The Chicago Bears paid off their first-round debt to the Las Vegas Raiders for the Khalil Mack trade during the 2020 NFL Draft. But with two top-50 selections and seven picks overall, general manager Ryan Pace added several quality football players in what shaped up to be a quality draft class.
According to NFL.com's Chad Reuter, it nearly deserved an "A" grade.
The Bears' first-round pick this year was held by the Raiders as part of the deal for sackmaster Khalil Mack. They found a talented tight end in Kmet (whom I like more than most), though the pick gives them an absurd amount of depth at the position. Johnson was a good pick later in the second round, as well. Gipson is an underrated player who offered solid value in the fifth round. Vildor has many fans across the league. Hambright is an intriguing prospect with great upside for a seventh-round pick.
Cole Kmet and Jaylon Johnson should challenge for starting jobs in 2020 (at least they will at some point), and Trevis Gipson is a toolsy pass rusher with upside. There's actually quite a bit of pressure on Gipson to do well - more than the average fifth-round pick - because of the investment Pace made in his selection. He traded a 2021 fourth-round pick to move up in the fifth round to grab him.
It's hard to argue with a draft class that has this much potential. One might say that Pace should've rolled the dice on Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round, but as is the case with every draft year, we won't know whether or not that was a mistake until several years from now.
Until then, the Bears' roster definitely improved as they embark on a season with playoff aspirations.
2020 Draft Grades: Bears' draft class earns high marks from NFL.com originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago