The first wave of grades for the Chicago Bears’ 2019 draft haul came in fairly high with most in the A/B range. You guys went in that same range on your votes, with B+ having the most votes in our poll.
Thanks to his 2018 acquisitions of Khalil Mack and Anthony Miller, Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace came into the draft shorthanded. He then he traded up to get his running back, perfect scheme fit David Montgomery, which depleted even more of his draft capital in 2019, but he still came away with good value on his selections. When you factor in the amount of players he quickly signed as undrafted free agents that had draftable grades by the pundits, then his 2019 rookie class looks even better.
SB Nation recently looked for an A+ move from each team during draft weekend, and it was Chicago’s UDFA haul that made their top mark. “Undrafted signings like wide receiver Emanuel Hall and tight end Dax Raymond should seriously push for a roster spot,” said SB Nation’s lead draft analyst Dan Kadar.
The Draft Network’s Brad Kelly went another direction for the UDFA he believes has the best chance to make the Bears 53-man roster, Notre Dame’s Alex Bars. “This should be Emanuel Hall, but the Bears wide receiver room is incredibly stacked right now,” Kelly said. “Chicago didn’t draft any offensive lineman, but signed Bars to reunite him with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.”
While the Bears have yet to make their UDFA signings official, we did piece a tracker together with all the guys we know of that signed in Chicago.
The three mentioned above aren’t the only players with some buzz surrounding their names, as Mathieu Betts, a four-year starter at defensive end for Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, was added to compete at outside linebacker by the Bears.
ESPN’s Todd McShay figured Betts showed enough to get drafted.
From the Ottawa Sun:
“Yeah, I went back and watched the East-West Shrine tape, and he had a really good week,” McShay said. “Betts, to me, I think he’s going to be a late-round pick, when it’s all said and done.
“He handled good competition. It’s so important in those all-star games for small-school players, and players from Canada, to come in and get the opportunity and show that they can play against high-quality talent. I think he performed well enough where a team will look at him and say, ‘You know what? He’s worth a late-round pick, and at worst a priority free agent.’”
Hall, Raymond, Bars and Betts may be the odds on favorites to stick around, but once the UDFAs get into camp with a chance to compete, all bets are off.
The Bears will likely announce their full list of undrafted free agents after rookie mini-camp this weekend.