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Here’s our favorite choice at 20 for the Bears

We kick off an NFL Draft related roundtable from the Windy City Gridiron staffers about the Chicago Bears. First up, the guy we want to see them take at 20.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears are set to go on the clock in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in two weeks — their 1st first-round pick since 2018 — and right now that pick is slated to be at 20th overall.

We asked our team here at WCG to give us their favorite, and most realistic choice, for the Bears at 20, and it’s safe to say there’s a “big” theme permeating through our responses. Most of us are looking to the offensive line for a plug-and-play starter at tackle, but there’s just enough variety in our choices to make things interesting.

Here’s what we had to say.

Robert Zeglinski: My favorite potential prospect available at No. 20 is Christian Darrisaw. I see the former Hokie as a legitimate book-end anchor the Bears haven’t had since John Tait, and the first they would be fortunate to develop in-house in decades. He’s powerful, light on his feet, and would be among the smoother, more naturally moving big men Chicago has ever had play offensive line. The Bears need a player like this up front on offense, desperately, especially at the second-most important overall position. You want a better offense and are outside of reasonable range for any of the top quarterbacks? Go get yourself a wall of a man for the offensive line like Darrisaw.

Josh Sunderbruch: I would love it if Darrisaw were to be available, and that is who they should go with if he is, and if they actually wait until #20. Neither of those seem likely, but a fan can hope.

Jacob Infante: In an ideal world, Christian Darrisaw falls to the Bears at 20. He has prototypical size for an NFL offensive tackle, he’s incredibly coordinated and nimble in pass protection and can climb to the second level with impressive quickness, and he also packs a mean punch at the point of attack. However, with the need for tackles around the league, I don’t see Darrisaw falling out of the top 15.

That said, I would still be ecstatic with Teven Jenkins if I’m the Bears. He’s arguably the nastiest and strongest blocker from a pure tape perspective in the 2021 class. While not as mobile as Darrisaw, he’s still a solid athlete who showcases polished footwork on tape. He uses his hands incredibly well, too. If he’s still on the board — which I’m honestly not even too sure about at this point, either — he’s a slam-dunk pick.

EJ Snyder: If Teven Jenkins is on the board I’d love to see the Bears grab him to be their next right tackle. He possesses tons of skill, ridiculous grip strength, and a heap of powerful rotational torque to control his opponent. Package all of that with a nasty on-field demeanor to truly finish blocks and you’ve got a lineman Bears fans would instantly fall in love with. I’d also be happy with wide outs Terrace Marshall or Elijah Moore at 20, or one of the top four cornerbacks - if they were to slide down the board (likely Caleb Farley or Greg Newsome).

Patti Curl: Virginia Tech corner Caleb Farley, but I’d be happy with any number of tackles, including USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker who I believe can excel at tackle despite his T-rex arms. And it would be hard to look past Christian Darrisaw if he’s on the board, but as soon as I did, I’d become enamored with the shiny teammate behind him in the secondary.

Farley is a rare talent who could fall to the Bears because of injury concerns. Farley is a risk, but every draft pick is a risk, and reports are that he’s looked good following his recent microdiscectomy surgery. I’d prefer the Bears make the bet that an elite talent can stay healthy rather than make the bet that a promising player will improve. I’ve just seen the latter fail to happen too many times in navy and orange. Farley is tall, fluid, fast, and instinctual corner whose ceiling is in Jalen Ramsey territory. He’s fairly new to corner, but he played the position at a high level from day one. When healthy, he’s the best corner in this class and the only one who I could imagine as an actual upgrade over Kyle Fuller.

Ken Mitchell: Greg Newsome II, cornerback out of Northwestern. Corner is an obvious need area and a great value area for this part of the draft. While I would actually prefer an offensive tackle, I don’t like how the talent is likely to fall (top ranks gone by 20, next ranks all round two types).

Robert Schmitz: As one of many non-draftniks at WCG, my choice is governed entirely by position and that means I’m a fan of Christian Darrisaw, Tevin Jenkins, and Samuel Cosmi in equal quantity. Darrisaw is likely the superior player (though I expect he’ll be gone by #20), Jenkins has nasty in his game, and Cosmi’s uber-athletic profile fits the RT spot perfectly — and all would add juice to a weak Bears’ running game. Given the Bears’ QB situation is still... let’s be nice and say “in flux,” supporting the running game also helps support the Dalton/rookie-led passing game, and that’ll either help Nagy and Dalton find their footing or it’ll help the new 2022 coach establish their vision.

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter: This is tough. To be transparent, I don’t see any options I “love” at 20th overall for the Bears, and I feel very strongly that we will see the Bears attempt to move up in the first round. If Ryan Pace decides to stay put at 20th overall, I would certainly think a big n’ nasty offensive tackle fits the bill. Oklahoma State’s Jenkins is said big ‘n nasty lineman. He’ll require some refinement with his hand placement and shuffling. That being said, he physically fits the bill for what the Bears seek in their O-linemen under coach Juan Castillo. The Bears’ O-line has been lacking attitude since Kyle Long’s departure and Jenkins will bring over 320lbs worth for years to come.

Bill Zimmerman: Offensive line. Offensive line. Offensive line. It’s a safe assumption that none of the top 5 QBs slide anywhere near 20, but if Justin Fields slides to around 10th, my favorite choice would be to trade up for Fields. I believe he’s worth that price. Trading up to Atlanta at 4 is going to be obscene, but if he’s sitting there at 9 or 10 and Denver or Dallas are willing to trade down, then go get Fields. That’s my top choice.

If they stay pat at 20 and don’t take offensive line, that’s something I can’t support. Obviously, if they do go offensive line, tackle should be the target. If Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater or Darrisaw fall to 20, it’s a no brainer, but I wouldn’t trade up for either, otherwise Jenkins should be there and that would be my selection. I’d be thrilled with any of those 3 linemen at 20.

Jack R Salo: The bounty of wide receivers (likely) available at pick #20 makes it tough to pass up, but this draft isn’t an exception to the recent trend: starting-caliber/fantasy wide receivers are available on day 2, and even a few on day 3.

You can be excused for a slight reach at #20, as long as the player boasts extreme talent and a high football IQ. Therefore, go grab Nick Bolton, linebacker out of Mizzou. He won’t be there at #52 and the Bears need to find Danny Trevathan’s replacement sooner rather than later. If the day comes (god forbid) where Roquan Smith and the Bears are at an impasse, I’d like to know that there’s at least another option to be our stud linebacker. In the meantime, Roquan and Bolton would be deadly together.

Sam Householder: Barring a wild fall of one of the quarterback prospects or top flight wide receivers, which can and do happen every few years, I think you have to prepare for a tackle. Is it sexy? Is it run-out-and-preorder-the-jersey exciting? No, probably not, but good gravy, it’s a worthwhile good investment. So I’m looking at either Jenkins or Darrisaw. I’d also be on board with grabbing a cornerback prospect to try and replace Kyle Fuller. That’d be Northwestern’s Newsome or even going to Fuller’s alma mater, Virginia Tech, for Farley.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: I’m in agreement with most of my colleagues with offensive tackles Darrisaw or Jenkins. Darrisaw seemed like a likely option, but several recent mocks have him coming off the board as the third tackle, which probably leaves Jenkins sitting there for the Bears. If Darrisaw falls he should be the pick, because he as more upside as a left tackle, but Jenkins has the makings of an outstanding pro too.

I know right tackle isn’t the most glamorous position, but these days defenses are just as likley to line their top pass rusher off the right side as they are in lining them up against left tackles. The best sack artists around the league can come of either edge, so you better have more than just a plodder at right tackle. Jenkins is athletic enough to get the job done in pass protection, and powerful enough to hand out pancakes.

Also, don’t assume that Jenkins wouldn’t be able to move to the left side once he refines his craft a bit. He’s plenty athletic and he does have some experience there as well.

Now it’s your turn... Who is your favorite choice (realistic options only please) for the Bears at 20?