By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
The much anticipated 2020 NFL Draft exploded on Thursday night in the most unique way. With social distancing in full swing, the NFL was forced to conduct its yearly draft virtual style.
Despite all the mock drafts, the day finally came when General Manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy put together a board of players that would make an immediate impact on all sides of the ball.
Speed, athleticism, strength, and heart were all tangibles the following players possessed.
RD 2: PICK 43 = Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame >>>> GRADE: A-
I loved watching Kmet play last season for the Fighting Irish! His long body and ability to catch on the run was a weekly highlight. He is elusive in separation and is a perfect fit for that Y-position, opposite Jimmy Graham at the U-position. He can mismatch in the slot with his size at 6’-6”. He will need to improve on his blocking skills but I think with a little more added muscle he can hold his own. A long time Bears fan since childhood, Kmet will bring heart and hopefully excitement to that position
RD 2: PICK 50 = Jaylon Johnson, CB, /Utah >>>> GRADE: A
With the Bears releasing Prince Amukamara, this is a position that needed immediate attention and they found it with perimeter bully in Jaylon Johnson. He has the length and physicality for press coverage forcing receivers to have to work hard to get around him. He can recover fast if he gets edged a little, but his anticipation and ball skills are what makes him appealing. He was the third-best cornerback on the draft board and he now plays for the Chicago Bears.
RD 5: PICK 155 = Trevis Gipson. DE /Tulsa >>>> GRADE B
A situational pass rusher with a nice spin move, with an explosive first step! Translates great in a 3-4 defense. Once he gets out in space he can get loose on the outside. He was impressive at the Senior Bowl and seemed to lock in on his strengths going into his senior year at Tulsa. However, he is a developmental player who needs to work on punch power at the point of attack.
RD 5: PICK 163 = Kindle Vildor, CB / Georgia Southern >>>> GRADE: B+
Vildor is fluid in his transitions and has quickness at press. He is aggressive and physical at the downhill attack. His game against Clemson in 2018 was impressive in his zone coverage. He needs to improve on keeping his eyes up and wrapping the receiver. His missed tackles and slow recovery last season was noticeable. If the Bears stay with a zone heavy scheme, which is expected from DC Chuck Pagano, his athleticism and strengths will shine.
RD 5: PICK 173 = Darnell Mooney, WR / Tulane >>>> GRADE: B
Mooney ran a 4.38 so he has some speed to him. He is limber and explosive in the slot and can stretch the field. He has the ability to track long throws with instinctive body positioning. He did have quite a few drops in 2019 on short throws, however, every touchdown in 2019 was uncontested. He is a little too lanky for my taste and needs to put a little more muscle on in the offseason.
RD 7: PICK 226 = Arlington Hambright, G / Colorado >>>> GRADE: C+
Hambright is a work in progress. He has enough athleticism and power to fit in a zone scheme and can be helpful in a push and pull rushing attack. (Something I would like to see more of this season).He has a habit of lunging which he needs to correct otherwise he is going to be overtaken by defenders every time.
RD 7: PICK 227 = Lachavious Simmons, G / Tennessee State >>>> GRADE: B
To be honest I had no idea who he was but I did some digging into his scouting report and found that he did play all positions on the offensive line. He allowed only one sack in 2019 and played 448 snaps. A little undersized at 6’-3”, Simmons will most likely have to kick inside and be used as an interior lineman, most likely the guard position.
My overall draft grade for the Chicago Bears: B+
Talk Bears with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63