NFL teams try their best to gather intelligence about where the other 31 teams are likely to draft certain players, but the Bears were way off in their assessment of where running back Roschon Johnson would go.
Bears General Manager Ryan Poles told Cynthia Ferlund of NFL Media that his team ran 53 different simulations of the draft before the actual draft took place, and in every single one of those simulations, Johnson was drafted within the first 114 picks.
In the actual 2023 NFL draft, Johnson was still there at No. 115, where the Bears got him. Asked how the Bears got Johnson in the fourth round, Poles answered, “I have no idea.”
One idea is that the running back position has been devalued to such an extent that fewer and fewer teams are willing to take them in the first two days of the draft. Another idea is that Johnson was overshadowed by his Texas teammate Bijan Robinson, who went No. 8 overall. But Poles thinks the Bears got a steal.
“I absolutely love this player and I love the person even more,” Poles said, via NBCSportsChicago.com. “You talk about contact, balance, strength, size. We’re going to love this guy, especially when we get in December. He’s a special guy who can enhance the culture in our locker room, too.”
A special guy who was passed on 114 times.