Grading Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles first draft class after their rookie season

Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

At every checkpoint this season we have been looking into the Chicago Bears draft class. Since we are grading the first season of Ryan Poles right now, it is the perfect time to check back in on those grades, and give our final letters for the season.

Chicago Bears CB Kyler Gordon:
Quarter Grade: D, Halfway Grade: C, 3/4 grade: C-, Final Grade: D+

Kyler Gordon had an up-and-down season. Injuries may have contributed, but it also ended on a bit of a downswing. His best play was not towards the end and he was not afforded the chance to turn things around.

Overall, there is guarded optimism with Gordon. There is an upside that he will be better, but the question is that his first year was not what they wanted.

Jaquan Brisker:
Quarter Grade: B+, Halfway Grade: A, 3/4 Grade: A, Final Grade: B+

There is no other way to put it other than Brisker hit a rookie wall to finish the season. He was dealing with injuries, he was fighting to stay on the field, and his worst play came at the end of the season. His year was fine overall, but his upside may be a bit capped, and his season was not quite strong enough from start to finish to give it an A.

Velus Jones:
Quarter Grade: C-, Halfway Grade: D-, 3/4 Grade: D, Final Grade: D

Velus Jones did Improve during the final stretch of the season. Still, that was a couple of catches past the line of scrimmage and a long run. We cannot be celebrating catches past the line of scrimmage as major progress and have faith in that player. The final stretch kept it from being an F, but it is still hard to see where he fits into the plans beyond special teams.

Braxton Jones:
Quarter Grade: B, Halfway Grade: C-, 3/4 Grade: C+, Final Grade: B+

Braxton Jones finished the season strong. He hit some lulls in between, as shown in our grades, but after the halfway point it was rather positive. Of course, he still had his issues, and every one was bad against Detroit. Still, he started every game and played every snap, which is a rare feat for any rookie, let alone a rookie taken this late. This should ensure he is a starter next year. Even an average starter at left tackle is a great pick for a fifth-rounder.

Dominique Robinson:
Quarter Grade: B, Halfway Grade: C+, 3/4 Grade: C+, Final Grade: C-

On the flip side of Jones, Robinson saw his grade slip from the start to the finish. At first, we were grading strong on a curve realizing he was supposed to be in a red-shirt role. Still, he was contributing. The issue is that without Robert Quinn, all of the rushers needed to step up, and not a single one did.

Robinson started to get exposed as a rusher with no moves. Then, you started to see him hit the rookie wall. He played hard, but he is so raw, and there are questions about if he can be more than a fourth rusher in this league.

Zachary Thomas:
Quarter Grade: F, Halfway Grade: F

Zachary Thomas is now on the Rams.

Trestan Ebner
Quarter Grade: B-, Halfway Grade: B, 3/4 Grade: D, Final Grade: D

If there is anything positive to take away, it is that Ebner was active over Darrynton Evans. It signals that the team will not be bringing Evans back, and Ebner should be locked into the passing down-back role. With Khalil Herbert having weaknesses as a pass catcher, there is a chance that is a real role. It depends on who the other back is that they add in free agency or the draft.

Doug Kramer: INC

Ja’Tyre Carter
Quarter Grade: D, Halfway Grade: D, 3/4 Grade: D, Final Grade: D

Ja’Tyre Carter got onto the field in week 18, but those were his only snaps. Otherwise, he was inactive.

Elijah Hicks
Quarter Grade: C, Halfway Grade: B, 3/4 grade: A-, Final Grade: B+

Elijah Hicks started in two games and saw a role in four games. He was a special teams contributor and should be a lock to be depth on the Chicago Bears for years to come. He may not be a starter, but he clearly has a role.

Next. 6 winners from the 2022 season. dark

Trenton Gill
Quarter Grade: A, Halfway Grade: A, 3/4 Grade: A, Final Grade: A

This one is pretty easy to judge, Trenton Gill has been a solid punter.