When you think of the NFL Draft, three analysts likely come to mind: ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, and Windy City Gridiron lead draft analyst Jacob Infante.
I kid about myself of course, but the former two are staples in the draft community who are highly respected for their analysis year in and years out. It’s a special occasion when either one of them put out a mock draft, so when the two of them combine to mock the first three rounds, it becomes important reading.
Kiper and McShay joined forces in predicting Rounds 1-3 of the 2022 NFL Draft in an ESPN+ article, and with the Bears having two second-round picks this year, they certainly have plenty of paths they can take.
McShay had Chicago’s first selection, taking Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green with the No. 39 overall pick. Kiper followed that up by giving the Bears Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam with the No. 48 pick. To close out Day 2, McShay chose a pass-rusher to add to the Bears’ defense in the form of Kentucky edge rusher Josh Paschal.
The value with the Bears’ two second-round picks stands out at first glance. Both Green and Elam have top-30 grades on my finalized big board, so to get two players of that caliber who fit positions of need would be a great scenario for the Bears. Green being a powerful interior lineman with good initial burst and Elam being a lengthy and athletic corner with legit ball skills would be extremely beneficial for Chicago’s rebuild.
Paschal is admittedly more of a high-floor pick due to a lack of elite physical attributes, but he’s a refined rusher with very good play strength who can stop the run and convert speed to power. The lack of a wide receiver may turn off some fans, but the likes of George Pickens, Alec Pierce, Wan’Dale Robinson and Calvin Austin III had all come off the board between the Bears’ second Round 2 pick and their Round 3 selection. The likes of Jalen Tolbert, Khalil Shakir, Bo Melton, Velus Jones Jr. and David Bell were all receivers selected in the third round after Chicago’s selection of Paschal.
If you haven’t already, make sure to purchase my 2022 NFL Draft guide on my Patreon! It has my entire big board, a 7-round mock draft, Bears positional outlooks, scouting reports for my top 30 prospects and more.