I was surprised with how well received Ryan Pace’s 2019 draft class was on a national level. With no pick until the third round, I just assumed that we’d get a bunch of hot takes about the Chicago Bears not being able to find major contributors in this draft class, but it seems like national writers are starting to get what’s happening in Chicago. There’s still the usual clown-car of analysts that can’t let go of their biases and false narratives about Pace and the Bears, but those dopes will never go away. The NFL seems to be taking notice to what Pace has built with the Bears.
Many 2019 grades came in high and a lot kudos were sent about the value garnered by, not only the five draft picks, but also the undrafted free agents that the Bears added.
Now that I’ve had some time to research the Bears’ rookie class, I wanted to rank top three of the class by my personal excitement level.
1) David Montgomery
I knew very little of Montgomery coming into draft weekend, because every mock draft and big board I looked at had him gone long before the Bears’ selection. I really only looked at the next tier of tailbacks that I figured the Bears would be picking either in the third round, or further down the board. I didn’t know how Montgomery would fit into head coach Matt Nagy’s system, but after a quick crash course into what he brings to the table, he has me most excited among the entire class.
His ability to make defenders miss with his quickness, plus his ability to power through arm tackles with balance and power are two traits that popped off the film when I watched him play. Nagy say’s he’s a three down back in their system, and that he runs “angry,” but it’s also the intangibles that he and GM Ryan Pace talk about that puts this pick over the top for me. While I think Montgomery will eventually take over the starting position for the Bears as a rookie, the committee they’ve assembled at running back will keep everyone fresh all year long.
2) Kerrith Whyte Jr.
There’s not a lot of wiggle to Whyte’s game, but he is super fast. He looks like a track star playing football, because he’s looking for the first chance to cut up field when he has the ball in his hands. Where Montgomery breaks a lot of arm tackles with his elusiveness and strength. Whyte runs through arm tackles because he’s so damn fast defenders aren’t getting a firm grip on him.
Whyte is being added to a crowded backfield, and he may not emerge as a true offensive weapon as a rookie, but Nagy will find a way to get him on the field every now and again.
3) Alex Bars
Bars had a knee injury cut his senior year short after just five game, so he’ll need to work himself back from that setback. If he can, the Bears may have found a potential swing guard and/or eventual starter. I know that’s not very exciting to most people, but I enjoy watching the big guys work.
Bars is more mauler than technician, but he has a good anchor when he plays with his butt down, and he’s also able to work his hips around to keep his man walled off from the hole. I’ve seen Bars’ stock range anywhere from UDFA to the 3rd round, so that tells me his ceiling is dependent on how he rehabs.
I think a year on injured reserve could be in the cards for him. That will give him plenty of time to work with the Bears strength and conditioning program to get his body right. Plus working with Bears’ offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, who coached Bars at Notre Dame from 2014 to 2017, will add to his comfort level as he transitions to the NFL game.
Now it’s your turn. Who are the three rookies you’re most excited to see on the Bears?