Bears

Chicago Bears 2020 Draft Breakdown

Cole Kmet. Photo by MGoBlog. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The 2020 NFL Draft was a unique experience considering the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. This was the first draft to occur virtually, originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas. The Chicago Bears had 7 total selections in this year’s draft, once again without a 1st round pick.

Before we breakdown the draft picks in this year’s draft, let’s take a look at the draft picks traded before and during the draft. This was the second year since the Khalil Mack trade which resulted in dealing 2019’s 1st rounder (Josh Jacobs), 2019 6th rounder, 2020 first rounder (Damon Arnette), and a 2020 3rd round pick (Bryan Edwards). The Bears also received a 2020 2nd round pick (Cole Kmet) and a 2020 5th round pick (used to trade up for WR Darnell Mooney), alongside Khalil Mack. The Bears also were without their original 3rd or 4th round pick this year as a result of trading up for David Montgomery last year and their compensatory 4th rounder to Jacksonville for Nick Foles. 

The Bears moved around a couple of picks during this year’s draft as well. The first trade was in the 5th round, trading a 2021 4th round pick to Minnesota for pick 155, and they selected DE Trevis Gipson. Next they moved up to select WR Darnell Mooney with pick 173 and they also got pick 227 (OG Lachavious Simmons) from the Eagles for picks 196, 200, and 233. Below are the breakdowns and draft grades for each pick:

Round 2 Pick 43 (From Las Vegas): Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

The Bears first selection in the 2020 NFL Draft was Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet. Kmet, who is from Lake Barrington, Illinois stays close to home with the Chicago Bears. A large body at 6’6” and 262lbs, Kmet provides more support in the passing game at the Tight End position. He ran 4.7 unofficial 40 yard dash which makes him a vertical threat at his position. As a junior at Notre Dame he tallied 43 catches for 515 yards and 6 touchdowns in 11 games for the Fighting Irish. While he has potential to add a dynamic element to the passing game, his run block ability is below average for the position. At a young age of 21 look for him to develop more of a base and control in his run blocking and continuing to work on his ability to create separation from defenders in the passing game. His size and speed make him a legitimate threat on medium to deep routes. With this selection the Bears add their 10th Tight End to the roster, look for them to keep the newly drafted Kmet along with the offseason additions of Jimmy Graham and Demetrius Harris.

PICK GRADE: B

Round 2 Pick 50: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

The Bears took the 6 foot Cornerback from Utah with their 50th pick in this year’s draft. Johnson should make a great fit to the Bears defense and complement to Kyle Fuller. Johnson possesses great football instinct, ball skills, aggressive nature, and size which will translate well to the NFL. He will fit well in the Bears cover 3 scheme, with Fuller, and Eddie Jackson in the middle. Johnson ran a 4.50 40-yard dash which isn’t ideal, but he makes up for it with his excellent ability to press whoever lines up across him. Johnson will get a lot of action this year since he’s a rookie and Fuller has already established himself as a top corner in the NFL. I predict him to win the CB2 position over the others in the group, such as Artie Burns and Kevin Toliver. Other teams will try to test his speed and aggressiveness with double moves, giving him room to prove himself, but the Bears elite pass rush will benefit him tremendously in that aspect. Great pick by the Bears in the second. 

PICK GRADE: A

Round 5 Pick 155 (from Minnesota): Trevis Gipson, DE, Tulsa

After sitting out rounds 3 and 4 of the 2020 draft, the Bears traded a 2021 4th round pick with division rival Minnesota Vikings to gain an additional 5th round pick, moving up and selecting 22 year old Tulsa DE Trevis Gipson. Gipson was a two year starter at Tulsa. A 6’3”, 261lbs Edge Rusher who came into his own in 2019, racking up 15 tackles for a loss as well as 8 sacks, earning him first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors. During the previous year, Gipson finished with five forced fumbles (which tied for second in the FBS), to pair with nine TFLs, four sacks and 46 tackles for the Golden Hurricane. Gipson has the physical tools and raw talent to be a force on the defensive line, providing much needed depth for twin towers Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn. Under the tutelage of such NFL stars, Gipson can develop his skills as a pass rusher and hope to contribute as a rotational player for an already stout Bears defense as early as 2021. Gipson has the ability to play as a traditional 3 point stance DE or stand up Edge Rusher. He plans on fighting for playing time with newly signed OLB Barkevious Mingo, where his great acceleration off the snap, long arms, and nose for the football hopes to prove useful for the Bears in the 2020s.

PICK GRADE: B+

Round 5 Pick 163: Kindle Vildor, CB, Georgia Southern

The Bears took Kindle Vildor with their second 5th round pick in this year’s draft. Vildor stands at 5’10’’ and ran a 4.44 u 40-yard dash. Vildor comes from a smaller school in Georgia Southern, but he possesses talent that could benefit the Bears from the slot CB position which was vulnerable last year. He will be an upgrade from Buster Skrine and he will add some depth to the corner position. Vildor has great football instinct and ball skills with a great vertical jump, and he has the ability to feel the receiver and break on the ball. He should be able to put some pressure on slot receivers this year and match up well with the quicker wide outs. The Bears Corner position feels complete after this pick in the draft. 

PICK GRADE: B-

Round 5 Pick 173 (from Philadelphia): Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane

In the 5th round, the Bears added much needed help at Wide Receiver with the addition of Darnell Mooney from Tulane. The 2020 NFL Draft was one of the deepest drafts at Wide Receiver so the Bears were able to wait until later rounds to make this selection. At 5’10” 176lbs, Mooney adds speed and explosiveness to the Bears offense. Running a 4.38 unofficial 40, Mooney was among the top receivers. His explosiveness and speed make him a threat all over the field. At Tulane he was a 4 year starter who was able to make plays everywhere, turning short passes into long touchdown runs and being a deep ball threat. Mooney is a perfect replacement to Taylor Gabriel who was cut this offseason with a similar frame and speed. One of the more concerning things surrounding Mooney was his frequent drops at Tulane, and concerns about his size and strength. Many analysts deemed him a later pick in either the 6th or 7th round, or even undrafted. However, these are easy fixes for Mooney who has a high ceiling with his athleticism and explosiveness and has the potential to be a steal for a Bears offense looking to find its identity.

 

PICK GRADE: C+

Round 7 Pick 226 (from Las Vegas): Arlington Hambright, OG, Colorado

In the 7th round the Bears added much needed help to the Offensive Line with back to back selections at the position. The first selection was Arlington Hambright who played Left Tackle at Colorado as a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State. At Colorado he earned honorable mention All PAC-12 honors. He’s a larger body at 6’5” 300lbs who is expected to make the transition to Guard in the NFL. He is effective on the pull making him a great fit for zone based rushing attack. He has issues with oversetting on his punch, which was not so much of an issue in college, but this is a problem that should be addressed in the NFL. Hambright as a selection is more based on potential and development as he has a lack of starting experience in college football. He is not expected to make a run at a starting position but look for him to become an effective backup on a line that has dealt with injury issues.

PICK GRADE: C

Round 7 Pick 227 (from Miami): Lachavious Simmons, OT, Tennessee State

With their final pick in the 2020 NFL Draft the Bears selected Lachavious Simmons from Tennessee State. Listed as Tackle, Simmons has experience starting at every position on the Offensive Line except Center. The 6’5” 315lbs Offensive Lineman played in 41 games at Tennessee State and is experienced at playing throughout the line. He plays the position physically and runs on a strong work ethic. Simmons looks to join the Bears and compete for a backup spot. Perhaps with his experience throughout the line, he can be a dynamic backup that can fill in at different spots throughout the line that has dealt with injury issues.

 

PICK GRADE: C-

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

The Bears had some solid picks in the draft, but overall it seemed like they left much to be desired. The Bears turned some heads after taking Kmet when they already had 9 other TE’s on the roster and S Grant Delpit available at that pick. Jaylon Johnson seems to be an instant starter, but everyone has a chance to make an impact on the roster. The Bears added Offensive Line and secondary depth which will help them tremendously, but they didn’t make any big splashes in this year’s draft.

OVERALL DRAFT GRADE: B-

SkullKing Chicago Bears Beat Writers:

Anthony Haage

Georges Azouri

Anthony Thompson

Joe Soik

 

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