Grading every Bears pick in the 2022 NFL draft

The Chicago Bears welcomed 11 new players to their roster this weekend during the 2022 NFL draft, including two players who project to serve as immediate starters in cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker.

While it’s far too early to start evaluating general manager Ryan Poles’ first draft class before they’ve even hit the field, we’re taking an early look at this 2022 draft class, which includes four offensive linemen, three defensive backs, one wide receiver, one edge rusher, one running back and one punter.

Here’s a round-up of all of our grades for each of the Bears’ 11 selections in the 2022 NFL draft.

Round 2, Pick 39: CB Kyler Gordon, Washington

Gordon is a versatile cornerback, where he has experience playing both on the outside and in the slot. Still, Gordon figures to serve as a starter alongside Johnson on the outside, where he has the potential to become a lockdown corner at the NFL level. With Johnson and Gordon, Chicago has two potential lockdown corners who will make things difficult on opposing offenses. Gordon will have an opportunity to start right away opposite Johnson giving Chicago has a pair of young, former Pac-12 corners to anchor the outside for the foreseeable future. – Alyssa Barbieri

Grade: A-

Round 2, Pick 48: S Jaquan Brisker, Penn State

Safety was a need heading into the NFL draft considering Eddie Jackson, Dane Cruikshank and DeAndre Houston-Carson were the only safeties on the roster. While Jackson is locked in at starter, there was a question about who would start opposite him. And it’s fair to say that Brisker is a favorite to start immediately. Brisker is an instinctive athlete with a nice combination of size, speed and strength and he can certainly develop into a playmaker in the defensive backfield for Chicago. When all is said and done, he might just be the best player in this Bears draft class. – Alyssa Barbieri

Grade: B +

Round 3, Pick 71: WR Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee

Jones projects as a WR3 for the Bears behind Mooney and Pringle. He’s a developmental prospect at receiver, but he’s certainly got an intriguing skillset to work with. He also figures to contribute on special teams in the return game, where his speed and explosiveness can help with field position. There’s certainly potential with Jones, who’s the best yards-after-the-catch receiver in this draft class. But it might have been a reach on Chicago’s part to select him with the seventh pick in the third round. – Alyssa Barbieri

Grade: C

Round 5, Pick 168: OT Braxton Jones, Southern Utah

Jones was a three-year starter with great rush blocking abilities. The Bears have improved their running game over the last two seasons but have struggled consistently to find success on the offensive line. As Chicago looks to build around Justin Fields, this draft choice is a step in the right direction. With the young talent drafted last season on the offensive line, it’ll be interesting to see where Jones fits going into training camp. Whether he ends up starting as an offensive tackle or is moved around, expect to see Jones on the field next season. Jones isn’t a depth player, this is an offensive tackle with solid footwork and a mean streak that should get fans excited about this draft choice. – Ryan Fedrau

Grade: A

Round 5, Pick 174: EDGE Dominique Robinson, Miami (OH)

There’s certainly a lot to like about this pick. Robinson is 6-foot-4, 276 pounds, and ran a 4.72 40-yard dash. His 40-yard dash time was .02 seconds faster than second overall pick Aidan Hutchinson. But the most attractive part is that Robinson has only played on defense at a high level for two seasons. There’s a lot of room for growth, and he potentially could have been a higher draft choice if he played on defense longer. This is a big swing, but Ryan Poles might have just hit a home run. – Ryan Fedrau

Grade: A-

Round 6, Pick 186: OT Zach Thomas, San Diego State

The versatility Thomas brings is exciting, due to his ability to play three positions. He played 17 games at right tackle, 14 at left tackle, and two games at right guard. Thomas fires off the ball and helps the running game with his skillset. Some weaknesses scouts saw him over-extend as a pass blocker. That can be worked on over the next few seasons, though. Many scouts expect Thomas to be a depth offensive lineman / special teams player, and he projects to serve as a guard at the NFL level. His versatility will be his benefit throughout his Bears career. While he’ll likely make the transition to guard, it certainly doesn’t hurt having extensive experience at the tackle position. – Ryan Fedrau

Grade: C +

Round 6, Pick 203: RB Trestan Ebner, Baylor

Ebner found success in both the passing and running game throughout his five seasons at Baylor. At 5-foot-11, 215-pounds, Ebner rushed for 1,690 yards and 9 touchdowns in college. He added to that with 127 catches for 1,515 yards and 11 touchdowns. Alongside that, he returned kicks and punts in his final two seasons at Baylor. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Ebner ran a 4.48 40-yard dash. That continues the new-era of speedy Bears they’ve brought on over the last few drafts. Drafting Ebner was the correct decision, as he fills that return man hole Chicago has. If needed, he could come in and be a depth running back at times. – Ryan Fedrau

Grade: A-

Round 6, Pick 207: OL Doug Kramer, Illinois

Though Kramer was projected to be anywhere from a late-round Day 3 pick to an undrafted free agent, he will help bring depth to the interior offensive line. Whether he is just an extra player for training camp or earns a spot on the roster is yet to be seen. Kramer comes in at 6-foot-2, 305-pounds. He has good size for the position and scouts like his attitude, as he plays through the whistle. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Kramer. He has the chance to shock a lot of scouts and earn a spot on the 53-man roster. The ability to be an NFL-caliber lineman has been shown, it’s just been inconsistent. – Ryan Fedrau

Grade: C-

Round 7, Pick 226: OL Ja’Tyre Carter, Southern

Carter is an interesting draft choice with little risk. The Bears were stocking up on offensive linemen, to hopefully find one or two diamonds in this year’s draft. Even if they found one long-term starter, they’ve added some depth for the foreseeable future. At 6-foot-5, 275-pounds, Carter has good size for the tackle position. The low risk benefits the Bears, as they’ve found a potential well-rounded offensive lineman, who can fill in when needed. – Ryan Fedrau

Grade: B +

Round 7, Pick 254: S Elijah Hicks California

There’s a lot to like when it comes to Hicks. He transitions well in coverage, which helps cause pass deflections and puts him in the right spots to create turnovers. Scouts see him as a well-disciplined safety but a player who isn’t afraid to get physical. The fun part is to see how his game translates over to the NFL. As a player picked up late in the draft, it’s questionable to see where he ends up. Chicago needs help in the secondary, but will Hicks be an answer? – Ryan Fedrau

Grade: A-

Round 7, Pick 255: P Trenton Gill, NC State

After losing Pat O’Donnell this offseason to Green Bay, many questions surrounded their next move at punter. Chicago does have Ryan Winslow on the roster, where Gill will likely compete with Winslow for the job. A worry with Gill would be as a holder. The success we saw between Cairo Santos and O’Donnell broke franchise records. Not only is Gill going to be important as a punter, but he will also have one of the most important jobs on special teams as a holder. The second worry is his inconsistent distance on punts. Despite all of the unknowns with Gill, he will improve as his career starts and continues. This is a good draft pick by Poles and fills an important need for the Bears. – Ryan Fedrau

Grade: B +

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