Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Bears seven-round 2022 NFL mock draft: Chicago gets new coach an important defender, and helps Justin Fields

The Chicago Bears don’t figure to be too busy during the 2022 NFL Draft. Their big move for this year was actually made last year, when they dealt away their 2022 first-round pick to move up and select former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears did not do all that much to put Fields in position to succeed, and he struggled through a trying rookie season that ended with his head coach and the team’s general manager each being fired. 

The new regime has four more years to capitalize on Fields counting for a relatively small amount on their cap sheet for a starting quarterback, and that work will largely begin with this year’s draft, because the previous occupants of Halas Hall left them precious little financial wiggle room to work with and thus the Bears were not particularly active in free agency. 

Chicago enters the draft with one of the league’s more barren rosters, and must begin building up the talent base around Fields immediately. Priority No. 1 in the draft should be making sure Fields has more help than he did a year ago, both among his pass-catchers and from his offensive line. There are also plenty of holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball. But with only six picks and no first-rounder, it’s going to be difficult for the Bears to get everything they need. Their best option may well be to trade down several times to acquire more picks, both this year and in the future.

Today, though, we are here to map out a strategy for what the Bears should do if they stick where they are and simply select prospects. Here is our seven-round 2022 Bears mock draft, designed to help the franchise quarterback and give the new head coach what he needs to run his preferred style of defense. 

2 (39)

WR Skyy Moore

Western Michigan           

2 (48) 

DL Logan Hall

Houston

3 (71)

OT Darian Kinnard

Kentucky

5 (148)

OG Jamaree Salyer

Georgia 

5 (150)

CB Jalyn Armour-Davis

Alabama         

5 (186)

S Markquese Bell

Florida A&M

Round 2 (No. 39): WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan   

Moore finished last season with 92 catches for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns, and would slot in across from Darnell Mooney to give Fields two electric weapons with great quickness and run-after-catch ability. Moore is probably best as a slot man, but he has the strength to win against press coverage as well. Either way, the ability to get open quickly and create separation on deeper routes should pair well with Fields, who excels at throwing the ball downfield. 

Round 2 (No. 48): DL Logan Hall, Houston

New Bears coach Matt Eberflus prioritizes a twitchy, quick interior player who can knife into the backfield and consistently make plays. Hall is on the smaller side for an interior defensive lineman, but he has the quickness to be this type of player for the Bears. After the Larry Ogunjobi deal fell apart in free agency because of a failed physical, Chicago still has a need for an up-the-field player on the defensive front. Hall has flexibility to play all over the formation, but his best position is probably on the inside. 

Round 3 (No. 71): OL Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

Round 5 (No. 148): OL Jamaree Salyer, Georgia   

The Bears need offensive line help in the worst way, and we give them a start on that score with these next two picks. Kinnard mostly played right tackle at UK, and with 2021 second-rounder Teven Jenkins having moved over to left tackle, Kinnard could stay at his position and develop into a starter. Salyer played all over the line, but needs some work to develop into a starting-caliber player. He’s a huge man, but he’s got to get better bend to create leverage for run blocking and do a better job of maintaining balance in pass sets. Still, with his size and versatility, he could develop into a quality utility lineman.

Round 5 (No. 150): CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, Alabama

Round 5 (No. 186): S Markquese Bell, Florida A&M 

We use Chicago’s final two picks on the secondary, which is another area where the Bears badly need bodies. Armour-Davis is not as highly touted as some recent Alabama defensive backs, perhaps because he really only had one season as a major contributor. He has good size, though, and got his hands on the ball a bunch of times last season. Coaches can work with that. Bell is not going to be a center-field type of safety, but get him coming downhill to make plays in the run game and work inside the box, and he can be a playmaker. 

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