after the ball carrier. In pass coverage, he can play the ball better than a lot of receivers. With him on the field, opposing quarterbacks will have to go towards Johnson more. That should help the defense’s turnovers increase.
Geroge Pickens, WR, Georgia
A couple of things worked against George Pickens that had him fall. First, he was a victim of anonymous sources who criticized his attitude. There is always some report that comes out right before the draft that takes a prospect down a peg or two.
Second, Pickens suffered a torn ACL early in the 2021 season. However, he was able to come back for the National Championship game and helped the Bulldogs win the College Football Playoffs.
Pickens runs great routes. He is able to use his footwork to create some space. Additionally, he has some of the best hands in the draft. He can grab anything. To complement that, he has great body control. He can go up for the ball and make circus catches.
Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
With Trey McBride, the Chicago Bears get a two-for. One, at 6-foot-4, 246 pounds, they give quarterback Justin Fields a big target to go for, especially in the red zone.
Two, they also get some blocking help for Fields. McBride is a very good blocker and with the Bears’ woes on the offensive line, any help they receive is great. He has big, sticky hands and he’ll be a great help for Fields and the Bears offense.
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Bernhard Raimann, OL, Central Michigan
Bernhard Raimann is an interesting story. He was an exchange student from Austria who worked to become a tight end. In his third year, he switched to the offensive line.
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Despite playing most of his time as a tackle, Raimann projects as a guard at the pro level. He has good quickness with his feet to handle speed rushers.
What jumps out is Raimann’s strength. He has the pop in his initial hit to knock defenders back. Once he gets his hands inside, the rusher can forget about doing anything. In the run game, he just mauls people. He knocks bodies backward and enjoys opening up holes for the runner.
Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
The more film I see of Christian Watson the more I feel that he’ll be one of the biggest steals of the draft. Furthermore, I had the Bears picking him up in my final mock draft. He is the outside receiver that the Bears desperately need.
Watson has incredible speed given his size. He is 6-foot-4 and weighs 208 pounds. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.36-40. He utilizes long strides and has great explosiveness.
Watson not only uses his speed to create separation but also his footwork. He does a great job of breaking off at the top of the route. Additionally, he has the ability to change speeds with the ball in the air. He continually blew past defenders that way.
In addition, Watson has a large catch radius and great hands. He’ll be a very good receiver in the NFL for quite some time.
Jamaree Salyer, OL, Georgia
Jamaree Salyer is another prospect I had the Chicago Bears pick up in my final mock. He gives the Bears some flexibility. He played every position along the line in his college career.
At 6-foot-3, 321 pounds, Salyer is a massive man. His wide frame is tough for defenders to navigate. In addition, he uses his hands like clubs to knock defenders off balance off the snap. His hands are quick as well. He usually gets those hands onto the defender before he gets ready to rush.
Salyer does a good job of using his hands to knock gap-runners off their path. He uses good positioning, and rarely finds himself lunging.
As a run blocker, Salyer throws himself at the defender and drives him back, extending his arms and using his feet to help move him forward.
Salyer can be one of the pieces for the Chicago Bears to rebuild an offensive line that has been much maligned for years.
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