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ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call with reporters last week and addressed what he thought the Chicago Bears will do in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Kiper Jr. cited his latest mock draft, which has the Bears landing Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins in the first round and Auburn wide receiver Anthony Schwartz in the second.
“He’s got that aggressiveness to blow you off the ball in the run game,” Kiper said of Jenkens on Thursday. “He did a great job against some highly-skilled pass rushers at that right tackle spot. He could also maybe be a left tackle.”
The Bears, who still haven’t formally replaced Bobby Massie at right tackle, could use a player like Jenkens, who’s expected to come off the board anywhere between picks 17-24.
Schwartz was the surprising name Kiper attached to the Bears. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve seen any mock draft with Schwartz rated so high. Kiper explained:
“Anthony Schwartz runs in the 4.2s,” he said. “He didn’t have a high average per catch (11.8) because of the quarterback play. But when he was a freshman with [Jarrett] Stidham, he averaged right around 16 yards a catch (16.2).
“He runs reverses, jet sweeps, he can do all that. He’s got ability after the catch. Anytime you can run in the 4.2s, you’re over six-feet tall and you come out of Auburn and the SEC, you’re going to be attractive in the second round.”
Wide receiver has been mentioned as a primary need for the Bears throughout draft season, especially with Allen Robinson playing 2021 on the franchise tag and the likelihood that we’ve seen the last of Anthony Miller in Chicago. But a one-dimensional player like Schwartz doesn’t feel like the right target.
The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled to get underway on Thursday, April 29 in Cleveland.