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2020 NFL Draft: Vegas favors Bears taking defensive player with first second-round pick

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Though their offense was the bigger issue in 2019, bettors believe the Bears will address their defense with their first draft pick, presumably in the secondary.

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

With two second-round picks in the upcoming 2020 NFL draft, the Bears have the opportunity to acquire two young prospects who can make an immediate impact for their team.

The absence of a first-round pick due to the Khalil Mack trade makes it imperative the Bears find quality talent in the second round, as a thin 2019 draft haul has their roster running shorter on young contributors still on their rookie deals. Their roster was built around Mitchell Trubisky being on a rookie deal, consisting heavily of expensive veterans and sparse young up-and-comers, many of whom were traded up for. With their hand-picked franchise quarterback looking like he will never become that for Chicago, the team’s aggressive approach leaves them somewhat short in their quantity of youthful players.

Even though the Bears struggled more on the offensive side of the ball in 2019, NFL draft pundits expect them to target a defensive player with their first second-round selection.

“The Bears hovered around .500 all year mostly due to an offense that ranked 25th in DVOA. Despite clear needs on the that side of the ball, the odds currently favor Ryan Pace going with a defensive player with his first pick (43rd overall). The current line is -160 for a defender and +125 for an offensive player. Taking out the vig, oddsmakers believe there is a 58.1% chance the Bears go defense and a 41.9% chance they go offense. The Bears are currently +150 to make the 2020-21 NFL playoffs. We’ll be waiting to see if that changes pending which way Pace goes with the draft.” - via Sascha at Sports Betting Dime

This presumably indicates bettors believe the Bears will target a defensive back early, whether it be a safety or a cornerback, as the team currently has holes in the starting lineup at both positions.

There should be plenty of talent at both positions by the time Chicago gets on the clock with the No. 43 pick. Safeties like Jeremy Chinn, Antoine Winfield Jr., Kyle Dugger and Ashtyn Davis have all been popular options for the Bears in the second round, and Grant Delpit has been tied to the team if he falls into the second round. There could also be several starting-caliber cornerbacks available, such as A.J. Terrell, Noah Igbinoghene, Jaylon Johnson or Damon Arnette.

Whether the Bears actually pick at the No. 43 slot remains to be seen, as a trade down would make sense to acquire Day 3 selections, and general manager Ryan Pace has a history of trading up to get his guy. Regardless of which scenario will eventually happen, expect Chicago to add some more firepower to the defense at some point in the second round.