Ryan Pace hasn’t had many home runs in the NFL Draft, which is a big reason the Chicago Bears were shut out of NFL.com’s 2020 All-Under-25 Team. Pace has found several contributors in the draft, but some of the Pro Bowl type players he’s tabbed were older rookies. Eddie Jackson was a 25-year old rookie in 2017 and Cody Whitehair was 24-years old his first year in 2016.
In looking over the players that NFL.com picked, I can’t even formulate a good argument that any Bears should be on the list. Their rule was that a player has to be under 25-years old at the start of the 2020 season, and none of the Bears that fit that criteria would warrant a place on the team.
The only veteran Bear that could push for a spot on their 2021 All-Under-25 Team is inside linebacker Roquan Smith, who just turned 23 in April. The two linebackers on the 2020 team are the Dallas Cowboys Leighton Vander Esch and the Indianapolis Colts Bobby Okereke.
Smith will probably need to flash with some big plays — both in coverage and in stopping the run — in 2020 while playing in all 16 games to get some consideration for next year.
Offensive lineman James Daniels, who won’t turn 23-years old until September, would need a huge bounce back year to get in the mix for a spot on the team. Bilal Nichols and David Montgomery would be young enough to qualify for the 2021 team, but I can’t see them putting up the kind of numbers to gain any buzz.
The Chicago Bears aren’t necessarily considered an old team, but it would be nice to see some of their homegrown players become superstars.
Fingers crossed for Cole Kmet and Jaylon Johnson...