Chicago Bears: Early two-round NFL 2022 mock draft

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Calvin Austin, III
Chicago Bears (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears need receivers badly

Whether Ryan Pace is here next year or not, I will assume he will still be in charge for the purpose of this mock draft. Therefore, I have them selecting Calvin Austin III from Memphis with the Chicago Bears’ first pick — which is a second-rounder due to the Justin Fields trade.

I know what you are thinking — not another Memphis receiver. Ryan Pace has heavily scouted Memphis players from the day he was hired. Calvin Austin III is a true slot receiver, unlike Anthony Miller, an athlete playing slot receiver. That is the difference between the two players. Miller would freelance and use his athletic ability to get open while Austin III uses route running and speed. Austin III is listed at 5’9″ and 162 pounds. He had 63 catches for 1053 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2020.

Currently, Austin III has 637 yards and seven touchdowns. He projects to run a 4.38 40-yard dash and near a 40-inch vertical leap in next year’s combine. Like Darnell Mooney, Austin III takes pride in his route running over his speed. To paraphrase Austin III, “I ‘d much rather beat my defenders with my feet than run past them with my speed.”

The Chicago Bears would benefit from having a true slot receiver who wants to create separation early in their route. Justin Fields having two receivers with Darnell Mooney’s skillset would significantly improve the offense. While it is appealing to have the Chicago Bears’ track team as receivers, they need to make sure they don’t overly focus on speed over the ability to get open.

Why do I think the Chicago Bear would go with a receiver over addressing the interior offensive line? Easy, the Chicago Bears can bring back some promising guys that they have liked, like either of the two drafted seventh-round picks or the two Norte Dame UDFA’s.

There could be someone in the free agency market that they want. I would assume James Daniels doesn’t walk, and they stick a deal with him. The interior offensive line situation is fluid but can be quickly addressed. The Chicago Bears are going to bring in receivers via free agency. The Bears will bring in many players for many positions, but they will focus fire on specifics that gear towards making Justin Fields the best player he can become during the draft.