NFL executive critical of Chicago Bears' defensive draft focus

NFL executive critical of Bears' defensive draft focus originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears carried a heavy toolbox into the offseason, stocked with the league's most cap space – by a landslide – and a plethora of draft picks.

And with that, they churned out a starting right tackle, defensive line enhancements and marginal upgrades on both sides of the ball. One NFL executive, however, was critical of the Bears using the picks they earned from dealing Roquan Smith and the No. 1 pick on the defense.

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"If they are going to spend this year evaluating Justin Fields to see if they are going to be going up for a quarterback next year, you’ve got to give him every chance," an NFL executive told The Athletic. "Getting a solid tackle is the way to go. But when you turn Roquan Smith into Gervon Dexter and get Tyrique Stevenson with one of the Carolina picks, is that going to get us fired up?

"Maybe these guys are going to be good. My guess is they are going to be, at best, solid starters who play four years and hit free agency."

RELATED: Bears outline critical goals for Wright in offseason program

The Bears stuck to the script of the franchise by focusing a majority of the draft on the defense. They drafted defensive tackles Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens on Day 2, along with Miami cornerback Tyrique Stevenson. On Day 3, the Bears went after the brother of Penei Sewell, Noah, to help fill linebacker depth needs. Plus, Terell Smith, Travis Bell and Kendall Williamson, all of whom are defensive upgrades.


They only focused two of their 10 selections on the offense. During Round 4, the Bears selected Bijan Robinson's understudy at Texas, Roschon Johnson, who has received praise from outsiders and pundits. They also took Tyler Scott, a quick, athletic, route-running efficient wide receiver from Cincinnati.

Still, before the draft, the Bears snagged DJ Moore in a trade down from the No. 1 pick with the Carolina Panthers. They also signed Nate Davis to become the team's starting right guard alongside Cody Whitehair and Teven Jenkins on the interior. They boosted the running back room with veteran signings D'Onta Foreman and Travis Homer. The Bears also signed Robert Tonyan to the tight end room.

Did the Bears do enough to enhance the offense in the offseason?

Most would agree the offensive line still needs fixing. But, as one executive told The Athletic, Darnell Wright adds a solidified wrinkle to the unit.


"Anyone who thought the Bears were not spending their first pick on a lineman was drunk," another exec said. "In a league where Bill Belichick was out there in free agency clapping over the fact he signed Riley Reiff, I think Chicago looked at Detroit as the model for building a solid offensive line. Think how many drafts Detroit took to shore up that line. That is what Chicago is going to do."

But still, should the Bears have focused more of their energy on the offensive line during the draft?

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