2018 NFL Draft Grades: Chicago Bears Improved Tremendously with Haul
The Chicago Bears improved tremendously with their haul in the 2018 NFL Draft. They added a new leader for the defense and added protection and a weapon for sophomore QB Mitchell Trubisky.
Round 1 – Pick 8 Roquan Smith – LB – Georgia – Jr
Roquan Smith is a sideline-to-sideline hustler. He finishes tackles. Smith can cover backs and even carry tight ends. He will be the leader of the Monsters of the Midway.
Round 2 – Pick 39 James Daniels – C – Iowa – Jr
James Daniels is the best center prospect I have scouted in six years. He is a phenomenal athlete. Daniels is able to reach defenders most centers can only dream to reach. I expect him to hold down the pivot while 2016 second-round pick Cody Whitehair moves to left guard.
Round 2 – Pick 51 Anthony Miller – WR – Memphis – Sr
The Bears traded a 2019 2nd rounder and a 4th to move back into the round to acquire a playmaking wideout. Miller is highly productive. He runs crisp and fluid routes while snatching everything from the air. Miller also suffered an ankle injury in the Memphis bowl game that kept him from participating in the Senior Bowl and Combine. He likely could have pushed to be a first-round pick if not for the injury.
Round 4 – Pick 115 Joel Iyiegbuniwe – LB – Western Kentucky – Jr
I had heard some buzz picking up about Joel Iyiegbuniwe prior to the draft, but I never got a chance to study him. He ran a 4.61 at his pro day. Iyiegbuniwe emerged this past season. He could be the long-term answer to replace Wesley Woodyard at MIKE. I expect him to be a heavy special teams contributor as a rookie.
Round 5 – Pick 145 Bilal Nichols – DL – Delaware – Sr
Nichols has a quick get off for an interior defensive lineman. He had a great week at the Shrine Game but ran out of steam after getting called up for the Senior Bowl. The knock on him is his tendency to take plays off. He should be okay as a rotational lineman.
Round 6 – Pick 181 Kylie Fitts – EDGE – Utah – Sr
Fitts is a high motor edge rusher who was very productive at Utah. He is probably going to have to stand up for the Chicago Bears. Luckily for him, the depth chart is not very deep in front of him.
Round 7 – Pick 224 Javon Wims – WR – Georgia – Sr
Javon Wims has a good catch radius. He really emerged for the Dawgs in 2017. Unfortunately for Wims, the Bears spent a Brinks truck worth of dough on the position in free agency. A trip to the practice squad will likely be in order for 2018.
Kevin Toliver, CB, LSU; Rashad Fant, CB, Indiana; Abdullah Anderson, DL, Bucknell
I had a 3rd round grade on Toliver. He is a tremendous man coverage corner. Both he and Fant could both make the roster as reserve corners and on special teams. Abdullah Anderson should make a good backup at the five tech.
The Chicago Bears drafted three to four potential starters in 2018. That is enough to call this draft a win in my book. With the free agent signings of WR Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, along with the selections of Anthony Miller and James Daniels, they have gone a long way to building around their franchise QB. I don’t think they are a playoff team in 2018 but the foundation is there to compete in 2019.