After taking an impact defensive player in the first round, general manager Ryan Pace and the Bears brass has shifted gears to the offense. With some serious talent on the board, Chicago stuck to their guns and drafted Iowa center James Daniels at No. 39 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
On the surface this seems like a curious decision, but bear in mind that Cody Whitehair was originally drafted to be the left guard. This allows him to slide over to that spot, while the Bears continue to bring along last year’s fifth round pick, Jordan Morgan.
The big picture here is that the Bears likely view Kyle Long as a player that they feel comfortable moving on from after this season. That’s the vibe I get from this pick. That said, Daniels is a good player at a position of need.
Let’s grade the Bears’ selection of Daniels at No. 39 overall.
This was a position of need, and you take one of the best interior offensive linemen in this draft class. That for me earns a B. The biggest issue that I have is that I think you could have traded down in the second and still gotten Daniels or another player of his ilk.
This draft is strange in that there was an awful lot of talent available early in the second round. After some curious decisions in the first, the rest of the league continued to take players that wouldn’t necessarily fit the Bears needs or scheme. Because I felt that the value wasn’t as good as it could have been, I dropped the grade down a bit.
The second round played out perfectly for the Bears to be able to trade back, recoup some picks, and still get an excellent football player. So while this might not be the sexiest of draft picks, Daniels should come in and be a Day-one starter for the Bears, regardless.
Let’s not discount the fact that offensive line coach Harry Hiestand has been in college for the last several years and has knowledge on offensive linemen, especially those close in proximity. If Hiestand pounded the table for Daniels, then I am going to say that this is probably a good football player. The fact that they may have picked him earlier than they needed to earned them the minus.
Now it’s your turn. Grade the Bears’ selection of James Daniels at No. 39 overall.
What grade do you give the Bears’ selection of James Daniels at No. 39 overall?
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