The Chicago Bears’ 2022 NFL Draft class netted 11 players from multiple positions. Defensive backs, offensive linemen, a couple of skill players, a pass rusher, and a punter were all added to the roster. And if you count quarterback Justin Fields as the Bears’ first-round pick, it’s fair to say General Manager Ryan Poles did well in his first draft on the job.
According to the analytics powerhouse Pro Football Focus, Poles was just… OK. PFF gave the Bears a B- for their 2022 draft results.
“There were a couple of different ways the Bears could have gone with their first pick, but they again decided not to add an offensive lineman or wide receiver to support Justin Fields,
PFF wrote. “Gordon does fill a need as a projected starter opposite Jaylon Johnson, though. His athletic testing was disappointing, but Gordon showcased impressive burst on tape at Washington. He earned a career-high 89.6 PFF coverage grade in 2021.
“This is fantastic value for Brisker, and the Bears’ secondary looks promising after this pick along with Kyler Gordon at 39th overall. But again, this doesn’t help Justin Fields, making this a good but not very good or elite pick despite the value. Brisker earned three straight 80.0-plus PFF grades from 2019 to 2021. He recorded a couple of interceptions and four pass breakups en route to an 89.5 coverage grade this season. He is a smart player who has a high floor at the next level.”
There’s been a consistent narrative suggesting the Bears haven’t done enough to help Fields this offseason, and there are certainly valid arguments to suggest that’s the case. But a deeper dive into what Poles said this offseason reveals a different story. Chicago is taking significant steps toward helping their young quarterback via a new coaching staff and calculated transactions aimed at building a well-rounded roster. There haven’t been any headline-grabbing signings or draft picks, but those rarely result in consistent success anyway.
A B- for a draft class without a first-round pick isn’t terrible. It seems pretty fair. The Bears deserve credit for flipping six picks into 11, and if half of their choices pan out, the 2022 NFL Draft will be a resounding success.