Giving new grades to the Chicago Bears 2015 NFL Draft class

Chicago Bears - Syndication: Cincinnati
Chicago Bears - Syndication: Cincinnati /
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Chicago Bears, Kevin White
Chicago Bears – Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears selected Kevin White with their first-round pick in 2015

The Chicago Bears were coming off a historically bad season in 2014. Ownership decided to shift gears and moved on from Phil Emery and Marc Trestman. They hired Ryan Pace and John Fox to hopefully bring the Bears back to relevance. Well, 2015 did not go as planned as the team finished 6-10 and last in the NFC North. The Bears’ first-round draft pick in 2015 did not help Pace’s cause.

Due to a 5-11 season under Trestman, the Chicago Bears held the seventh-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Many were hoping to see one of two players drafted and both were wide receivers. Amari Cooper was the top option, but he did not fall to seven as the Raiders selected him fourth overall. I was hoping Ryan Poles would have corrected that wrong this year by trading for Cooper. Instead, the Browns grabbed Cooper in a trade and all it took was a fifth-rounder.

Ryan Pace went with the second wide receiver on most people’s draft boards — Kevin White. White was considered to be a one-year wonder though and many feared he was too raw to make an immediate impact in the NFL.

White’s NFL career did not go as planned and most of the blame is on his injuries — injuries that took place throughout his entire career. They started his rookie season with a stress fracture in his left tibia that kept him off the field all year. The Chicago Bears tried to delay surgery and that backfired. Had White had the surgery in the offseason, it’s possible he saw the field in 2015. Instead, he missed his entire rookie season.

2016 started to look better for white. He actually caught six balls for 62 yards in Week 3 and it almost felt as though Chicago Bears fans were finally seeing what White could become. Unfortunately, in Week 4 White suffered a high ankle sprain and fractured fibula that ended his season. Again. 2017 was not any different — broken collarbone. Then in 2018, Ryan Pace revamped the wide receiver group with Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel.

White’s career in Chicago was done. In fact, his NFL career has basically been done since then too.  He is on the Saints roster currently. He had one catch for 38 yards with the Saints last season and didn’t catch any passes for the 49ers in 2020. Don’t expect White to turn his career around. He should be happy he’s still in the league at this point. I won’t give the draft pick an F grade only because injuries happened after he was drafted, but hindsight says this pick was awful.

NFL Draft Grade: D