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2022 Bears mock draft: Protecting Justin Fields

This latest Bears mock draft gives the Bears some pieces to fit the new regime’s philosophies on both sides of the ball.

NCAA Football: Florida State at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Who wants another Bears mock draft?

In an attempt to cover more of the bases for the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft, I will be running mock drafts more often to try and provide context and analysis behind as many prospects as possible.

We’ll make sure to explore several different avenues — including both trading up and trading down — but for the time being, we’ll stick with the five selections the Bears currently have. Mock drafts before free agency aren’t meant as much to be predictions, but more so showcase possible opportunities they could pursue and to highlight new players.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the Bears could do with their picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Round 2: Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College

A former Boston College offensive lineman drafting a former Boston College offensive lineman with his first draft pick as the Bears’ general manager just makes too much sense.

Zion Johnson had a strong Senior Bowl outing, taking reps at center and looking incredibly comfortable out of his normal position. A nasty, powerful blocker with good coordination and refined technical ability, he could be a great addition to the Bears’ offensive line, regardless of where he’s played. You certainly wouldn’t have to worry about him not sticking up for his quarterback, that’s for sure.

Round 3: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

If the Bears intend on becoming more vertical in their passing attack, why not add arguably the fastest receiver in the 2022 draft?

After a breakout 2021 campaign, Skyy Moore is looking to solidify himself as a weapon worth taking a chance on early. Not only is he an elite athlete with blazing deep speed and agility after the catch, but he’s a refined route runner who attacks leverage points well through his stems. His lack of length could limit him to the slot, but he could be a game-changer in the right system.

Round 5 (via Texans): Mykael Wright, CB, Oregon

Even assuming the Bears sign a starting cornerback in free agency, it would be wise of them to add depth at the position through the draft this year.

With potential to contribute as a field-side corner and as a slot defender, Mykael Wright is a reliable zone defender with very good fluidity in his hips and plenty of deep speed shooting upfield coming out of his breaks. He’s also one of the top kick returners in the 2022 class, which could be especially helpful should the Bears not bring back Jakeem Grant next year.

Round 5: Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State

A big, athletic linebacker available in the fifth round? Where do I sign?

His small-school status could drop him a bit down boards, but Troy Andersen has the physical upside needed to become a solid starting MIKE linebacker at the next level. A 6-foot-3, 242-pounder with long arms and a muscular frame, Andersen’s range in coverage, fluidity in space and aggressiveness against the run would make him a Day 3 talent worth taking a shot on.

Round 6: Alex Akingbulu, OT, Fresno State

There’s no such thing as too much offensive line depth, especially for a team like the Bears.

Alex Akingbulu broke out as a first-team Mountain West tackle for Fresno State, serving as a reliable pass protector for Jake Haener’s stellar season. His long limbs, precise timing and placement behind his strikes, and footwork in his pass sets make Akingbulu a deep sleeper worth keeping an eye on. Though raw from a pad level and weight distribution perspective, the physical upside with him could make him an intriguing player to stash and develop as depth for Chicago’s offensive line.