Julian Carlisle

The Bears Brawl contributor

Ryan Pace and the 2nd Round

The 2019 NFL Draft is approaching day by day, after trading for Anthony Miller and Khalil Mack, the Bears lack a 1st and 2nd round pick this year. But, does the lack of picks harm the Bears? With their lack of needs on the roster and Ryan Pace’s great late drafting expertise, this year the effect is minimal. Even with the Bears lack of roster needs, never count Ryan Pace out to move up and get a specific player that can fit in the Nagy/Pagano system. In this article, I’ll be examining both sides of whether the Bears should trade up for a 2nd round pick or not. While I’m at it I’ll share my opinion on what the Bears should do in this situation.

 

(Sept. 22, 2018 – Source: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images North America)

 

 

 

Trading to the 2nd Round:

Besides a kicker that can do his job, the Bears need a running back that can fit the system. If you ask me, they will most likely go in that direction. They still need depth at the outside linebacker position, offensive line and secondary positions. With that in mind, I’m going to predict that Pace is going to be looking for someone to carry AND catch into the end zone. Pace’s 2nd round draft history, he drafted (in order): Eddie Goldman, Cody Whitehair, Adam Shaheen, James Daniels, and Anthony Miller who was traded up for. All of these players have made significant contributions to the team. Goldman is a solid nose tackle, Whitehair has earned a Pro-Bowl, Shaheen has the attributes of the next Gronk, Daniels can hold off Aaron Donald, and Miller is a touchdown machine. I’d have to say Pace is pretty awesome at drafting in the 2nd round. What does Chicago have to give up for a 2nd rounder? Since the Bears lack draft picks, it’s most likely that they would consider trading a player that’s not that impactful to team. A few of the players that could be traded are Jordan Howard, Nick Kwiatkoski, or maybe even Leonard Floyd. Howard and Kwiatkoski alone wouldn’t be enough, Floyd alone maybe. So, the move becomes a player packaged with a 3rd or 4th round pick. It’s hard to predict where players can land after the 1st round, so let’s see who’s on the draft board. First, there’s Miles Sanders (Penn State). Miles is arguably the most complete running back in the draft. Sanders made a name for himself after being the backup to Saquon Barkley for two years and he’s been moving up the boards. Julian Love (Notre Dame), a cornerback who draws similar comparisons to Jacksonville’s A.J. Bouye. Love’s instincts and footwork have no doubt drawn the attention of the Bears, especially after the departure of Bryce Callahan. Taylor Rapp (Washington), would also be a great addition, to be found in the 2nd. With Rapp’s style of play it gives you flashes of one of Chicago’s favorite son’s Mike Brown. Rapp or Love in the secondary would be a sight to see in 2019 and beyond. Would Pace move up for a tackle or guard? I have a hard time seeing it, because of the late round talent in the draft.  We know Pace isn’t going to shock the league, move up and draft a kicker. So for me, it’s in between a running back or a safety/corner.

 

Waiting it out:

The Bears have 5 picks in the draft, 1 in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th round, and 2 in the 7th. Although the cornerbacks and safeties might be depleted, there’s still going to be a fine amount of running backs, offensive linemen, or even a kicker. Pace may have a great 2nd round history, but you could argue his late round history is even better. With pickups such as Eddie Jackson, Tarik Cohen, Adrian Amos, Jordan Howard, and Bilal Nichols. They are all solid picks, which a couple more on the outstanding side for multiple late-round picks. Of course, not all late round picks are going to be winners. Pace has had a share of busts as well as beasts. Sanders, Love, and Rapp could possibly fall to the late third-round. Although, holding off on trading up is a risk for trying to get their specific player. A great, late round pick option offensive tackle, Oli Udoh (Elon). Oli is more suited for right guard or even right tackle, which would be a solid replacement option for Kyle Long, or possibly even replacing Bobby Massie down the road. The former predicted Heisman winner Bryce Love (Stanford), could fall to the late-rounds due to his ACL injury this last fall. As we’ve seen with Eddie Jackson, Pace could jump on that opportunity and give the Bears their next running back and continue their history of legendary runners. Keep your eyes on Elijah Holyfield (Georgia) and Devin Singletary (FAU) as the draft progresses as well. Depth on the edge could also be addressed with guys like Jalen Jelks (Oregon) and Christian Miller (Alabama) in the mid rounds. Drafting a kicker in the 7th round would be a great use of their extra pick, in my opinion. Cole Tracy (LSU) or Matt Gay (Utah) being two solid choices in may. Not just signing free agent players to help the Bears roster, but they could look to last years’ practice squad players to benefit the team. Running back, Ryan Nall is making a case to work his way onto the 53-man roster. From what we’ve seen in the preseason last year and in camp, Nall could make an argument to be on the 53 man roster. Not just on the 53 man roster, but maybe even into a starting role. I thought that Nall had a legitimate chance of making the Bears roster last year and that still stands this year.

 

Source: Getty Images

What I Think:

There are pros and cons of both options. Pace could trade up for that prospect he believes will impact the Bears greatly and help them win the Super Bowl. At the same time, Pace could trade down and stack lower graded talent for the Bears.

I think the Bears should wait this one out. After the trades for Mack and Miller, I don’t see the Bears in the position to be trading for picks. It is just too much for the Bears to give up multiple picks and/or players for moving forward. Even though Pace’s genius makes it incredibly unlikely  to draft a bust in the 2nd round. Pace has shown to be genius in any round and will continue to wreak havoc in the 2019 draft as well. No matter who the Bears get at kicker, Pace just can not fumble this one. After the year of Cody Parkey, we can’t relive another year cut short over a kicker. Personally, is so difficult to predict where some of the aforementioned runningbacks will land in the draft. One thing is certain though, if you find your guy, you need to go get him.