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Gabriel: How Bears Could Approach Draft

The Bears don't pick until the third round, so how will they handle it?

Greg Gabriel
April 23, 2019 - 8:20 am
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(670 The Score) This will be a very interesting draft for the Chicago Bears this week as they don’t have a first-round pick for the first time since 2010. Not only don’t they have a first-round pick, but they also don’t have a selection in the second round.

Having known that for months, the Bears should be well prepared for the event that kicks off Thursday night in Nashville and goes through Saturday.

Instead of preparing for the early rounds, the Bears have spent most if not all their time on players they feel will be available from the third round down. With their first pick being 87th overall, they have no idea who will be available to them on Friday night so because of that they have to prioritize player they feel may be available.

I would assume their list would be made up of about six or seven players from various positions with the players being prioritized as to who they would select first, second third etc.

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The Bears' decision makers will also be watching close as to how players come off the board in the second round and the early part of the third round. Once they get to about pick number 70, they will have a good idea if a player or players they did not expect to be available may actually be there.

If that happens to be the case, there is still plenty of time for the Bears to discuss these players as a possible pick for the team. When you’re picking at 87, you have to be prepared to take the best player that is available and that could be a player who for some reason dropped on Friday. Regardless of the position the Bears have to be prepared to possibly select this person.

If the players come off the board as expected, I would think that the grouping of players the Bears are looking at will include running backs, tight ends and corners. There are the positions that they have spent a considerable amount of time on since the Combine. In the middle rounds of this draft, those positions are strong.

When the Bears are close to making their pick they will again discuss the players who is available. If it gets down to, say a running back and a corner, they will obviously look at the grade they have on the player but also the players ranking within the position group.  

At 87, the Bears might be looking at their fourth- or fifth-best running back versus their 11th- or 12-ranked corner. Why is that? In the early rounds of the Draft, corners are always a premium position and in most drafts there are usually 12 – 15 corners drafted in the first three rounds. Running backs don’t carry that kind of weight, so far less will be selected by the end of the third round.

With the Bears only having five selections this weekend, you be assured that once they pick a player at a certain position they will most likely be done with that position for the rest of the draft.

Could the Bears trade up or down? I feel that it is more likely they trade down than trade up. 

The Bears just don’t have enough draft capital to use to trade up in this draft. They are without a first- or third-round pick next year and hold two second-round picks in that next draft. It would not be good strategy to use either of those 2020 second-round picks to move up this year. 

Why? Rookie contracts are valuable and with the Bears having more and more solid veteran players soon coming in to a second contract, they will need as many rookie contracts as they can get to balance off the high-priced deals. 

There will be a year where it will be good business to just hold the line on trading and that year is most likely this year.

Greg Gabriel is a former NFL talent evaluator who's an on-air contributor for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @greggabe.