3. Jonathan Bullard, Defensive Line, Florida
Bullard did not get off to as hot of a start as the first two picks. However, as the season went on he began to see time. The issue with Bullard has not been his skill, but his game acumen. Bullard is known to bust a play up in the backfield. He is also known to mistime and misjudge plays that result in whiffs on his part. With an injured defensive line the Bears rotated Cornelius Washington and Mitch Unrein over Bullard for most of the season. Washington is gone, and Bullard will have to be able to beat a guy like Unrein out for rotational snaps if he wants to establish a long career in Chicago. Time will tell if he can.
4. Nick Kwiatkowski, Linebacker, WVU
The Vic Fangio defense is predicated on talent at middle linebacker. This showed as the team immediately signed Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman last season before trading up for Kwiatkowski. The Bears used a pick that they had acquired while trading down in the second round, along with a pick they
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acquired for trading Jared Allen to the Panthers to move up and select the linebacker from West Virginia. The two picks the Bears gave away turned into wide receivers Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas. Neither has made an impact in the NFL yet.
Kwiatkowski wound up playing 457 snaps and starting seven games last season. The injury to Danny Trevathan thrust him into the lineup, and he proved capable of stepping into those shoes. Kwiatkowski was not great, but he was efficient and showed a ceiling that could be starter caliber play. At the worst the Bears now have the depth that hasn’t been with the team in years, making this an acceptable pick.
4. Deon Bush, S, Miami
The fourth round selection that led to Deon Bush was acquired as the Bears traded down in the second round. That trade turned into Jarran Reed for Cody Whitehair and Deon Bush.
Bush saw some time last season, starting in six games, but it was not pretty. Bush is supposed to be a centerfield type of safety, but he showed lapses and misunderstanding in coverage throughout his rookie season. There is still an upside to Bush, and he does seem to have the talent to take on the role. The hope will be that his understanding can grow from season to season as he now has to try to stand out in a jampacked safety group.
4. Deiondre’ Hall, DB, Northern Iowa
The Bears third fourth-round pick came from the trade of Martellus Bennett. Hall has only appeared in eight games, but this looks to be the big loss of the Bears draft. On one side, Bennett ended up being a key producer on a Super Bowl winning team. On the other, Hall hardly saw the field and may be changing positions from safety to cornerback. He has the size and ability to play but how he will transition is a complete mystery.
5. Jordan Howard, Running back, Indiana
Howard puts what looks to be a promising draft class over the top. As a rookie, Howard was arguably the top rookie in the entire class. He only started 13 games but in those tallied over 1,300 yards. Howard has clearly won the starting running back job, and with a new center in place from this class should lead a run-first offense in 2016. Howard will be competing for the rushing title this season, and to get that in the fifth round is a major hit and the best draft addition of the past decade.