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2016 NFL Draft Grade: Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears Draft Class9th overall:


Chicago Bears Draft Class

9th overall: Leonard Floyd, OLB/DE, Georgia

56th overall: Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State

72nd overall: Jonathan Bullard, DT, Florida

113th overall: Nick Kwiatkoski, ILB, West Virginia

124th overall: Deon Bush, S, Miami (FL)

127th overall: Deiondre’ Hall, S, Northern Iowa

150th overall: Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana

185th overall: DeAndre Houston-Carson, CB, William & Mary

230th overall: Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan

Chicago had a very busy draft weekend. On Thursday they traded up from #11 to #9, costing them just the 106th pick. Then on Friday they moved back twice in the second round, picking up the 117th pick and a 4th rounder next year from Buffalo and then the 124th from Seattle.That 117th selection they spun into the 113th, having to give up the 206th pick. See, busy weekend! But all that work paid off for the Bears, who walked away with a lot of extra value from their starting point and an awful lot of potential for the future. Leonard Floyd is the embodiment of draft day potential. He was a lightning fast but worryingly small edge rusher for Georgia who some thought would have to play up off the line in the pros but others saw a potential Anthony Barr-type dual threat. Personally, I love the potential in Floyd. If he can add some mass – which he already has done to a degree – and retain that speed then he could be deadly for the Bears both in in coverage and rushing the passer. Cody Whitehair, acquired after those 2 trade downs in the second round, is a beast of a blocker. He played tackle in college but the recent move to cut left guard Matt Slauson suggests the Bears – like most teams – see his future on the inside of the line mauling away at defenses. As you can see from the overall shape of their draft class, the Bears focused in on defense and filled their boots with talent. Bullard was as high as a first rounder in some mock drafts and rankings and Nick Kwiatkoski could be a tackling machine on the inside of the Bears 3-4 defense. Overall I really like what the Bears did during the draft, from moving around the board with purpose to identifying what they wanted to do and executing. However, they passed on Laremy Tunsil while having an enormous hole at left tackle. I understand the “character concern” issues but Chicago have ignored that for players like Ray McDonald so why couldn’t they for Tunsil? I’m sure Jay Cutler is asking that question as well.

Grade: A-


Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

 

I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

2016 NFL Draft Grade: Chicago Bears

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