1.14: Jackson Powers Johnson, Center - Oregon
The Pro Football Focus (PFF) mock draft simulator felt this next pick was a reach. Two draft picks netted me a C- grade and one F. The rest of the draft picks were B- and above. Ryan Poles returns to the trenches and fixes the most glaring issue on the roster. The big athletic center from Oregon is a Darnell Wright draft selection with the #14 overall selection.
What I mean by that is, do a mock draft in late January, select Darnell Wright with the #10 overall selection, and watch the simulator not like that pick. Everybody knew tackle was a need for the Chicago Bears, and Ryan Poles attacked that position. Poles would do it again here with Jackson Powers Johnson. Would JPJ be available later in the draft? Maybe, but Poles didn't risk it with Wright; he wouldn't do the same with his center of the future.
The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs believe in smart, great play from their centers. The Chicago Bears thought they might have had that from Lucas Patrick, but he wasn't the answer. Poles has a chance to have a guy who could thrive from day one and become one of those names if he stays healthy. JPJ dominated everybody he faced. He will likely do this at the senior bowl and impress more than the Chicago Bears staff. If the quarterback is the most important player on the field, the guy directly in front of him is very important.