Bears Mock Draft 2022: It's All About Justin Fields | The Draft Network

1/21/2022 7:00:00 PM

The Chicago Bears still don’t have a general manager. They still don’t have a head coach. In fact, t...

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The Bears will use this offseason to rebuild the front office and build around Justin Fields. Check out BryanPerezNFL's latest 7-round Bears mock, where the theme is to help Fields in multiple ways. FrontOffice33 | DaBears

The Chicago Bears still don’t have a general manager. They still don’t have a head coach. In fact, t...

So rather than focus on the potential general managers and head coaches who could be in charge of Chicago’s 2022 NFL Draft, I figured it’d be more fun to just go ahead and run another Bears 2022 NFL Mock Draft. 2022 Senior Bowl practices kick off in just over one week and with them starts the sprint to draft weekend in April. Let’s have some fun and see who could be the next generation of Bears.

Nicholas Petit-FrereRound 3 (No. 71 Overall):This offseason will focus on giving Fields everything he needs to reach his franchise quarterback potential, and a big part of that is beefing up the offensive line. The Bears landed a starting-quality offensive tackle with their first pick and they land a huge upgrade at guard with this selection of Salyer, who also has some intriguing upside at tackle. I fully expect Salyer will settle in as an NFL guard, though, and boy is he going to be a good one. The 6-foot-4, 325-pounder has light feet and fantastic power at the point of attack, making him an appealing prospect who could easily end up coming off the board in the early portion of the second round. Salyer will be at the 2022 Senior Bowl, where his stock could really begin to rise.

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BryanPerezNFL No CBs BryanPerezNFL I like the idea of doubling down on offensive line. Moving Borom inside and Daniels or Whitehair into center solidifies greatly up front. Would have liked to see a late-round stab at CB instead of TE, considering the lack of depth of behind Jaylon Johnson. BryanPerezNFL I like this. Was thinking Frere at LT, Borom into Guard, Jenkins at RT. Hoping a guy like metchie or pickens drops to the third for them. Otherwise, need to offload some pass rush for draft capital.

BryanPerezNFL They absolutely will….

Bears Head Coach Search: Michael Irvin Wants Help for Justin FieldsBrian Daboll, Byron Leftwich or Nathaniel Hackett could all fit Irvin’s bill.

Bears Should Absolutely Scout TEs At 2022 Senior Bowl | The Draft NetworkWhether or not you believe Cole Kmet can grow into a true TE1, the Bears should keep a close eye on the tight end prospects at the seniorbowl. BryanPerezNFL on which TEs Bears fans should be watching when they get to Mobile. FrontOffice33 | DaBears seniorbowl BryanPerezNFL

George Pickens An Ideal Target For Bears' 1st Pick | The Draft NetworkThe Bears should be in the market for a WR or two this offseason—via free agency and/or the 2022 NFL Draft. BryanPerezNFL breaks down why George Pickens is an ideal target for Chicago with its 1st draft pick. FrontOffice33 | DaBears BryanPerezNFL I like Bell better as our X. Then get pierce as big slot keep money as Z. Bells highlight tape is niiiiice. BryanPerezNFL Playmaker Pickens would be great for Fields! BryanPerezNFL What does BryanPerezNFL think of Jalen Tolbert from South Alabama? If we can’t get David Bell I think Tolbert would be our best bet.

Do new Bears coach, GM need to be Justin Fields believers? AbsolutelyIf the new coach isn’t on board with Justin Fields, he’s going to have problems. And if the new coach has problems, the Bears have problems, writes JasonLieser.

Bears Head Coach Search: Jim Harbaugh Might Leave for RaidersBears fans have clamored for the Michigan Wolverines coach to replace Matt Nagy

Is Matt Eberflus Right Choice To Be Next Bears HC? | The Draft NetworkMatt Eberflus is getting a second interview for the Bears' HC job. Would he be a good choice for Chicago? BryanPerezNFL breaks down Eberflus' background and potential fit with the team. FrontOffice33 | DaBears

The Draft Network Photo: Mark J.and choose the alerts you want.The Draft Network Photo: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports Believe it or not, Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet is something of a lightning rod among Bears fans.The Draft Network Photo: Mark J.

Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports The Chicago Bears still don’t have a general manager. They still don’t have a head coach. Not only do they need to find a new general manager and head coach, but they also need a plan for Justin Fields. In fact, the list of candidates for both positions is only getting longer. Kmet did take a significant step forward in 2021 after a disappointing rookie season that produced just 28 catches for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Normally, after nearly 11 days in a general manager and coaching search, a list of finalists emerges. Fortunately for the team, Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion Michael Irvin believes Fields has the makings of a great quarterback. I guess that doesn’t apply to the Bears. And by it, I mean the torn ACL he suffered in spring practice before the 2021 fall schedule got underway.

So rather than focus on the potential general managers and head coaches who could be in charge of Chicago’s 2022 NFL Draft, I figured it’d be more fun to just go ahead and run another Bears 2022 NFL Mock Draft. “I thought Justin Fields showed us exactly how he handled adversity. What Kmet isn’t, however, is a big-time playmaker. 2022 Senior Bowl practices kick off in just over one week and with them starts the sprint to draft weekend in April. Let’s have some fun and see who could be the next generation of Bears. But he's not that kind of guy. Remember: The Bears don’t have a first-round pick because of the trade with the New York Giants to move up in the 2021 NFL Draft for Justin Fields. But that doesn’t mean the Bears have to settle for a tight end who’s just ‘good enough. Make sure you pencil in Fields as Chicago’s first-rounder; it’ll make the final draft haul look a whole lot better. So I would like to see him continue to get that opportunity to progress. 39 overall, which could be the sweet spot for Pickens’ final draft value once April rolls around.

Round 2 (No. 39 Overall): Nicholas Petit-Frere , OT, Ohio State Despite spending two of their 2021 draft picks on offensive tackles, the Bears simply cannot pass on the value Petit-Frere presents at the top of the second round. Giving up on Kmet right now would be foolish, but failing to add competition to the roster would be too. He was Fields’ starting right tackle at Ohio State in 2020 and would represent an upgrade over Larry Borom. Offensive tackles like Petit-Frere are hard to find, and if he slips to the Bears in the second round, they’ll waste little time calling his name. Round 3 (No. A player like Mike Gesicki isn’t going to sign with the Bears to be Kmet’s backup. It resulted in a win-win for both the program and Pickens—the Bulldogs are champs and Pickens’ arrow is pointing up.

71 Overall): Jamaree Salyer , iOL, Georgia This offseason will focus on giving Fields everything he needs to reach his franchise quarterback potential, and a big part of that is beefing up the offensive line. The Bears landed a starting-quality offensive tackle with their first pick and they land a huge upgrade at guard with this selection of Salyer, who also has some intriguing upside at tackle. I fully expect Salyer will settle in as an NFL guard, though, and boy is he going to be a good one. Is a player like Cincinnati Bengals free agent C. The 6-foot-4, 325-pounder has light feet and fantastic power at the point of attack, making him an appealing prospect who could easily end up coming off the board in the early portion of the second round. Salyer will be at the 2022 Senior Bowl, where his stock could really begin to rise. Whether Pickens actually ends up in Chicago’s crosshairs will depend on the level of free agent the Bears sign.

Round 5 (No.7 million per year in average annual salary that he’s likely to command on the open market (according to Spotrac)? The answer seems like a pretty easy, ‘no. 146 Overall): Khalil Shakir , WR, Boise State Another 2022 Senior Bowl participant, Shakir is the kind of wide receiver the Bears should be targeting in the 2022 NFL Draft. He isn’t the biggest prospect at the position—he’s listed at 6-foot and 190 pounds, but I imagine he’ll check in a bit smaller than that—but he’d still offer Chicago a great complement to Darnell Mooney. Shakir is a top-shelf route-runner with after-the-catch ability. He has similar size and athletic ability and has the kind of coordinated body control and soft hands to be a dominant pass-catcher at the position. He’ll be a fantastic slot receiver in the NFL and if he’s still hanging around in the fifth round, he could make it two out of three years that the Bears land a starting wide receiver on Day 3. The second round gets a bit murkier, and those pesky needs tend to move closer to the front of the objectives line.

Round 5 (No. 148 overall): Troy Andersen , LB, Montana State Chicago will be in the market for a linebacker at some point in the 2022 NFL Draft, but it won’t be a priority for one of their early-round picks. 39—Chicago’s first selection—it’s not entirely out of the realm of logic that the Bears will at least consider the possibility. Instead, they’ll wait until this range on day three to land a player like Andersen. A unanimous FCS All-American, the running back-turned-linebacker finished the 2021 season with 147 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. Whether he can be as productive against NFL talent is yet to be seen, but he’s a name to watch as we inch closer to draft weekend. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be another tight end who catches the eyes of Bears scouts at the Senior Bowl. They’ll certainly help Fields become a better quarterback with Pickens in tow, and that’s the ultimate goal.

Round 6 (No. 185 overall): Charlie Kolar , TE, Iowa State No, I don’t hate Cole Kmet. And no, I don’t think the Bears are going to look to replace him (overtly) this offseason. While not the fastest tight end in the country, he moves like a player who's 50 pounds lighter once he has the ball in the open field. But what I do think is Chicago will bring in competition for him, and with the way this mock draft fell, landing Kolar with their last selection would be a nice addition to the Bears’ depth chart. In a way, Kolar is a lot like Kmet: a smart, big-bodied, contested-catch guy who needs to prove he has the juice and twitch to be a real threat as a playmaker in the NFL.

At worst, Kolar will give the Bears a nice option to pair with Kmet in the red zone (talk about mismatches!). Another pass-catching tight end who’ll draw attention at the Senior Bowl is Nevada's Cole Turner . At best, he’ll outplay Kmet and be the kind of pass-catching threat that today’s NFL offenses need to become elite. Written By: Bryan Perez Staff Writer Bryan’s past stops include covering the Chicago Bears as the managing editor for USA Today’s Bears Wire and as a Bears writer for NBC Sports Chicago. He’s covered the NFL Draft for various outlets, including his time as the co-owner of Draft Breakdown. Instead, Turner is more like Gesicki, although don’t expect him to test like the freakish athlete Gesicki was at the NFL Combine. In addition to his contributions in football media, Bryan spent time as a Northeast scout for the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks, is a licensed attorney, and most importantly, a proud husband and the father of two sons.

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