Maybe it’s the buzz of everyone praising what Ryan Pace did in the 2021 NFL Draft, or maybe we’re all still too high after seeing the Chicago Bears get an incredible prospect at the most important position in all of sports, but when I asked our staff to give us their choice for worst Bears’ draft pick, their responses were surprisingly optimistic.
Yesterday’s roundtable topic was a unanimous pick for Justin Fields as the best Bears draft pick, but today we have a few different players mentioned as the worst draft pick.
Here’s what our team had to say.
Ken Mitchell: I honestly don’t dislike any of them, so I’m just going to skip this question.
Will Robinson II: Let’s be clear here, there were no bad picks this year. Obviously, time will tell who will pan out, but on paper, this was a great draft top to bottom.
Robert Zeglinski: Fifth-round picks and beyond are such crapshoots. While, yes, Ryan Pace has had some success in the past (Adrian Amos, Darnell Mooney) late in the draft, on average most late Day 3 picks don’t become worthwhile contributors. That makes it hard to call anyone a disappointment. Essentially anyone of Larry Borom, Dazz Newsome, and company becoming playmakers would be such welcome surprises. They can’t be disappointments if I have no high expectations in the first place. It’s not worth the time or energy.
That said, I do have reservations about how the Bears approached the draft. I wish they would have addressed WR3 earlier. I think it’s a bigger need than let on, especially with a real quarterback in the fold. But they’re not true contenders yet. It’s fine that this can is kicked down the road for another year while Fields matures first. This is the price you pay for respective trades for a blue-chip offensive tackle and quarterback—the two most important positions in this silly little game we call football.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter: Truly, there is not a single pick I actually despise in this class. They were all good decisions. If I had to choose a least favorite pick, and this is literally as a result of having a blue shell aimed at me, then I’ll pick Khalil Herbert. I was not expecting a RB in this class, at all. The Bears’ running game looked incredible when all the focus was channeled into David Montgomery. I’m hoping for Matt Nagy to continue that trend instead of forcing another ill-advised RB-by-committee approach. Herbert himself does not offer much of anything in the receiving game. Still, he’s a tough and explosive runner who can also come in and contribute as a kick returner on special teams. It’s also the 6th round, where drafting a RB with special teams experience is a valuable pick. Again, this pick isn’t so much a knock on the player himself. Just the (remote) thought of going back to my pet peeve - RB by committee.
Josh Sunderbruch: Umm...Larry Borom? Not that I mind the double-dip at tackle — I love it — but I think there were guys with just as much potential who were still available later on (Forsythe, Coleman, Jackson), so this pick could have been spent elsewhere. Wow. If all I have to complain about is a slightly different investment in the O-Line than what I wanted, and if even at that there are at least a few experts who prefer what the Bears actually did, then I think I’m just going to assume this one will be okay, too.
Aaron Leming: For the most part, I really liked the Bears draft but if there was one pick that I felt was just a bit too soon. It was Missouri offensive lineman Larry Borom. The general consensus had him as more of a sixth or seventh round pick. He was also taken over Stone Forsythe (who slid way further than anyone could have expected). It’s also worth noting that the majority of draft outlets had him projected as an interior offensive lineman. He’s a bit clunky but it doesn’t mean he can’t translate into a valuable piece, even as depth.
Sam Householder: Worst is an operative word, but I suppose the pick I’ve heard the least fanfare about, and coming out of the weekend have learned the least about, is Larry Borom. He seems like he has good traits and a mean streak, which is important along the OL, but it felt underwhelming after the pick of Teven Jenkins and many other needs still on the board.
Bill Zimmerman: I admittedly don’t watch much tape on day 3 prospects prior to the draft, but after the Bears selected Larry Borom I watched the tape and the tape is not impressive. The old cliché is that you can’t teach size, which Borom has, and there’s some impressive run blocks where he gets into the defender’s pads and really pops him back, but just watching him on film you see a lot of problems. He stands too far upright, he’s very slow and lumbering, and his hands aren’t good, he just doesn’t engage in his blocks very long. This guy is a project and I’m not expecting big things from him. He has some versatility in terms of playing both sides of the line, so perhaps he can develop into a 3 or 4-year swing tackle, but I don’t see much more potential than that.
Jeff Berckes: I agree with Bill that Borom isn’t jumping out to me - particularly with cleaner prospects left on the board. He does seem to have the right attitude and I’ll be curious to see what the plan is for him. If they can mold him into a starting RT, then it’ll turn into a great pick.
Robert Schmitz: I’ll probably choose Dazz Newsome (because under-athletic 6th round WRs rarely seem to become more than “just a guy”) but... did I just complain about a 6th round pick? Really?
This is my favorite part about the Bears’ 2021 draft class — the guys up top are obviously easy to like, but many of their late round picks have a chance to contribute (looking at you, Thomas Graham & Khyiris Tonga). If they don’t, it’s no big deal because those players were late round picks. Whoever you choose as the “Worst Bears Draft Pick”, the team isn’t counting on their success and that’s great news for the future.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: At first blush I wasn’t very excited about any of their day three picks, but that was because I didn’t know much about them. After digging into more of their tape I can see the upside in each of them. But of the five, the one I see with the hardest path to the 2021 active roster is Newsome. There were several other day three wide outs I was looking at, so Dazz seems like a let down. But like R. Schmitz said earlier, we’re talking about a sixth-round pick.
Now it’s your turn... Was there one of Pace’s seven 2021 picks that you didn’t like?