The answer to question three in our latest WCG roundtable is obviously dominated by the Chicago Bears top two picks, but let’s take a look at what our team had to say when asked this question.
Which was your favorite Bears 2021 draft pick?
Jeff Berckes: I’m all-in on Fields. I allowed myself to believe it was possible about two days before the draft, but still thought it was a long shot. The Bears got incredibly lucky for all the dominoes to fall in a very specific way for it to happen, but they did it. I strongly believe they’ll be telling stories about last Thursday night for decades.
Bill Zimmerman: Did the Bears draft Justin Fields? Yes? They did? Okay, yeah, he’s my favorite pick.
Ken Mitchell: Justin Fields. Without a QB in this league, you are buster. We’ve been buster far too long.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: As much as a I consider myself an offensive line enthusiast, the NFL is all about the quarterback position. If you don’t have one, you’re always searching for one. Teams that are perennial postseason contenders have one thing in common; good quarterback play.
In Fields the Bears have the potential to have that guy, so he’s my favorite pick of this class.
Recency bias has everyone tricked into believing that Patrick Mahomes needs a great o-line to be successful, but that Super Bowl was one game where the Buccaneers had a fantastic defensive game plan, with the G.O.A.T running his Tampa Bay offense masterfully, where the Chiefs’ receivers had several drops, and where K.C. was playing backups and guys out of position all along their o-line. It took all of those things to make Mahones look mortal and he still made several “wow” plays in that game.
Aaron Leming: Justin Fields seems like the obvious pick here. He was my favorite available quarterback and my “dream” pick. I’m still shocked it happened. As a less obvious one, getting Teven Jenkins in the second round was also a part of ridiculously good fortune. Jenkins and Greg Newsome II were the two most commonly mocked players to the Bears at No. 20 heading into draft day. It’s pretty remarkable they were able to trade up and land him in the second round.
Sam Householder: While Fields may be the easy answer, I’ll say Teven Jenkins. Seems like most analysts had a first round grade on him and to get him at the beginning of the second was great value, even if it cost making any more day two picks. Jenkins seems like he is going to fit right in with the long history of quotable, tough and good linemen. He could quickly fill the attitude gap on the OL that’s been missing since Kyle Long left town.
Josh Sunderbruch: Teven Jenkins. I don’t just love the skillset, I love the attitude. There are certain guys who can change a position group by example, and I really think Jenkins could be one of them. As I said at the time Nelson was entering the draft and people questioned if he was worth a top ten pick, the time to take an anchor on the offensive line is when one is available. I’m not saying he’s going to be that good, but I do think he can be that kind of anchor. Not only might he start a bar fight, he’d probably help clean up afterwards. That combination of traits, plus the chance to be a 10-year tackle, makes this kid my instant favorite.
Robert Schmitz: This is probably Fields or Jenkins (depending entirely on how ready Fields is to play), but I’ll go with Jenkins due to the impact he’ll have on a Bears’ OL with minimal “nasty” over the last two seasons. Jenkins plays with a jagged edge and that sort of attitude can be infectious — when Cody Whitehair and James Daniels see Jenkins bowling defenders over, they may pick up their game to match the young rookie. This, in turn, should strengthen the Bears’ running game and take pressure off of whichever QB is under center, a much-needed change from 2019 and 2020 teams that couldn’t run the ball against above-average defenses.
Robert Zeglinski: I’m not veering away from center stage. I could easily be convinced that nabbing Teven Jenkins is just as consequential for the Bears as drafting Justin Fields. It’s no coincidence that Chicago has had so little success offensively over the last 35 years without franchise players at either quarterback or tackle. It starts up front.
Where Fields flips the trajectory of a doddering franchise on its head, Jenkins completely transforms the Bears’ offensive line room. Whether he plays on the left or right side, he’ll form quite the dynamic duo with either James Daniels (RG) or Cody Whitehair (LG). And scheme-wise, if Jenkins pans mazes out his potential, the Bears realistically only have to provide occasional extra help to the other tackle, which is a godsend for total playbook flexibility.
Thanks to Jenkins, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears had one of the NFL’s best offensive fronts within two seasons. That’s something I didn’t think I’d be saying any time soon before draft weekend.
It looks like adding a potential franchise cornerstone to a position group emboldens everyone.
Will Robinson II: Honestly, it’s Justin Fields. But since I already waxed poetic about that pick previously, I’m gonna go with Thomas Graham. I feel like he can possibly lock down the nickelback position that has been a bit of a weak point of late, and do so this season. He was a highly touted CB prospect before he opted out of the 2020 season, so to be able to get him at the end of the 6th round? Absolute steal.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter: I’m going to be “that guy” and tout the fact I correctly predicted the Bears selecting a NT on day three. Khyiris Tonga is the Bears’ final pick of their draft class, and even as a 7th rounder, it brings me great joy to see a real big ‘n nasty NT selected to backup Eddie Goldman. Remember, for all the obvious issues at QB and the O-line, the Bears’ D-line was in serious trouble without a true nose last season. Bilal Nichols played admirably well, but he’s at his best when lined up as an end with Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman on the same line. Tonga is a classic run stuffing monster who can collapse the pocket when rushing the passer. He’s the type of Nose who’s skillset will allow the Bears an ability to keep just two true linemen in a nickel package. Tonga is not a starter as of today. He may never be a full-time starter unless Eddie Goldman or Akiem Hicks part ways early (which I don’t expect to happen). Yet, he will add value and contribute when called upon. You can never have too many good D-linemen.
In case you missed the first two parts of this roundtable, you can check those out here:
And now it’s your turn to weigh in and tell us which Bears’ 2021 pick was your favorite.