Ryan Pace went into this draft claiming he’s willing to be aggressive, and he wasn’t wrong. He’s made 3 picks as of the time this Article will be posted, and he’s hit home runs on all 3 of them.
The first round was somewhat disappointing to some Bears fans, but I have no idea why. Quenton Nelson was the clear favorite among most Bears fans for the first round, including myself for a while. Butkus award winner Roquan Smith was the pick at 8, and I think it was the perfect pick. Smith is a 6 foot 1 225 lb linebacker from Georgia. He only participated in the 40 yard dash during the combine, where he ran a 4.51. Smith is, in my opinion, the next up in a long line of Bears superstar inside linebackers, with the most recent being Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher. Smith totaled 146 solo tackles, 106 assisted tackles (252 total), 20.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries in 3 years at Georgia. Smith is going to be the leader and best player on what is going to be a scary Vic Fangio defense. The Monsters are back!
Pace went offense in the second round, starting with center James Daniel from Iowa with pick 39. Daniels is a 6 foot 3, 306 lb center. He totaled 21 bench reps, a 7.29 3 cone, and a 4.4 20 yard shuttle. Daniels has excellent footwork and will add to the already fantastic interior line Chicago has. This pick will most likely move Cody Whitehair to guard, where he played most of last year due to injuries. Then, in a surprising move, Pace traded the second round pick for next year and a 4th rounder this year for the Patriots’ 2nd rounder. With this pick, receiver Anthony Miller was selected 51st overall. Miller is a 5 foot 11, 201 lb receiver from Memphis. He ran a 4.5 40 at his pro day. Miller recorded back to back 1400 yard seasons at Memphis, with a total of 3590 yards on 238 receptions in 3 years. He had 18 touchdowns last season with 37 total. Before the draft, Miller wrote a letter to NFL GM’s explaining why he should be drafted, which you can find here:
Miller is considered to be a top three receiver in this draft, if not the best. I think the decision to draft Miller rather than trade up for Ridley, which Pace wanted to do, was excellent. Miller adds to Trubisky’s arsenal of weapons acquired this offseason, setting him up for a career season.