Over the course of May, both Joe Marino and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Chicago Bears.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|2||QB||Mitchell Trubisky||North Carolina|
|119||RB||Tarik Cohen||North Carolina A&T|
Best Value: S Eddie Jackson, Alabama
Jackson is a player I’ve been bullish on throughout the entire draft process. Jackson’s status as a prospect has been grossly marred by the broken leg that cost him the final half of his senior season.
As a defender that has some man to man skills, Jackson (if healthy) will have every chance to patrol the middle of the field and be a valuable piece to move around defensive sets. Jackson has a strong chance to push for a spot in the starting lineup, where Adrian Amos and Quintin Demps are currently slotted as the two starters.
Jackson has the ball skills needed to play between the hashes and be reliable vertically; plus some splash skills in the return game with the ball in his hands. That electric upside will give Jackson the chance to be a splash player and a big time steal.
Worst Value: TE Adam Shaheen, Ashland
I liked Shaheen for what he was: a small school prospect that won at a lower level of competition by simply being a better athlete than those on the field with him. Both he and Kutztown’s Jordan Morgan were devastating on film but by the way of being bigger and stronger.
To invest in Shaheen at 45 puts Shaheen into a tier of players that I’m expecting immediate and early returns on. I’m not certain Chicago is going to get that. The Bears landed a big bodied tight end who shows poor base and hands as a blocker and won as a receiver frequently by bumping defenders off his hip at the top of his routes.
Shaheen either has skills that the Bears are going to isolate to use him in high frequency early on or he’s going to need to show notable development throughout his rookie season.
Could Surprise: QB Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
I can hear you now: “how in the heck is the #2 overall pick going to surprise?” Hear me out.
The Bears invested in Mike Glennon and he’s going to start the year barring any injuries or surprises. But NFL teams, now more than ever, feel those rookie QBs burning a hole in their pockets and they’re eager to show their hand.
The Bears skill players have a lot of question marks. We need to see Kevin White finally be healthy. We need to see what Adam Shaheen can be as a rookie receiver. Can Markus Wheaton break through that glass ceiling now that he’s out of Pittsburgh? But the offensive line has a lot of great pieces, especially on the interior: Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long. Charles Leno is pretty underrated as an offensive tackle.
Plus the Bears figure to actively utilize one of the league’s leading rushers from last season, rookie RB Jordan Howard. So when Trubisky is pressed into action, and I’d be willing to bet that he eventually does in 2017, I feel there are some things in place that can allow him to surprise. The narrative (and it isn’t totally wrong) is that Trubisky needs time.
But if he’s not given it, I think he’s got enough around him to keep defenses honest and allow him to flash his skills.