Get used to the Bears being connected to just about all of the top tight end prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft as the mock-draft season kicks into high gear.
The latest mock draft from the Draft Wire is no exception. In this two-rounder, the Bears snag Washington tight end Hunter Bryant at No. 43 overall.
Here's how Bryant's game profiles, via The Draft Network's scouting report:
Hunter Bryant should be a dynamic receiving threat at the NFL level. Bryant brings excellent quickness, run after catch skills and versatility to a flex tight end role. Plugging Bryant into a traditional inline role will water down his receiving skills — he's best working off the LOS or as a flexed slot receiver who can serve as a H/W/S mismatch for opposing defenders. If Bryant it put in such a flex role, look for early production and long-term starter status in the pros.
Sure sounds like the kind of player the Bears could use in the passing game, where the entire tight end depth chart combined for just 44 catches last season. Trey Burton led the way with 14. It was a brutal year at the position.
Naturally, adding a playmaker who can expand Matt Nagy's playcalling toolbox is a critical 'must' for Ryan Pace this offseason, and a prospect like Bryant could be an ideal fit.
In Round 2 of this mock draft, the Bears add Ohio State linebacker Malik Harrison. Like tight end, linebacker will be an area of need depending on what happens with free agents Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski. It's likely that one of them will return, but even with Trevathan or Kwiatkoski back in the fold, the Bears have to add depth behind the starters. Will they address that need as early as the second round? Probably not, especially with pressing needs along the offensive line and in the defensive backfield.
If, however, Harrison does end up being the pick, the Bears would be getting a strong run defender who doesn't project as an every-down player at this point in his evaluation. He's likely to slide into the third round, if not later.