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The Chicago Bears are in the middle of their search for a new general manager and head coach. But it won’t be long before the focus shifts to the 2022 NFL draft, where the new GM will have his work cut out for him with just five draft selections.
Chicago doesn’t have a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft after trading it to the New York Giants to move up to select quarterback Justin Fields with the No. 11 pick last year. But there are still opportunities for the Bears to address some needs in the middle rounds, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
In Draft Wire’s latest mock draft, Luke Easterling has the Bears giving Fields some help with another weapon in the passing game and protection on the offensive line.
Here’s a look at the two prospects:
Round 2, Pick 39: Purdue WR David Bell
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Outside of Darnell Mooney, the Bears don’t have any other wide receivers under contract in 2022, which makes it an area of need heading into this offseason. Chicago will likely target receiver in the NFL draft, and Purdue’s David Bell could make for an intriguing addition to the receiving corp.
Bell is a physical receiver who brings long-ball speed, ball-tracking skills and great hands to the table, and he’s someone that could pair well with Mooney.
Here’s what Pro Football Network’s Oliver Hodgkinson had to say about Bell:
Bell might not be the fastest in a foot race, but he’s got impressive long speed, which can help take the top off a defense. In addition, the Purdue WR has demonstrated excellent burst, with his speed release helping him win at the line of scrimmage. Bell also exhibits a good change-of-direction ability, which shows in his route running and making defenders miss in the open field.
Bell had 93 receptions for 1,286 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games for the Boilermakers this season.
Bell might not be mentioned along with other guys like Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson or Drake London, but he’s certainly someone who has made a strong case of garnering that attention. Assuming he falls to the second round, this could be a great grab for the Bears.
Round 3, Pick 71: Central Michigan OT Bernhard Raimann
AP Photo/Al Goldis
After the beating rookie quarterback Justin Fields took last season — as one of the most-sacked QBs in the NFL — the offensive line will be a focal point this offseason. There are questions on the offensive line, including at both the tackle and interior positions, whether that’s finding a new center as Sam Mustipher hasn’t lived up to expectations and the future of James Daniels, who is a free agent.
While the Bears are hopeful that rookies Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom are the future at the tackle position, tackle still remains a concern, and Easterling has Chicago targeting Central Michigan tackle Bernhard Raimann.
Here’s what Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings had to say about Raimann:
Many of Raimann’s flaws are more minor inconsistencies than red flags. All told, Raimann is a supremely athletic tackle prospect who’s shown he can at least maintain leverage and use extensions to dismantle defenders. However, there is still room for refinement for Raimann. On top of that, he’ll be an older rookie. He’s set to turn 25 years old next September.
The Bears have been linked to both tackle and guard in the draft, but depending on how the Bears feel about offensive tackle this offseason, that’ll dictate the direction they go in the early rounds. So long as Chicago addresses the offensive line, that’ll be a step in the right direction.