Chicago Bears Final Draft Grade

Chicago Bears (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

How would you grade the Chicago Bears 2019 NFL draft?

Yes, I know post-draft grades are meaningless. In reality, these decisions should not be looked at and judged for at least three more years. Still, it is worth looking into the decision making process. The NFL Draft is one of the few times a year when an NFL team has to be honest, and we get a peek into what they were seeing or thinking.

With that in mind, we will grade the decision making of these picks.

David Montgomery

It has to be worth noting that the team traded up for David Montgomery. Still, at the same time, it was likely worth it. We all knew this team had running back on their mind. When Darrell Henderson got drafted, the team immediately traded up, knowing there was no more time to waste.

That is because Montgomery was the drop off from a  huge tier of backs. Most would agree the top four backs in this class were Henderson, Miles Sanders, Josh Jacobs and Montgomery. When the first three were off of the board, the Bears knew it was either trade for Montgomery or embrace a consolation prize. We all know that I am happy they did not decide on Devin Singletary, and the urgency to get Montgomery so that they were not left with him makes sense.

Riley Ridley

The Chicago Bears had pre-draft interest in Ridley and he still came off a surprise. Still, this shows that Ryan Pace will always draft best player available and he identified Ridley as that. The Bears have consistently praised his route running ability as well as a long catch radius.

Ridley will be interesting to watch, because while he played in a run first offense, he was also behind Javon Wims on the Georgia depth chart. Can he beat out Wins this time around?

Duke Shelley

Ridley was not a surprise in name, but was a surprise in position. Shelley was not a surprise in position but is a major surprise in name. Not many knew of Duke Shelley. He is an undersized slot cornerback who played through a toe injury last year, which caused him to fall down draft boards. Ryan Pace met with a lot of cornerbacks, and seems to think a healthy Shelley is the best. At the least, they hit an area of need with depth.

Kerrith Whyte

If the Bears were going to take an FAU back, I am glad it is this one. Whyte may not have  ceiling of Montgomery or even Tarik Cohen, but he is fast and can make plays with the ball in his hands. Screens, reverses, passes and kick offs all have the potential to turn into big plays with Whyte. Matt  Nagy is foaming at the mouth with the speed, versatility and big plays of Whyte.

Stephen Denmark

Yes, the Bears drafted two cornerbacks. However, Denmark and Shelley could not be more different. Shelley is a refined slot player with limited upside. Denmark is a raw outside option with all of the upside in the world. He will spend at least one year on the practice squad, but his upside in undeniable.


The elephant in the room was the running back, and they hit that area hard. They did not get flash in Montgomery, but added flash behind him in Whyte. Shelley hit a huge need, and while Ridley was a luxury pick, they seem to love the player.

Still, they did not address pass rush, and waited until UDFA to hit their offensive line, and these two positions move to the forefront of conversations.

Grade: C-