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Bears draft grade round up: How experts say Chicago did

The Bears had an eye-popping draft that seems to have proved popular with fans, but do the experts feel the same way?

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2021 NFL Draft Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The draft is in the books and I think it’s safe to say most Chicago Bears fans are pretty happy with it, especially at the top where the Bears were able to get a top quarterback prospect and a top tackle talent.

Ryan Pace did more of the wheeling and dealing we’ve come to expect, including a trade down on day three to recoup some of what was lost on the first two days.

With picks in the first two rounds and then not again until the fifth, the most talked about is always going to be the selections of Justin Fields and Teven Jenkins, but there may be some gems on day three, especially when looking at the goods Pace has found in rounds 4-7 in the past.

But what fans think and what experts think is often far different. So I went scouring the interwebs to find as many outlets’ grades for the Bears as I could with a selection of the commentary.

Overall, it appears the “expert analysts” agree that the Bears did pretty well.

Pro-Football Focus

Grade: A+

What they said:

The Bears underwhelmed when they settled for Andy Dalton earlier in the offseason, but they redressed the situation with an aggressive move for Justin Fields, the No. 3 player on PFF’s Big Board. Fields has special talent and back-to-back seasons with a 91.0-plus PFF grade. His ceiling is as high as any passer in this draft, and he’s a real threat in the run game.

New York Post

Grade: B+

What they said:

Here we go again. The Bears traded up for a QB – giving a 2022 first (top 10 possibility) – hoping for better results than trading up for Mitch Trubisky in 2017. Traded up again in the second round for QB protection. Hot-seat GM Ryan Pace is all-in.

Washington Post (Mark Maske)

Grade: A

What they said:

The Bears made a bold move to trade up nine spots, from 20th to 11th, to get QB Justin Fields in the opening round. Getting Fields was well worth the cost. The team that so infamously passed up Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson to draft Mitchell Trubisky four years ago now has a more viable franchise QB candidate, and Fields’s arrival could end up saving the jobs of GM Ryan Pace and Coach Matt Nagy. It also helped that the Bears strengthened the offensive line by getting T Teven Jenkins in the second round.

NBC Sports Boston (Nick Goss)

Grade: A

What they said:

The Bears traded up to No. 11 to get Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. It was a bold move, but a risk worth taking when you consider that lackluster QB play has been an Achilles heel for this franchise for a long time. Chicago’s best pick came at No. 39 overall in the second round. The Bears took Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins, who was a first-round talent and will help protect Fields.

CBS Sports (Pete Prisco)

Grade (1st round only): A

What they said:

They gave up a lot, but they ended up with the second-best quarterback in the draft. It’s a bold move, but necessary.

Walter Football

Grade: B+ (averaged)

What they said:

Author’s note: As of this writing they didn’t have a grade for the entire class, just the individual picks, so hit the link to see what they said about each pick, but I averaged it out to a B+

Khalil Herbert was slotted in the fourth round of my mock draft. I definitely like this value. Herbert could end up being a solid backup for David Montgomery, which is something the Bears lacked last year with Tarik Cohen injured.

USA Today (Nate Davis)

Grade: A

What they said:

It’s not often that NFL personnel executives survive to make two bold draft moves for a quarterback, but apparently Ryan Pace is the Rasputin of GMs. Four years after his failed gambit for QB Mitchell Trubisky, who’s now in Buffalo, Pace successfully maneuvered Thursday for Justin Fields – who looks to be an infinitely better prospect than Trubisky and arguably the steal of this draft. Less notable but perhaps as important, Pace also traded up for RT Teven Jenkins in the second round. Of course Pace, now without his first- and fourth-rounder in 2022, better be right.

Grade: A-

What they said:

Rarely does desperation turn into success in the draft. Ryan Pace somehow walked that tightrope when he traded up to get the quarterback he needed in Justin Fields. He traded up again to get Teven Jenkins along the offensive line. It was a top-heavy draft, but it’s the price to pay to resolve the quarterback issues with Fields.