In 2021 the Bears missed the playoffs at 6-11 and in January fired head coach Matt Nagy, the 2018 coach of the year. Chicago also parted ways with general manager Ryan Pace was also let go. The team hired general manager Ryan Poles, a long-time executive with the Chiefs, and head coach Matt Eberflus, formerly the defensive coordinator for the Colts. On the field, the team has seen several high profile departures this offseason, including wide receiver Allen Robinson (Rams) and edge rusher Khalil Mack, who joins Joey Bosa and the Chargers to form a powerful pass rush for Los Angeles’s other team.
The Bears went two years without a first-round pick (2019, 2010) before selecting quarterback Justin Fields 11th overall in 2021. Fields showed flashes of elite talent in his rookie season but went 2-8 in 10 starts and missed the last three games of the season with injuries and illness. In March, Eberflus expressed his expectations for a big jump from Fields in his second season: “I said last time in public that the development of him for the second year should be a big jump. It should be. That’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for better technique, better fundamentals, better decision-making, better timing, everything. He’s all on board on that. He’s excited about where he is and he’s been working his tail off. That’s what we want, just that big jump from Year One to Year Two.”
Building the offense around Fields to allow him to thrive will be a key priority for the team’s future and for the 2022 NFL Draft, and options at wide receiver is likely the biggest need. The Bears are without a first-round draft pick this year, but Poles emphasized in April that the team can still find strong talent in later rounds. “It’s funny, because there’s a lot of panic, like, ‘You need receivers,’” Poles said. I think Davante [Adams] was taken in the second, right? So there’s talent there. It’s not always going to be like that, I get it. And we’re going to be patient. If it’s not there, we’re not going to do it and force it, either.” The Bears also have a need at offensive line, and Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green could be on their wish list if he’s still available in the second.
Click here for the entire 2022 NFL Draft order and keep reading to see where the Bears will be making picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Coverage of the latest news from around the NFL is available all year round on PFT’s Peacock channel.
Chicago Bears 2022 Draft Picks:
Round 2: No. 39 – Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Round 2: No. 48 (from LAC) – Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
Round 3: No. 71 – Velus Jones Jr., WR, Tennessee
Round 5: No. 168 (from BUF) – Braxton Jones, OT, Southern Utah
Round 5: No. 174 (from CIN) – Dominique Robinson, LB, Miami (OH)
Round 6: No. 186 – Zachary Thomas, OT, San Diego State
Round 6: No. 203 (fro BUF) – Trestan Ebner, RB, Baylor
Round 6: No. 207 (from HOU via SF via NYJ) – Doug Kramer, C, Illinois
Round 7: No. 226 (from CIN via NYG) – J’atyre Carter, G, Southern
Round 7: No. 254 (from LAC) – Elijah Hicks, S, California
Round 7: No. 255 (from LAC) – Trenton Gill, P, NC State
Check out draft picks for other teams in the NFC North