I've had rookies appear on my 10 Most Important Chicago Bears series in the past, but not that often. In the 6 previous lists I've compiled, I've only had 2 rookies pop up. Last offseason I had Kyle Fuller at #9 and in 2011 Gabe Carimi shared #2 with a tackle that shall not be named.
In my opinion it's just not fair to expect a 1st year pro to step in and be a major contributor. The Bears needed Carimi to stabilize the tackle position in 2011 and Fuller was in the plans as a sub package corner from the start of OTAs last year.
This year's draft landed a top talent in Kevin White, who figures to be either a starter or the 1st wide out off the bench. But Chicago's offense wasn't in need of a complete rebuild like their D was.
Enter 2nd round draft pick Eddie Goldman.
So far this offseason, the Bears have been running out a starting d-line consisting of the unproven and new to defensive end Ego Ferguson at one DE spot, the soon to be 34 year old Jeremiah Ratliff at nose tackle, and newcomer Jarvis Jenkins, who has never been considered good, is at the other DE spot.
The Bears would obviously love it if the 6'4", 336 pound Goldman can win a starting spot, but if they decide to bring him along slowly, he has to be able to back up at both DE and NT. Goldman was drafted to be a featured part of Vic Fangio's 3-4 defense and he has the strength to anchor the line from the nose or at defensive end.
If Goldman proves worthy, that allows Chicago to move Ferguson and Ratliff around a little bit. It gives Fangio a mammoth run plugger to eat up blockers, which will give his linebackers more freedom.
Plus new general manager Ryan Pace needs a couple home runs in his first draft. Kevin White will be an integral part of the offense, because at the very least he brings a speed element to the table, but the Bears need Eddie Goldman to make an impact.