Written by: John Stocco
The NFL Draft is officially over. April 29th, 2019 will be the first day since October that I will not be watching the film, and I have no idea what to do with myself. Maybe I’ll grow out a mustache for some excitement. Anyways, the Bears completed their draft today having four draft picks. After trading up for David Montgomery on day two, the Bears had a 4th, a 6th, and two picks in the 7th round. Let’s take a look at how they did.
Riley Ridley, WR: Georgia
I had to pick up my jaw from the floor after this pick. The Bears have very few holes on their team, and when you’re in that position you have to go and draft the best player available in every round. The Bears didn’t need much help in the wide receivers room, but when a player like Riley Ridley is available, you better run and get him. I bet the Bears couldn’t write his name down fast enough on the draft card. Ridley has all the tools you want in a receiver. He’s tall, lengthy, and tough. He has dependable hands that he uses to catch in traffic, and his jump ball skills are plus. Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller on the inside, and Riley Ridley and Allen Robinson on the outside. Mitch Trubisky is the happiest quarterback in football.
Duke Shelley, CB: Kansas State
The 5’9 senior cornerback out of Kansas State was a name not a lot of Bears fans recognized, including myself. The Bears made the pick and I immediately did some digging and I liked what I saw. He’s a physical corner with a high motor. He has plus ball skills, and he isn’t afraid to get down in the trenches and help support the defense in the running game. After that, I went to go look at the old fashion stats. Shelley had 8 career interceptions, that he took a few to the house, 7 tackles for loss, and 165 total tackles. The production is there, and the Bears add a corner that can make his presence felt up the middle of the field. The Bears are hoping Buster Skrine and Duke Shelley make up for the loss of Bryce Callahan.
Kerrith Whyte, RB: Florida Atlantic
You see another running back selected and that might leave you scratching your head. I feel you because I was doing the same, but then it hit me. When the Bears finished dead last in special teams, all the help is needed. Cordarrelle Patterson, and the man that ran a 4.36 40 yard dash at his pro day, will be the reinforcements the Bears need to bring back the special teams we so dearly miss.
Stephen Denmark, CB: Valdosta State
Denmark is a project. You look at him you say to yourself “there’s no way this dude is a cornerback.” He sure is. He only played one year at cornerback so he will be a work in progress, but his physical traits make him intriguing. 6’4, 210 pounds, CORNERBACK! Stephen Denmark is already on my bulletin board under, “Players to watch at training camp.”
The Bears also made some noise signing some pretty big undrafted free agents. They signed four players that I believe will make an impact, and more importantly, make the team.
Emanuel Hall, WR: Missouri
Ranked as my 10th wide receiver in my draft rankings. Hall brings elite quickness and an excellent combo of speed and size. He can locate the deep ball well and has shown improvement in his hands as time went on in Missouri.
Alex Bars, OG: Notre Dame
Harry Hiestand gets a Fighting Irishmen to develop in Chicago. Bars spent most of last year on the sideline as he suffered a season-ending knee injury. If it wasn’t for the ACL/MCL tear, Bars would have been a 5th round pick. My 14th ranked interior lineman, Bars showed versatility at Notre Dame starting at guard and right tackle. He shows above average quickness getting up to the second level, has a strong core, and he has good hand placement. Needs to work on his lateral quickness and his stance as he shows too much bend. He’ll be back with his offensive line coach, and he’ll be comfortable in Chicago.
Clifton Duck, CB: Appalachian State
Other than having one of the coolest names in the draft, Duck has hawk-like eyes as he had 13 career interceptions in college. Great anticipation and durability is the farthest thing from an issue for Duck.
Dax Raymond, TE: Utah State
Raymond shows a combination of speed and strength. He’s strong enough to be a player you can depend on in the blocking game and has plus athleticism to hurt defenses as a receiver. He slips off of blockers, and he hits the second level quickly. Watch him open up a few eyes in training camp.
Draft season is officially over. If you read any of my articles on the Bears, the draft, or scouting reports on draft prospects, I want to say thank you. Thank you. Your support means the world, and I promise you all, the best has yet to come.