The Chicago Bears had an eventful second day of the 2022 NFL Draft. General Manager Ryan Poles bolstered the secondary with the selections of cornerback Kyler Gordon (Washington) and safety Jaquan Brisker (Penn State) in the second round and gave quarterback Justin Fields an exciting offensive weapon in wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. (Tennessee) with the Bears’ third-round pick.
It’s a surprising second- and third-round haul for the Bears. Few draft analysts had a combination like Gordon and Brisker going to Chicago in mock drafts, and Jones was viewed more as a day-three player than a top-75 prospect. But the NFL draft is inherently an inexact science, and judgment should be reserved until we see these guys hit the field.
The good news for Bears fans who are disappointed with the early returns in the 2022 NFL Draft is that Chicago still has three selections remaining: two in the fifth round and one in the sixth round. On Saturday, their first choice comes at No. 148, and they’ll be back on the clock in a hurry at No. 150. The Bears’ final selection of the NFL draft is No. 186, barring a trade by Poles to acquire more picks.
Remember: outstanding players slip into this portion of the draft. Wide receiver Darnell Mooney was the 173rd player selected in 2020; he’s become a cornerstone player on Chicago’s offense after two seasons.
Here are some of the best available players Poles can choose from once the Bears are back on the clock.
Daniele Faalele, OT, Minnesota
Faalele’s slide into day three is surprising. He’s a mountain of a man — literally — and offers, at worst, value as an average starter at right tackle. He doesn’t project as a player who can kick inside, however. If Poles is searching for competition at offensive tackle on day three, Faalele is a logical target.
Perrion Winfrey, DL, Oklahoma
I don’t know how or why Winfrey is still on the board. Perhaps there’s a medical or off-field issue that hasn’t been shared publicly, but at this point in the draft, Winfrey represents incredible value. He was a consistent name in first-round mock drafts as recently as last month. With the Bears’ need to add more depth at three-technique, Winfrey makes too much sense.
Jamaree Salyer, iOL, Georgia
Salyer’s slide is likely due to his lack of one true position in the NFL. Is he a guard? Can he play tackle? I think both questions are answered in the affirmative, making him one of the best offensive line values remaining on the board. He’d be a plug-and-play starter for the Bears at right guard.
Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State
Shakir is a day-two talent whose slide into the third day is likely due to the run on wide receivers in the first and early second round. He profiles as a dynamic slot receiver who wins with a quick and twitchy release into his route. If the Bears land Shakir in the fifth round, a draft class of Shakir and Jones Jr. is a great haul, regardless of which round they were picked in.
Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada
Doubs, like Shakir, is more talented than his eventual draft slot will suggest. Unlike Shakir, Doubs is an outside receiver who can make plays downfield on vertical routes. There isn’t anything special about his game, which is probably why he’s sliding. But as a day-three pick? The Bears could do a lot worse.
Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers
If any wide receiver who’s still on the board has a chance to be this year’s Mooney, it’s Melton. He possesses electric athleticism and is going to play for a very long time in the NFL. He was one of the best athletes at wide receiver at the NFL Combine, and had he played his college football at an SEC school, he would’ve been a second-round pick.
Darian Kinnard, iOL, Kentucky
I’m not sure Kinnard fits what the Bears want from their interior offensive linemen, but Kinnard has positional versatility like Salyer (who also doesn’t have the most athletic profile). Kinnard played right tackle for Kentucky in 2021, but his heavy feet and bully style of play project him as a guard moving forward. The Bears need one; maybe it’ll be Kinnard.
Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
Do the Bears need a tight end? No, not really. But Likely has the pass-catching skill set that none of the tight ends on Chicago’s roster have. Perhaps Jesper Horsted is the closest stylistically, but Likely is more explosive and plays the position like a jumbo wide receiver. He’d be worth a long look if he’s hanging around in the sixth round.