2021 NFL Mock Draft sends Bears a new starter at left tackle

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Bryan Perez
·2 min read
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The 2021 NFL draft is less than two months away, yet team needs will change significantly between now and then with free agency next up on the NFL offseason calendar.

The Bears’ needs are pretty obvious. In fact, almost every position on offense can use an upgrade, sans running back, and it starts at quarterback where Chicago is currently set to begin the 2021 season with Nick Foles as the starter. Not great.

The Bears can’t wait until the NFL Draft to find Foles’ replacement — or at the very least, competition. The No. 20 pick is on the outside looking in for this year’s top quarterback prospects, leaving Chicago forced to chase free agents like Jameis Winston if they want even a modest upgrade.

But that doesn’t mean the Bears can’t improve the offense — significantly — in the 2021 NFL Draft. Take CBS Sports’ latest mock draft, for example. Chicago lands a blue-chip offensive tackle in the first round in Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw:

The Bears need a quarterback, but with five already off the board they turn to the offensive line. Darrisaw, who had a strong season for the Hokies, is an athletic offensive lineman who may eventually move inside to guard.

Darrisaw is currently my second-highest rated offensive lineman in the 2021 draft. He could end up coming off the board before other highly-coveted offensive linemen like Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater and USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker.

The veteran of 34 starts for the Hokies, Darrisaw’s tape in 2020 was downright dominant. I don’t buy the narrative that he’ll move inside to guard. Instead, he projects as a 10-year starter at offensive tackle.

If the Bears can’t land a quarterback in Round 1, a blue-chip offensive tackle is the next-best thing for the offense.