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Bears Draft Wrap-Up

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Bears receive high marks for impressive draft


The Bears nearly earned straight A's for their performance in the 2021 NFL Draft. In reviewing grades assigned by 10 national analysts, general manager Ryan Pace and company received nine A's and one B-plus.

Here's the Bears draft class followed by the grades that were given:

1-11: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

2-39: OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State

5-151: OT Larry Borom, Missouri

6-217: RB Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech

6-221: WR Dazz Newsome, North Carolina

6-228: CB Thomas Graham Jr., Oregon

7-250: DT Khyiris Tonga, BYU

Ryan Fowler, The Draft Network
Bears grade: A+
Comment: Justin Fields is going to be a stud. Stop listening to the trolls and casuals, and turn on the College Football Playoff semifinal game against Clemson this year and you tell me how you feel about him as a prospect. Oh, and general manager Ryan Pace took Teven Jenkins? Yeah, A+ here.

Danny Kelly, The Ringer
Bears grade: A+
Comment: The Bears went with quality over quantity, trading up twice over the draft's first two days to nab a pair of instant-impact players in Fields and Jenkins. Fields has the potential to change the entire trajectory of the franchise, as his abilities as a dual-threat passer make him well worth the cost Chicago paid to move up and take him. Jenkins, meanwhile, is a physical and feisty right tackle who brings first-round talent to this offensive line. The arrow is pointing up in Chicago.

Ben Rolfe, Pro Football Network
Bears grade: A+
Comment: After trading up to secure the quarterback of the future, the Chicago Bears were off to a great start. Adding Teven Jenkins provides protection for Justin Fields, and the Bears also added some great value in the later rounds.

Pro Football Focus
Bears grade: A+
Comment: Fields has special talent and back-to-back seasons with a 91.0-plus PFF grade. His ceiling is as high as any passer in this draft, and he's a real threat in the run game. One of the best run blockers in the draft, Jenkins also pass-blocked well. Thomas Graham Jr. opted out of the 2020 season, but it is still surprising to see him drop this far, given that he has three seasons of quality play as a starter on tape. He earned 80.0-plus PFF grades in each of the 2018 and 2019 seasons for Oregon and has a versatile, scheme-diverse skill set.

Nate Davis, USA Today
Bears grade: A
Comment: Pace successfully maneuvered Thursday for Justin Fields … arguably the steal of this draft. Less notable but perhaps as important, Pace also traded up for RT Teven Jenkins in the second round.

Luke Easterling, Draft Wire
Bears grade: A
Comment: This class had a strong chance of earning a strong grade after the first pick, but the Bears made back-to-back bold moves to steal top talent with Justin Fields in the first round and Teven Jenkins in the second. Without a pick in the third or fourth rounds, it was important for them to find value in the sixth and seventh, and they did just that with four straight bargain picks (Khalil Herbert, Dazz Newsome, Thomas Graham Jr., Khyiris Tonga). This all comes back to Fields, though, as the Bears got the steal of the entire first round with this year's second-best quarterback.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
Bears grade: A (fourth best draft in NFL)
Comment: The trade up for Fields was a shrewd move for GM Ryan Pace, without giving up the farm. He is the special dual threat who can help solve QB for Chicago in the right way for a long time. They also landed a first-round pedigreed starting right tackle in Jenkins and the big-time slot receiver upgrade in Newsome, an absolute late-round steal.

Chad Reuter,
Bears grade: A
Comment: Trading up to land Fields was well worth the price. Upgrading the offensive line was also a priority, so trading up for a player of Jenkins' caliber at a reasonable price made sense. Borom was a solid selection in the fifth round because of his pure power coming off the ball. He could work his way into a contributing role. Herbert will make plays as a rusher and receiver for the Bears as a rookie. Newsome is a solid late-round receiver who brings toughness and elusiveness rather than pure speed. Graham could be a good third or fourth corner in 2021. When Tonga plays low, his width and foot quickness make him a tough ask for offensive linemen.

Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated
Bears grade: A-
Comment: Playing the board like they did and landing Justin Fields, who could end up being the second-most talented player in this class, may be a springboard into a fine second act for [Pace]. While the Bears find themselves backed against the wall equity-wise for a deeper draft in 2022, they hoarded offensive line talent from the 2021 draft's remaining strength and will turn over two outsized tackles to O-line coach Juan Castillo. The Bears, who have made the playoffs twice during the Matt Nagy era while limping offensively, now have a transformed offense with a mobility component at the quarterback position.

Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN
Bears grade: B+
Comment: What a move by the Bears, trading up for Justin Fields. I love the kid. This is a young quarterback with absolute star potential. This makes them better in 2021 and beyond. Elsewhere, Pace & Co. got an instant right tackle starter in Teven Jenkins (39), who I had pegged to the Bears in Round 1 in a couple of my mock drafts. It was a clear need for them, and they got him in the second round. Chicago's next pick wasn't until Round 5, but Larry Borom (151) is the type of swing tackle prospect that makes sense on Day 3.

Fields, Jenkins, Borom, Herbert, Newsome, Graham & Tonga. See photos of all the new Bears rookies selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.

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