Breaking down the Chicago Bears' 2019 draft class.
Round 3, No. 73 overall: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
My take: The Bears jumped up 14 spots to select Montgomery, who figures to mesh well with current Chicago running backs Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis. The Bears had a serious need in their backfield after they traded Jordan Howard to Philadelphia, and veteran Benny Cunningham left in free agency. Bears general manager Ryan Pace clearly coveted Montgomery, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his final two years at Iowa State, sending the Patriots 2019 third-round (87) and fifth-round (162) picks, plus a 2020 fourth-round selection. Chicago will receive the 205th overall choice (sixth round) from New England on Saturday. That is not a small price to play for a player who will be expected to contribute as a rookie.
NFL draft profile: Riley Ridley
Riley Ridley out of Georgia has long arms and big hands while being a savvy route runner who commits very few focus drops.
Round 4, No. 126 overall: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
My take: Ridley -- the younger brother of Atlanta receiver Calvin Ridley -- is the fourth Georgia player drafted by Bears general manager Ryan Pace, joining 2016 first-round pick Leonard Floyd, 2018 first-round pick Roquan Smith and 2018 seventh-round wideout Javon Wims. Ridley arrives in Chicago with the reputation of being an excellent route runner, which is an essential skillset for any receiver in Matt Nagy's offense. The Bears now have a nice core of young wide receivers (Anthony Miller, Wims and Ridley) to compliment veterans Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. Ridley had only 44 catches for 570 yards and nine touchdowns for Georgia last season, but some of that is attributed to the fact the Bulldogs had so many weapons on offense to choose from.
Round 6, No. 205 overall: Duke Shelley, CB, Kansas State
My take: The Bears were in the market for cornerback depth behind veteran starters Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara and new nickelback Buster Skrine. Shelley -- listed at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds -- appears best-suited (from a physical makeup) to cover the slot. Shelley had eight career interceptions in college, but a toe injury cut short his final season. Shelley was not invited to the combine, but reportedly had a strong Pro Day in March. The Bears obviously felt confident enough with Shelley's health to take him in the sixth round.
Round 7, No. 222 overall: Kerrith Whyte, RB, Florida
My take: Whyte probably falls into the category of “best player available” in the final round. Whyte had a decorated collegiate career as a return man, which should give him an opportunity to impress in preseason games. The Bears’ backfield appears set with Tarik Cohen, Montgomery and Mike Davis (Taquan Mizzell is another holdover from last year), but maybe Whyte can earn a roster spot/practice squad spot with a strong showing on special teams.
Round 7, No. 238 overall: Stephen Denmark, CB, Valdosta State
My take: Denmark is a converted wide receiver, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 212 pounds. That’s big-time size for a cornerback. Denmark is obviously a project based on his lack of experience on defense (Denmark played just one season at cornerback). Still, the Bears were willing to take a flyer on him because of his rare physical and athletic traits. Denmark is probably a strong candidate for Chicago’s practice squad. He needs solid coaching.