Ahead of the NFL draft, the overwhelming consensus from experts around the league was that the Chicago Bears needed to address the wide receiver position early in the draft.
After all, the Bears have a hopeful franchise quarterback in Justin Fields entering his second season, and there was no proven talent at receiver outside of Darnell Mooney.
But general manager Ryan Poles shocked everyone when he used not one, but both second-round picks on defense — in cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker — much to the displeasure of Bears fans. Not because Gordon and Brisker aren’t good players but because once again the focus didn’t appear to be on helping Fields.
So why didn’t Poles use one of those second-round picks to land someone like a George Pickens or Skyy Moore?
Ultimately, Poles wasn’t going to reach on a wide receiver in the second round. Instead, he found two immediate starters in the secondary.
“It comes down to the board and where guys are valued,” Poles said, via The Athletic. “And … where we sat, there were two good starting-level defensive players, and I would have made a huge mistake for this organization to say, ‘Let’s leave them there; let someone else take them,’ and we’re going to go to offense where they’re not on the same level. And then you’re kicking yourself a year or two later when that guy’s an All-Pro.”
The Bears circled back around in the third round to select Tennessee wide receiver Velus Jones Jr., who has the kind of speed that could make him dangerous in Luke Getsy’s offense. But he’s far from a proven commodity, even at the collegiate level, and Jones figures to serve the WR3 role behind Mooney and Byron Pringle.
After an uninspired offseason, Chicago could certainly circle back around in this current free agent pool, where there are still some intriguing names on the market.
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