The report card is in for the Bears 2019 draft class, and Ryan Pace was not a straight-A student this year.
He didn’t have a lot of capital to work with, and he stuck with his best player available strategy as he double dipped at multiple positions.
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper gave the Bears a B-plus, crediting them for the Khalil Mack trade as part of the draft class.
“It's tough to get a complete handle on a class with only five picks, but when one of those counts as the most dominant edge rusher in the game, we'll give them a slight pass,” Kiper wrote. “What keeps this from an ‘A’ for me is not getting a safety. But maybe they think Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who got a one-year deal this offseason, is the long-term answer.”
NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter did opt for the “A” with some love for fourth-round pick Riley Ridley and Mack.
They seemed to like the picks Chicago did make, but they didn’t give draft credit for the trades.
Pro Football Focus didn’t use letter grades for their draft class evaluations, instead giving the Bears an “average” designation for their five picks despite being high on Ridley and David Montgomery.
It was a challenge for Pace to extract value out of a limited draft class, but his first two picks in 2019 seem to be universally liked, even if the draft grades don’t reflect it.