The Chicago Bears must draft multiple offensive linemen in 2021
Again, it is difficult to know what draft picks the Chicago Bears will be giving up to obtain Carson Wentz. If a first-round pick is involved, I hope that it is a future (2022) draft pick and not the 20th overall. Let’s take a look at those “if-then” statements now, shall we?
If the 20th-overall pick is involved
If the Chicago Bears were to send the 20th-overall pick in a trade for Carson Wentz and not receive a 2021 second or third in return, this means the Chicago Bears will have a hard time cutting Charles Leno this offseason. Cutting Leno saves the team at least $6.2 million in 2021. That number jumps up to $9 million if designated as a post-June first cut. Without the 20th-overall pick though, the team will struggle to replace both Leno and Bobby Massie in the draft.
The Chicago Bears can still find a solid offensive lineman in the second round and an instant starter. Dillon Radunz, Alex Leatherwood, Jackson Carmen or Walker Little are names to look at in the second round should Ryan Pace not trade up for Tevin Jenkins or Liam Eichenberg should one fall far enough. Leno will probably stay on the left side as the rookie starts on the right side. Again, without a first-round pick, the team will struggle to replace both sides in the draft.
If a future first-round pick (or any future pick) is involved
In this case, say goodbye to Charles Leno. Use the savings to bring in a cheaper veteran to compete on the right side and draft a replacement left tackle in the first round. The same names discussed above will be in play in the second round. However, the team can now land the likes of Christian Darrisaw, Jaylen Mayfield, Samuel Cosmi, or Rashawn Slater with the 20th-overall pick. Any of these four projects to be an upgrade over Charles Leno.
If the 52nd-overall pick is involved instead of the 20th-overall pick
If this situation were to come true, Charles Leno should still be cut for more salary-cap savings. The team can draft one of the aforementioned linemen with the 20th-overall pick. Then the team can add a veteran to take over for Bobby Massie on the right side. Some names to look into would be Joe Haeg, Daryl Williams, Kelvin Benjamin or even bringing back Germain Ifedi and/or Jason Spriggs.
No matter which of these three situations occur, the team must draft more than one offensive tackle. Landing two offensive tackles with the team’s first and second-round picks would be ideal. If the team lost one in the Carson Wentz trade, then looking in the mid to late-rounds is an absolute must. Brady Christensen, Robert Hainsey, Adrian Ealy and Cole Van Lanen could be options.