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Bears Draft Wrap-Up

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Bears receive solid grades for 2020 draft class

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Despite not having a first-round pick, the Bears received mostly "B" grades for their 2020 draft class from national NFL analysts:

Chad Reuter, NFL.com: B+
Analysis: They found a talented tight end in [Cole] Kmet … [Jaylon] Johnson was a good pick later in the second round, as well. [Trevis] Gipson is an underrated player who offered solid value in the fifth round. [Kindle] Vildor has many fans across the league. [Arlington] Hambright is an intriguing prospect with great upside for a seventh-round pick.

Pro Football Focus: B+
Analysis: PFF was especially high on second-round cornerback Jaylon Johnson, with Mike Remmer writing: "Johnson is one of the most instinctual corners in the entire draft, and he goes to a landing spot in Chicago where that ability can thrive. We saw Johnson's grades improve every single year of his college career after he saw 506 snaps as a true freshman back in 2017. In his final seven games with Utah, Johnson allowed only 112 yards combined."

Nate Davis, USA Today: B
Analysis: Considering how things have played out, good argument to be made that the trade for Khalil Mack – even at the cost of two first-rounders – has been worth it. GM Ryan Pace also did a nice job Friday by landing TE Cole Kmet and CB Jaylon Johnson, borderline first-round prospects, in Round 2.

Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: B
Analysis: The Bears didn't have a first-round pick in 2020 as a result of the Khalil Mack trade, but they were able to get an absolute first-round defender in this draft. Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson had minor injury concerns, but he's one of the smartest, most-targeted, and mistake-proof players at his position in this class, and he should be able to take the field and start right away. Johnson slipped enough from his first-round talent that Chicago were able to take Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet, also in the second round. … The guy Bears fans might want to get excited about in this class is fifth-round pass-rusher Trevis Gipson out of Tulsa. At 6-foot-3 and 261 pounds, Gipson isn't developed in his technique, but his raw physical tools explode off the tape.

Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated: B-
Analysis: Kmet is as classic a tight end as you'll see, which allows recently signed veteran Jimmy Graham to play more of a receiving role. And don't be surprised if the Bears go with more three-tight end sets this season. Creative offensive architect Matt Nagy understands that those packages make a defense slower and more predictable, and with ex-Chief Demetrius Harris already aboard, Kmet now gives this team three tight ends who can align almost anywhere as receivers.

As for Jaylon Johnson: defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano likes to bring pressure and/or employ Cover 4, where each defensive back plays match-zone in a deep quarter of the field. Those match-zones require sound man coverage technique, and most blitzes, because of how quickly they force the ball out, demand straight man coverage on the back end. And so it was critical that Chicago find a talented specimen to slide into the right corner spot that was vacated by Prince Amukamara's release. Johnson has the assertive, physical press coverage acumen to fill the role nicely.

Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN: C+
Analysis: With limited draft capital, I do like the two second-round picks. Cole Kmet (43) is the clear best tight end in this class, and he will help [Nick] Foles or [Mitchell] Trubisky in the passing game and has the potential to develop into a solid blocker in the run game. Yes, the Bears brought in Graham, but they had zero tight ends gain 100 yards last season. And I thought cornerback Jaylon Johnson (50) had a chance to be picked at the end of Round 1, but a shoulder injury hampered his 2019 season and hurt his evaluations. Still, this could be two starters for Chicago.

Bears 2020 draft class
Round 2 (43): TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
Round 2 (50): CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah
Round 5 (155): OLB Trevis Gipson, Tulsa
Round 5 (163): CB Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern
Round 5 (173): WR Darnell Mooney, Tulane
Round 7 (226): OL Arlington Hambright, Colorado
Round 7 (227): OL Lachavious Simmons, Tennessee State

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