Bears general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy painted a picture satisfied with their post-draft description.
It is difficult to spoil any satisfaction they or any Bears fan felt when they acquired the defender they wanted and what was essentially a tackle in the first round in the second round.
Still, Justin Fields plays as a defender and Teven Jenkins will apparently be a left tackle after Charles Leno Jr. left on Monday.
It is difficult to resolve everything when the choice of the third round is changed, not that someone is complaining. The holes remain obvious, however.
“There are things that are under your control and not under your control,” said Nagy. “But I know that, with regard to our squad and what we have in defense – we feel very, very good with the players we have, really throughout the squad, not just in defense.”
Pace pointed to acquisitions during the free agency in defense in his defense and hung his hat on existing talent.
“Just the talent we have in defense, the moves we’ve made there over the years, and you talk about Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson and (Akiem) Hicks and Roquan (Smith) and (Danny) Trevathan and you can continue and so on. on, “said Pace. “And so I think some of the moves we made at the free agency this year helped us a lot in this draft with (Desmond) Trufant, Angelo Blackson, (Jeremiah) Attaochu, Christian Jones, re-signing (Tashaun) Gipson was great for us.
“I felt that we attacked a lot of it in a free agency and really opened the draft, really opened the draft for the best player. And, as you know, you kind of follow the path sometimes and it happens that a little more offense this year. ”
The problem with Pace’s comments?
Most are reserve players that he acquired in defense. Gipson is obviously a beginner. They hope that Trufant can be, but a lot depends on an injured player.
Here are his most unstable spots coming out of the draft, removing tackle for now because of Leno’s move. They may not be done in that position yet, however.
1 Starting left corner back
They are counting on:
- Desmond Trufant, 31, who ended up on the reserve injured three of the past five years and the past two. Or …
- Kindle Vildor, a choice of the fifth round with 135 defensive strokes of experience. Or …
- Duke Shelley, a sixth-round pick with 216 defensive snaps and regarded primarily as a slot cornerback. Or …
- Sixth round debutant’s choice Robert Graham Jr.
- Longtime veterans like ex-Steelers starter Artie Burns, Xavier Crawford or Tre Roberson. Roberson was in Canada and suffered an injury at the end of the season in off-season training last year and Burns tore up his ACL on the training ground. Crawford was on the Bears training team and entered three games.
two Nickel Cornerback
The slot position is where the youngest players often increase after development. That’s what happened to the Bears when Bryce Callahan appeared as an unsigned free agent and withstood the rigors of a Vic Fangio camp to win the spot.
It is possible that Shelley or Vildor could do this here, or perhaps Graham. However, Graham’s experience is mostly on the outside and it is best not to force too much newness on the newbies. Keeping it outside may be better.
There are a few veteran cornerbacks in free agent slots circulating around and the financial situation here would be easier to manage than finding an initial cornerback at a free agency at a low cost.
3 Slot Receiver
They brought in Dazz Newsome, but expecting a sixth round receiver to simply take over from Anthony Miller could be difficult. After all, there are a few other receivers on the list that have not yet risen to a higher level in Javon Wims and Riley Ridley. Perhaps one of them will surprise everyone and become a slot receiver.
Like Newsome, Miller still has a payback. Miller can return punts and kicks and the Bears may simply want to keep him around to let him do as much as possible in the last year of his contract.
They may actually have the answer at hand here with Miller for this year, although someone faster in the draft would be preferable.
4 Tight End
Of course, they caught Cole Kmet last year and Jimmy Graham has been around for at least another year. But the list requires three tight ends and Demetrius Harris was never signed back when his contract expired. They have a handful of undeveloped types like Jesper Horsted, Stanford’s new Scooter Harrington signer and former college basketball player Darion Clark. There are a number of free agent options and it is also a position where negotiations and June 1 cuts often come into play.
Pace even pointed out that they could negotiate or expect a veteran to be cut and have his eyes on one.
The list will remain fluid until camp and they may need to watch some real game on the field while working out of season to see if they need extra help.
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