Las Vegas, Nevada— With no first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears watched as teams moved up, wheeling and dealing, as the Bears remained patient, watching the rest of the NFL in action. The Bears fun will begin on Friday night, with the 39th and 48th overall picks, as first-year general manager Ryan Poles will attempt to rebuild the roster.
Two key positions of need stick out for Chicago: Wide receiver and offensive line. Since Poles was hired in January, both were labeled as two positions the Bears were likely to target, and despite a run on both positions in round one, there still remains enough talent for Chicago to acquire two long-term building blocks and day one starters in round two.
Wide receivers still available: George Pickens, Christian Watson, Skyy Moore, Alec Pierce, John Metchie III, Jalen Tolbert, Khalil Shakir.
From the names listed above, Pickens and Watson would make sense for Chicago at 39th overall. Pierce, a local prospect has been labeled as a sleeper, while fans cite Moore’s speed as a major reason to watch him as a legitimate target for quarterback Justin Fields.
The Bears haven’t taken a wide receiver inside the top-50 since 2012 when the franchise selected Alshon Jeffery with the 45th overall pick. The franchise is clearly on the outside looking in when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers. Poles first thought should be to change that, especially in a pass-happy league.
Offensive lineman still available: Abraham Lucas, Nicholas Petit-Frere, Bernhard Raimann, Daniel Faalele, Max Mitchell, Sean Rhyan, Darian Kinnard.
The run on offensive lineman was expected but continued throughout the first round. While three tackles, Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu, and Charles Cross were selected within the top-10, widely expected consensus, Kenyon Green, Zion Johnson, Trevor Penning, Tyler Smith, and Cole Strange were names that many thought could possibly fall to round two. Instead, all five names were selected in the first round, leaving the Bears with some slim pickings going into round two.
Lucas and Petit-Frere, Fields college teammate make sense as day one starters as both would end up playing left guard. While the Bears have experimented with Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom, both 2021 draft picks this offseason at various positions on the offensive line, adding a player like Lucas or Petit-Frere could go a long way towards stabilizing the offensive line.
When the Bears are on the clock come Friday night, Poles could have the opportunity to go best player available if the opportunity presents itself. However, WR and OL are two positions that Chicago needs to maximize first given the current state of the Bears roster.