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NFL Draft Grades Recap: The Chicago Bears are the Salutatorians of the 2016 Class

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The majority of NFL experts seem to really like what the Chicago Bears did in the 2016 NFL Draft. This coming after general manager Ryan Pace received a bunch of kudos for his initial draft class, it's starting to look like the Bears have a quality scouting staff in place.

Then again, you can't really judge a draft class until 3 years down the road, so all these picks could end up being busts, but so far on paper, it's all good.

Here are some grades and quotes from draft gurus around the net.

"I love the value of Daniel Braverman late. Could be a stud in the slot. Good draft overall," said ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr who gave the Bears an A-.

"No team did more with less over the first two days of the draft than the Bears," according to CBSSports' Rob Rang, "who aggressively moved up to acquire the most explosive edge rusher in the draft in Leonard Floyd, nabbed one of the toughest and most versatile offensive lineman in the country in four-year starter Cody Whitehair in the second and scooped up run-stuffing base end Jonathan Bullard -- who will prove a steal -- in the third." Rang gave the Bears an A-.

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco gave the Bears an A, saying "Fourth-round safety Deon Bush is a great pick. He is a player who can run and can hit."

"Bullard and Kwiatkowski are exactly the right types for the middle of their defense," says Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer, who also gave the Bears an A. He added, "Whitehair is the best guard prospect in this class."

Rotoworld's Evan Silva gave the Bears an A- saying, "In addition to reeling off consistent value picks, Pace attacked needy areas on his roster and stockpiled quality football players who were productive in college." He was a fan of Chicago's new running back too, "A downhill bruiser at 6-foot, 230, it wouldn't shock me if Howard emerged as the Bears' lead ball carrier at some point this year."

Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar said, "Watch out for the sixth-round cornerback Houston-Carson from William & Mary €”the small-school star has what it takes to succeed in the NFL." He gave Chicago a B.

SB Nations's Dan Kadar gave Pace's haul a B+ saying, "Chicago knew its needs in the draft, and targeted them with two trades in the first round rounds." In regards to top pick Leonard Floyd he said, "He's a movable piece who adds athleticism to the defense."

The fellas over at Football Outsiders takes all these grades then figures out the GPA, and the Bears checked in at 2nd overall behind the Jacksonville Jaguars' 3.71. Here's what FO had to say about the class.

2. Chicago Bears
GPA: 3.63
Highest Grade:
A (Prisco, Iyer)
Lowest Grade: B (Farrar)
Comments: When John Fox and Ryan Pace took over last year, arguably their top priority was overhauling a defense built for a static 4-3 Tampa-2 scheme to better align with Vic Fangio's hybrid 3-4 concepts. This draft may be seen as the turning point in that rebuild, as the Bears earned praise for a trenches-heavy class which included five defensive additions. Both Prisco and Iyer believed that Leonard Floyd and Jonathan Bullard could become foundational front seven players, while Day 3 safeties Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson could push for starting roles in the secondary. Farrar thought the Bears reached a bit for Floyd in trading up to pick No. 9, but compensated through their work in the later rounds.

Last year, in Pace's initial draft class, FO had Chicago's GPA at a 3.03, good for 7th overall.

What are your thoughts on Pace through 2 drafts?