The draft wrapped up on Saturday, leaving NFL fans now anxiously waiting for camp to start. The Chicago Bears were graded out as a team who did tremendous according to analysts that covered and gave out grades to teams. CBS Sports gave the Bears an “A”, NFL.com gave the Bears and “A” and Sports Illustrated also gave the Bears an “A’. All websites that gave out their grade, alluded to a common theme, that this was the Mitchell Trubisky draft (as well as off season), but, also the Vic Fangio draft. Four out of the Bears’ seven draft picks were for the defense, but more noticeably the front seven. Bears fans remembered well that earlier in the off season, Vic Fangio was the Bears most prized free agent. Multiple teams were looking to get the veteran defensive coordinator to headline their defense. So who was the first person Matt Nagy called when he got the job as head coach… Vic Fangio. Matt Nagy as well as Ryan Pace, knew that Victor John Fangio was NEEDED. Like most things Ryan Pace does, he saw a problem and addressed it aggressively.

With the 8th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft the Bears gave Fangio the best middle linebacker in the draft and a top 5 talent. The Butkus award winner will fill a need that Butkus, Singletary and Urlacher filled before him. He has THAT type of potential. Coming out of Georgia, he reminded me of a player who once played for Fangio, Patrick Willis. The 6’1, 230 pound linebacker ran a 4.51 at the NFL combine, the exact same measurable and 40 time of the former, 5 time 1st team All-Pro, Patrick Willis. Smith in his rookie year, already has high expectartions from the fans, who should expect that much. From a team that has a rich history of defensive talent, the expectations should be high. With Fangio teaching him, he should succeed all expectations. \

So what does Pace do on day 3 of the draft, he gets athletes. Raw players who went to lower tiered schools that have all the size and speed, but lack the technique. Pace knows that the Bears’ defense is in good hands and should be well coached. Joel “Iggy” Iyiegbuniwe is a hybrid linebacker that can play on the outside or line up in the middle. In the fifth round Pace snatched Bilal Nichols, the defensive lineman out of Delaware, a 300 pound man who has 4.95 speed. Nichols is a player that can dominate if given the time to develop. Kylie Fitts out of Utah is a outside linebacker in the Bears’ scheme even though he was listed at defensive end at Utah. The 6’4 263 pound linebacker ran a 4.69 in the 40 yard dash. Similar in size and speed to Khalil Mack (I’m not saying he is Mack, just saying he has size and speed).

Pace helped Fangio out by drafting 4 front seven players, that can be devloped by Vic. This was all about giving the defense athletes that desperately needed some.

Photo: Chicago Tribune

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