(670 The Score) The Monday after the NFL Draft is always ripe with instant analysis, with pundits and fans alike ready and eager to forecast how teams' draft classes fit into their new rosters. First-year general manager Ryan Poles and the rest of the Bears' front office entered last Thursday with six picks and left it with 11, which has most fans relatively happy about his first draft running the show. But not every grade has been that rosy -- instant analysis on the Bears has been mixed so far. Here's a look at some of the grades the Bears got for their 2022 draft class.
Pro Football Focus: B-
There were a couple of different ways the Bears could have gone with their first pick, but they again decided not to add an offensive lineman or wide receiver to support Justin Fields. (Kyler) Gordon does fill a need as a projected starter opposite Jaylon Johnson, though. His athletic testing was disappointing, but Gordon showcased impressive burst on tape at Washington. He earned a career-high 89.6 PFF coverage grade in 2021.
While the Bears did not have a first-round pick because of their 2021 draft-day trade to select Justin Fields, they did address the primary needs in the secondary by grabbing two likely rookie starters in Gordon and (Jaquan) Brisker. (Velus) Jones gives the team depth at receiver and a punt return option, even if he might only end up signing one contract with the team because he will be a 25-year-old rookie.
There's a hole at right tackle too, and Chicago took two fifth-round fliers on Braxton Jones (168) and Zachary Thomas (186). Is Poles counting on them to compete to start? That's a lot to ask. I do like lineman Ja'Tyre Carter (226) as a potential starter down the road after some development time. Again, I just don't see this class helping Fields enough.
CBS Sports: D
They didn't have a first-round pick after trading it to get quarterback Justin Fields last year. They picked defensive backs with their first two picks, which they need, but why not an offensive lineman at some point before round five when they took Braxton Jones? I do like Gordon, but they better hope Jones can play.
Sporting News: B-
The first draft for GM Ryan Poles and defensive-minded Matt Eberflus was a mixed bag. Not surprisingly, defense was strong overall with Gordon, Brisker and Robinson providing good impact for the pass defense without a first-rounder. The Bears, however, struggled to get Justin Fields the right much-needed offensive skill position help as Jones was a major speed-based reach. On the brighter side, Jones has potential to start at right tackle.
USA Today: C-
The jury should be out for a while on QB Justin Fields, whose arrival in 2021 also came at the expense of this year's first-rounder. But you would've thought rookie GM Ryan Poles would have done more to find players in this draft – specifically weapons and blockers – to accelerate Fields' development. Nope. Make no mistake, second-round DBs Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker are really good players ... but you wonder if that defense will be on the field a lot in 2022 considering the way things have gone for Fields.
Sports Illustrated: C
I understand the Bears and their fan base are sensitive to the perception that they’re not doing enough for Justin Fields right now, but it’s hard to come out of the 2022 draft without an offensive playmaker or lineman until the third round. That said, Jones adds some juice to the return game and provides the Bears with an intermediate target who could bolster their YAC ability on short-range screens and quick-timing throws.