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Who will the Bears regret not drafting?

This five-part WCG roundtable is all about the Chicago Bears’ 2022 NFL Draft class with today’s topic about the one that got away.

NCAA Football: New Mexico at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the fourth in our latest roundtable discussion all about the Chicago Bears 2022 draft class. If you missed any of our previous articles you can check them out here; our favorite draft pick, our pick for least favorite, and who we think will have the most successful career.

Today’s topic isn’t specifically about the 11 rookie the Bears picked, but rather about one that they didn’t.

Who will the Bears regret not drafting?

Here’s what our team had to say.

ECD: A large number of these receivers who were selected by other teams between rounds two and five. Until actual moves are made to the receiving corps, this will continue to haunt the Bears’ off-season. Actions are more meaningful than all these “all-in” statements we’ve received lately.

Robert Schmitz: He likely fell because of medical issues we’re not privy to, but if Bernhard Raimann ends up becoming the solid Offensive Tackle he looked like he could be and plays 12+ games a year for the next 10 years I’ll be disappointed he wasn’t a Bear. Jalen Tolbert and Khalil Shakir also stand out as potential “coulda-had-ems”, but they likely won’t make the impact Raimann will if he stays healthy.

Robert Zeglinski: Can I say Any Receiver? No? Well, I’m never going to get over George Pickens. He might be buried on the Pittsburgh depth chart for now, but that doesn’t stick for long with second-round receivers who happen to play in the NFL’s Premier Receiver Factory. He could’ve been a legitimate No. 1 option for Justin Fields, and part of a dynamic complementary duo with Darnell Mooney’s stretch-the-field speed for years. It was an ideal long-term move for a young quarterback and young offense. I hope it doesn’t come back to bite them, but it doesn’t feel great on its face with the wound still fresh.

Josh Sunderbruch: I mean, it’s the nature of the draft for fans to play hindsight games, and Bears fans are very used to the “what-if” game. That said, Khalil Shakir, a potentially-complete wide receiver who plays through contact, was drafted after Jones and with a pick that the Bears traded away. That to me has the biggest potential for justifiable regret instead of the usual low-grade wishful thinking.

Sam Householder: Ideally, no one, right? But inevitably, one of the picks won’t pan out and we’ll all scroll back through the PFR Draft page and go “Oh man they could’ve had HIM?!” Looking at guys who went shortly after the Bears’ early picks, I think between their Gordon and Brisker picks, John Metchie went and right after the Brisker pick Skyy Moore went to KC and Alec Pierce. I think those are all guys that fans will never hear the end of if Chicago’s top two picks don’t work. The other one I look at is LB Nakobe Dean, who went shortly after the Bears’ most controversial pick, Velus Jones.

Patti Curl: I’ve been fantasizing about the Bears drafting Daniel Faalele for over a year since he was projected to enter the 2021 draft. He’s the heaviest offensive tackle prospect in years and the closest to an actual Bear Chicago will have within reach for some time.

Help us welcome our new summer intern, Peter Borkowski!

Peter Borkowski: Christian Watson is gonna hurt. Not only do I think the Bears missed out on a future stud, the fact that he went to a divisional rival with a QB who has a knack of making WRs look real good just adds the cherry on top.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Hindsight on a draft class is a favorite pastime for many, and considering how this class fell for the Bears any wide out that has success after Chicago selected Velus Jones will be a hot topic. Considering Jones was the one head scratching pick the Bears made, then any successful player after his selection will be a source or ire from fans (Abraham Lucas, Bernhard Raimann, Jalen Tolbert, Dylan Parham, etc.) Then again, if Jones is the dude the Bears believe him to be then none of those players will matter.

Who is the player you think the Bears will regret not drafting?