Lake Forest, Ill.— The 2022 offseason is well underway for the Chicago Bears, and with March right around the corner, the 2022 NFL Draft is approaching fast. The Bears are scheduled to five a total of five picks, with no first or fourth-round selection as a result of the Justin Fields trade made by former Bears GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy.
As Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus begin to get the Bears back to relevancy, the Bears are in familiar territory compared to where the franchise was a year ago: Too many needs but just a handful of draft picks. With such few draft picks, Poles and Eberflus will need to get creative when the NFL Draft rolls around in the final week of April. The only real route the Bears should explore is trading down, shopping the 39th overall pick, the Bears’ most valuable asset this offseason.
Before we get into the madness below, there are a few factors to note. First, trades were allowed, and second, every selection below is based on how the draft board fell, along with needs the Bears have.
As the NFL Draft gets closer, it’s time for a 2022 NFL Mock Draft before the new league year officially kicks off.
Round Two, 46th overall: OG Zion Johnson, Boston College
Originally, the Bears were scheduled to pick at 39th overall but a trade with the Baltimore Ravens moves Chicago seven spots down the draft board while netting the Bears two additional third-round picks. Poles commits to building up the Bears offensive line by selecting Johnson, a highly-touted prospect from Boston College.
Measuring out at 6-foot-3 and 316 pounds, Johnson should project to be a guard at the next level. His ability to play with an aggressive mentality and high motor are just the beginning of what makes him an intriguing prospect. Johnson can also move with ease while also possessing a strong anchor makes him an ideal guard prospect for NFL teams.
Johnson has shown that he’s a consistent and well-rounded player whose upside is high enough to develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
Round Three, 71st overall: WR Romeo Doubs, Nevada
The Bears need to find some pass catchers for Justin Fields and Romeo Doubs is a name that’s flown under the radar. In a draft class that features names like Drake London (USC) and David Bell (Purdue) as names to keep an eye on, Doubs should garner attention for his ability to be an explosive option in any passing game that emphasizes speed.
Much of Doubs impact is seen with the ball in his hands, after the catch. 2021 was a highly productive season for Doubs who totaled 80 receptions, 1109 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns, averaging 13.9 yards per reception. Since stepping on campus as a freshman, Doubs has continued to improve and his ability to play outside or in the slot should make him an attractive option for any vertical passing game at the next level.
Round Three, 78th overall: WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan
Back-to-back wide receivers is never a bad idea in a pass-happy league, especially since the Bears need to overhaul the wide receiver room. Much like Doubs, Skyy Moore was also incredibly productive at Western Michigan. One word to use when describing Moore is dynamic. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands and is an excellent route runner.
When looking at Moore’s ability to separate, the results aren’t overly encouraging but there is enough to warrant being good enough at the NFL level. Moore may not be the flashiest player on the field but he certainly can provide a spark for any offense. The Bears would be wise to keep an eye on Moore, who’s continued to improve, after having spent time in high school playing both defensive back and quarterback.
Round Three, 102nd overall: CB Marcus Jones, Houston
The Bears will need to revamp the cornerback room this offseason and with Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley likely on the way out, 2021 sixth-round pick Thomas Graham Jr. could be a name to watch for as the starter opposite Jaylon Johnson. The Bears haven’t had a solid slot CB since Bryce Callahan left town in 2019 and while Buster Skrine did do just enough to hold down the fort between 2019-2020, the Bears need to find a long-term solution for Eberflus’ defense.
Marcus Jones appears to be undersized at just 5-foot-8 but he plays bigger than his size and moves incredibly well. Length isn’t an asset that Jones possesses but he is an incredibly smart player who’s able to anticipate and understand what wide receivers are doing well before routes actually develop.
To sum up Jones, the Bears would be getting an incredibly tough, physical, smart, and scrappy CB whose experience playing on the outside bodes well for a player who could become a day one starter for any NFL team.
Round Five, 144th overall: LB Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin
One major area where Chicago needs an overhaul on defense is linebacker. As the Bears get ready to switch to a 4-3 defense, the team will need to pursue a true MIKE LB this offseason. An intriguing late-round option would be Wisconsin’s Jack Sanborn who may be undersized for the traditional MIKE LB role but can still play fast with a high motor.
Perhaps the strongest aspect of Sanborn’s game is his ability to take on run blocks while being able to shed blocks. In pass coverage, Sanborn was just good enough throughout his college career but a major reason Sanborn was exposed at times in pass coverage was the inability to move, a result of being tight at the hips.
Round Five, 148th overall: DL Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma
Redmond isn’t going to blow anyone away with his size (6-foot-3, 278 pounds) or his athleticism. His primary role for the Sooners defense was playing as a three-technique defensive tackle, a critical position in Eberflus’ defense. Redmond isn’t an impact player by any means but he does penetrate gaps just enough to give other players opportunities to make plays.
One noticeable trait of Redmond’s game is his ability to always keep his eyes on the ball carrier. For what he lacks in size and speed, he makes up for with instincts. Redmond isn’t a prospect who is going to blow a team away but he does possess enough upside to develop into a low-level starter or even a rotational player for any defense.
Round Six, 185th overall: OT Cordell Volson, North Dakota State
Reinvesting into offensive tackle, especially for additional depth needs to be a roster move the Bears consider this offseason. Volson has become a core piece of the Bisons’ offensive line over the last few years and the first aspect of his game that sticks out is his size. Listed at 6-foot-6, 319 pounds, there is ample athleticism in Volson’s game.
Perhaps the biggest aspect of Volson to love is his ability to set the tone in the running game. Volson is willing to impose his will and while he may not be the flashiest player on the field, he certainly plays with a high motor. While there are questions about whether or not he can effectively transition to playing left tackle, there is enough upside to warrant developing into a good enough right tackle who can start for a team.