The NFL Draft began last night, on prime time, because there is simply no better way to spend a Friday night than watching a glorified roll call on national television. The pageantry! Roger Goodell's best impression of a human smile! That cameo from that country artist that's popular in Nashville! There was truly something for everyone, and by everyone I mean NFL fans in the Nashville metropolitan area that had PTO to burn and Jason Aldean's discography on their phones.
There *was* one thing missing from last night's ... whatever last night was: a Bears first-round pick.
You may recall, of course, that while you were trying to enjoy a warm weekend last Labor Day, the Bears traded for Khalil Mack. Specifically, Jon Gruden traded Khalil Mack. (I will drive that joke into the ground if it's the last thing I do.)
What followed was another Pro-Bowl calliber season from an elite player at football's 2nd most important position, along with a Bears return to relevancy that ended all-too-abruptly with not just one doink, but two.
Now because it's the NFL, there was always going to be a price to pay for the newfound success, national exposure, respect, etc. We learned what that price was on Friday night, when Jon Gruden -- who traded Khalil Mack -- used the 24th overall pick to draft *checks notes* a running back! And that's AFTER taking the 3rd-best Clemson defensive lineman with the 4th overall pick, but I digress.
Since content creation is a closed-time loop that we're all hopelessly stuck in, it should come as no surprise to anyone that all your daily newsletters were filled with Round 1 grades this morning. What MIGHT surprise you is that NFL.com -- I'll repeat: NFL.COM -- gave the Bears, who remember, did not actually pick last night, the BEST GRADE OF THE NIGHT:
Day 1 grade: A
Draft analysis: Khalil Mack was 100 percent worthy of the Bears' interest. He played lights-out in 2018 and I suspect will be a force over the next few seasons, barring injury (which was a bit of a concern last year). There's no question he was worth giving up their 2019 first- and sixth-round picks, as well as the 2020 third-round pick as a sweetener. And parting with a 2020 first-round pick and swapping second-round picks with the Raiders next year may only be a minimal loss for the Bears if they are a playoff team and Oakland does not greatly exceed its win total from last season.
The semantics that should be addressed are as followed: 18 teams got A grades. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to do their jobs, but as someone who (proudly) went to state college I can confidently say that if everyone got an A, the teacher was just busy with something else that night.
The Bears were also not the only team without a pick that got an A. The Browns and Cowboys did as well. Drafting is good, but turns out trading for bonafide All-Pros is also good? Huh.
Anyways, good for the Bears! First Ryan Pace finds two All-Pros in the 4th round, and now he's getting the NFL to give him A's for classes he didn't even show up to.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.