Looking at their five selections, it’s apparent that general manager Ryan Pace drafted with the future in mind. Rather than sticking to his typically conservative drafting methods, Pace’s selections are mostly made up of boom-or-bust prospects. Three of his five picks come from small schools, so a sharp learning curve is likely.
This approach means that the Bears likely won't see much production out of their rookies right away. It bears saying, then, that these predictions don’t necessarily mean that I hate this year’s class.
Chicago’s draft class could end up looking great in the future. For now, though, let's take a look at how each Bears rookie might do this year.
(Note: G=games played, GS=games started)
Mitch Trubisky, QB
Projected Stats: 16 G, 3 GS, 637 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, 1 interception
Bears quarterback Mike Glennon repeatedly stressed the fact that 2017 is his year, which is a statement with a lot of merit. After all, the team did sign him with the intent of making him the starter this year. Because of this, don't expect first-round pick Mitch Trubisky to see a whole lot of playing time.
The North Carolina alum will likely find most of his rookie snaps in garbage-time situations. However, the Bears may very well end up starting him a handful of times. If Glennon goes down with an injury or stinks up the joint, then Trubisky will likely get his fair share of starts.
Despite that, though, it’s best not to get your hopes up that Trubisky has a stellar rookie campaign. Expect his talent to be showcased in flashes, if at all.
Adam Shaheen, TE
Projected Stats: 15 G, 1 GS, 28 receptions, 368 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns
The Bears picked Adam Shaheen with the intent of making him a dangerous weapon in the future. The key phrase in that sentence? In the future.
The Chipotle-fueled mammoth of a man has nearly all of the physical tools teams look for in their tight ends. He’s huge (6’6”, 278 pounds), strong, fast and can catch the ball very well. However, he wasn’t anything special as a blocker. Considering his size and the fact that he played at a Division II school, that’s worrisome. He’s pretty raw as a route runner, as well.
Shaheen will have his moments this year. He will likely steal a few red-zone targets and have a big play here and there. It’s unlikely he’ll make an impact on Day 1, though.
Eddie Jackson, S
Projected Stats: 11 G, 6 GS, 38 tackles, 2 interceptions
Early in the 2017 NFL Draft process, many saw Eddie Jackson as a top-40 overall prospect. His stock eventually fell due to a fractured leg suffered in October of last year, though. Luckily for the Bears, he fell right into their lap.
The fourth-round pick will be thrown right into the fray to compete for a starting safety spot alongside Quintin Demps. While Adrian Amos will likely be the starter to begin the season, don’t be surprised if Jackson takes his spot - especially if he returns to his junior-year form.
Tarik Cohen, RB
Projected Stats: 15 G, 58 carries, 278 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 17 receptions, 147 receiving yards
Tarik Cohen likely won’t develop into a starter for the Bears, but that’s not why they chose him. They chose him to be the speedy, change-of-pace back that their roster had been lacking. With his size (or lack, thereof), speed and shiftiness, he could end up carving a Darren Sproles-like role in Chicago’s backfield.
These numbers wouldn’t blow anyone away, but they would be helpful nonetheless. The Bears could use him to startle defenses after getting mauled by Jordan Howard’s ground-and-pound style of running. Cohen will likely show a little bit of receiving value this year, as well.
Jordan Morgan, OG
Projected Stats: 16 G
Offensive linemen don’t really have much in the way of stats, do they?
Regardless of the stat book’s disrespect for the big men in the trenches, Jordan Morgan will serve as a solid depth piece for the Bears. He will likely get a solid amount of playing time, but probably won’t start unless both Kyle Long and Josh Sitton get hurt. Morgan will use this season as a developmental season as he jumps from Division II to the NFL.