Prospects for Bears to Avoid in 2022 NFL Draft

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIApril 11, 2022

Prospects for Bears to Avoid in 2022 NFL Draft

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Even though the Chicago Bears don't own a first-round pick in this year's draft, that doesn't mean they won't acquire some talented players who could become key starters for them down the line. The team has six selections, including a pair in the second round.

    The Bears have holes on both sides of the ball, and new general manager Ryan Poles is doing his best to fill as many of them as possible. Chicago hasn't made a ton of huge signings, but it has brought in players who could be contributors in 2022.

    And the Bears may get more players like that in the draft. That is, if they make the right decisions and avoid potential busts, because there's always the chance a player won't pan out, especially the ones in the later rounds who don't carry as many expectations.

    With that in mind, here are some players Chicago should avoid in this year's draft.

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Bears lost Allen Robinson II in free agency, and the only wide receivers they have signed are Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown. They still need to bolster that unit, because Darnell Mooney is the only above-average option for quarterback Justin Fields to throw the ball to at this point.

    So it wouldn't be a surprise if Chicago comes away with a wide receiver on Day 2 of the draft, using either one of its two second-round picks or its third-round selection. But it needs to make sure it makes the right decision on which offensive playmaker to take.

    One thing the Bears shouldn't do is trade up (potentially into the first round) to add one. If they do, it could be to take Treylon Burks, but the former Arkansas Razorbacks standout has some bust potential. And Chicago should be looking to add draft picks and not part with them, which it would need to do to move up.

    The 22-year-old had a disappointing showing at the NFL combine earlier this year. And while that doesn't always mean a player won't go on to have success, it didn't help his draft stock.

    Even if he's still on the board when the Bears are first on the clock, they may want to look at receivers other than Burks.

Marcus Jones, CB, Houston

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Marcus Jones is a cornerback who can also contribute in the return game. It's even possible some teams would want to try converting the former Houston standout to a wide receiver. So there are quite a few ways he could get on the field to begin his NFL career.

    But as of now, the 23-year-old is a cornerback, and the Bears could use a defensive back or two to join Jaylon Johnson in their secondary.

    Jones doesn't seem to be a good fit for Chicago, though, after NFL.com's Lance Zierlein broke down why he may endure some struggles in the NFL.

    "He can be too reliant on his athletic ability. He needs to play with better discipline and route anticipation as a pro," he wrote. "... Jones' lack of size will hurt him with some teams while others will elevate his grade thanks to his electric ability on special teams."

    The Bears don't have a ton of picks, so they can't afford to use one on a player who may only end up being a returner. They need to draft a cornerback with more size who can develop into a long-term solution in their secondary, and that is unlikely to be the former Houston Cougar.

Jermaine Waller, CB, Virginia Tech

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Here's another cornerback the Bears should avoid in the later rounds of the draft.

    Jermaine Waller may have impressed at times throughout his four years at Virginia Tech, but he missed some substantial time due to injuries and may not have a skill set that translates to the NFL.

    Like Jones, Waller's size could be an issue, as he may have trouble trying to cover the big, physical wide receivers in the league. And he also lacks a bit of the athleticism many cornerbacks have at this level.

    "His length and coverage IQ could make him a Day 3 selection, but he might not have the necessary skills and ball production to stick around," Zierlein wrote.

    Of course, that could be the case for many players who are getting picked later in the draft. But there will be better options for the Bears at that point, and they probably should have addressed cornerback by then anyway.

    So, it doesn't seem like a good match between the Virginia Tech product and Chicago.

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