2022 NFL Draft: When the Bears Pick, Top Targets and How to Watch

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2022 NFL Draft: When the Bears Pick, Top Targets and How to Watch originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The 2022 NFL Draft is an opportunity for every NFL team to add talent to their rosters in hopes of immediate impact players and franchise cornerstones of the future.

For the Chicago Bears, that's no different and new general manager Ryan Poles has a lot of holes to fill.

Heading into the marquee event, here is everything Bears fans need to know.

When is the 2022 NFL Draft?

The NFL draft runs from Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30.

What time is the 2022 NFL Draft?

There are seven rounds in the NFL Draft, beginning with Round 1 on April 28 at 8 p.m. ET.

Rounds 2 and 3 are set for April 29 starting at 7 p.m. ET, followed by Rounds 4-7 on April 30 at 12 p.m. ET.

When do the Bears pick in the 2022 NFL Draft?

The Bears are one of eight teams without a first-round pick. The Bears traded their 2022 first-round selection in 2021 to the New York Giants to move up and draft Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.

Instead, the Giants will pick seventh with the Bears pick.

Unfortunately, the Bears don't have many picks at all. The Bears have six picks overall, and that's tied for the third-fewest in the 2022 NFL Draft. Only the Miami Dolphins (4) and Las Vegas Raiders (5) have fewer picks.

Round

Pick (Overall)

2

39

2

48 (from LAC)

3

71

5

148 (from HOU)

5

150

6

186

Here’s the full draft order for the first round.

Mock draft: Who are some of the top potential picks for the Bears?

Glynn Morgan, NBC Sports Chicago's mock draft guru, has the Bears picking players at two areas of need in his most recent mock draft.

At No.. 39, Morgan has the Bears selecting Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam. At No. 71, Morgan has the Bears picking North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson.

Bears fans won't have issues addressing either of those positions, though they might feel like those names aren't the right ones.

There is a lot of hope in Chicago that Fields' Ohio State teammate and wide receiver Chris Olave falls to the second round. NFL.com even had Olave falling to the Bears in the second round. ESPN had the Bears selecting Purdue wide receiver David Bell.

Mock Draft specialist Todd McShay has the Bears selecting Texas A&M offensive lineman Kenyon Green with their first pick. McShay's colleague Mel Kiper Jr. has the Bears selecting Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon at 39 and Tulsa offensive lineman Tyler Smith at 48.

Kiper cited wide receiver depth and an opportunity to get a good player in the third to fifth-round area at the position.

What do the Bears need to address most in their picks?

Everywhere, with the exception of quarterback.

The Bears need to surround Fields with pieces, both on the offensive line and weapons for the passing game.

The defense needs some secondary help, notably at quarterback outside of Jaylon Johnson. Kindle Vildor made 12 starts last seasons and Thomas Graham Jr. showed some promise.

The Bears traded away Khalil Mack and are letting Akiem Hicks walk, some pass rushers and defensive lineman would be beneficial too.

Which teams have the top picks in the draft?

Here's a look at the top-10 selections in the draft:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars

  2. Detroit Lions

  3. Houston Texans

  4. New York Jets

  5. New York Giants

  6. Carolina Panthers

  7. New York Giants (via Chicago)

  8. Atlanta Falcons

  9. Seattle Seahawks

  10. New York Jets

You can check out the full order of the first round here.

What are some of the best Bears draft picks in history?

The answer depends on if you're looking for a player who far exceeded the expectations of a player selected in that round, or simply the best player the Bears ever drafted.

If it's simply the best player the Bears ever drafted, it's Walter Payton. He was the fourth overall pick in 1975 and went on to have a Hall of Fame career, finishing as the all-time leading rusher in NFL history at the time. He was also an integral part of the 1985 team that won the Bears' lone Super Bowl.

Other notable Bears' draft picks, Mike Singletary who was a second-round pick in 1981. Brian Urlacher who was the ninth-overall pick in 2000. Both of whom went to the Hall of Fame.

If the criteria is player who far exceeded draft expectations, the answer is Richard Dent. He was the 203rd pick in the 1983 NFL Draft in the eighth round. The NFL doesn't even have an eighth round anymore. Dent was part of that vaunted 1985 defense that won Super Bowl XX -- and he was the MVP of that game. Dent was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

How to watch the 2022 NFL Draft?

The NFL draft will be aired on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.

You can stream the draft online at ABC.comESPN.com and NFL.com, or via the ABCESPN and NFL apps.

What are some other headlines to watch for?

Will the Bears trade up into the second round? Armed with two second-round picks, there is some thought that general manager Ryan Poles could try to move up to get a player in the first round. That might be muscle memory from the Ryan Pace era though.

Would Poles trade back to accumulate more picks?

And notably, will Chris Olave fall to the Bears in the second round. After watching former collegiate teammates Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase lead the Cincinnati Bengals to a Super Bowl, Bears fans are dreaming of a Fields-Olave pairing to do the same.

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