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Bears general manager Ryan Poles’ first NFL draft class has the potential to be an impactful one from Day 1. There are a number of drafted rookies who are poised for starting jobs. But which rookies are primed to make the biggest impacts?
When discussing this rookie class, you have to start with second-round selections cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker, who have immediately upgraded the secondary. Gordon and Brisker fill huge holes at their respective positions, and they’re both expected to start immediately as rookies. Both Gordon and Brisker have made an impression during the offseason program, where they’ve been turnover machines.
One of the biggest needs for the Bears this offseason has been wide receiver, which they addressed with the selection of Velus Jones Jr. in the third round of the draft. It’s easy to see why Chicago is excited about Jones’ potential, where his speed and run-after-the-catch ability have him poised to become a playmaker for quarterback Justin Fields. Given the Bears have an unproven receiving corp behind Darnell Mooney, Jones has a chance to see plenty of reps as a rookie.
Perhaps one of the more surprising rookies is fifth rounder Braxton Jones, who’s garnered starting reps at left tackle during the final week of organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. Jones clearly impressed the coaching staff to earn that starting chance, and he’s emerged as a contender for that starting left tackle role.
Some other notable rookies include punter Trenton Gill, who finds himself as the top guy following the release of Ryan Winslow, and fifth-round defensive end Dominique Robinson, who has the chance for some valuable reps behind the likes of Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson and Al-Quadin Muhammad.
What do you think? Which Bears rookies do you think will make the greatest impact in 2022?