A capsule look at the Bears’ 2021 draft class:
A capsule look at the Bears’ 2021 draft class:
Round 1, Pick 11
Ohio State QB
6-2, 227 pounds
Background: A star high school baseball player and five-star football player in Kennesaw, Ga., 30 miles northwest of Atlanta, Fields stayed in-state to play at Georgia. After one year as the backup, he transferred to Ohio State, where he was simply dominant. He went 20-2 as a starter — both losses were in the playoffs — and threw 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He lost the national title game to Alabama this year; he was clearly hampered after a hit to his side.
The skinny: Trevor Lawrence was the only quarterback in college football with a two-year resume more impressive than Fields, who was a captain last year. His nimble feet and muscular build will enable him to run away from pressure and survive when he can’t. His accuracy will play well in the NFL, though his reads and progressions will need to speed up.
He said: “I feel like when big moments present themselves, I feel like there’s just another thing that kicks inside of me.”
Round 2, Pick 39
Oklahoma State OT
6-5, 317 pounds
Background: The Topeka, Kansas, native started 35 games — 26 at right tackle, seven at left tackle and two at right guard — over four seasons at Oklahoma State. He opted out of the 2020 season after seven games.
The skinny: Jenkins has played right tackle since grade school. While he helped out on the left side in a pinch, he focused on trying to improve his left-handed steps this offseason. Jenkins said he’s also learned how to snap. Expect him to start at right tackle for the Bears.
He said: “I’m ready right now. I’m ready forever.”
Round 5, Pick 151
6-4, 322 pounds
Background: Borom was a basketball nut — his dad was 6-8 — until he played football for the first time his freshman year of high school. The last two seasons at Missouri, he started at right tackle 16 times, left guard twice and left tackle once.
The skinny: Like new teammate Teven Jenkins, Borom is both giant and physical. While he’ll be a developmental project this season, he could eventually pair with Jenkins to bring a nastiness the Bears’ offensive line lacked in recent years.
He said: “As a player, I’m a mean, physical, dominant big person that’s going to displace people off the line of scrimmage.”
Round 6, Pick 217
Virginia Tech RB
5-9, 210 pounds
Background: Herbert never quite broke through at Kansas, but after transferring to Virginia Tech as a grad student, he piled up 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Also, he was born with six fingers on each hand (one on each hand was removed) and has a sixth toe on his left foot.
The skinny: The Bears are set at running back with David Montgomery starting and Damien Williams behind him. Herbert will have to fight off Artavis Pierce, who made the roster as an undrafted free agent last year, to claim a spot on the team. It’s more likely he ends up on the practice squad.
He said: “[I’m a] home-run hitter… I’m able to do everything out of the backfield.”
Round 6, Pick 221
North Carolina WR
5-10, 190 pounds
Background: Versatile athlete from Hampton, Va. who played cornerback, wide receiver, running back and returned kicks in high school. Recruited to North Carolina as a cornerback, but switched to slot receiver as a freshman. Had 126 receptions for 1,702 yards and 16 touchdowns in his last two seasons.
The skinny: Sturdily built, tough receiver who is effective in the middle of the field. Route-running and attention-to-detail not yet what they need to be to succeed in the NFL.
He said: “I’m gonna come in and make an immediate impact. I’m gonna come in and do what needs to be done.”
Round 6, Pick 228
Thomas Graham Jr.
5-10, 192 pounds
Background: Graham started 39 times and recorded eight interceptions in his first three years at Oregon before sitting out last year because of coronavirus concerns. He worked on his straight-line speed and showed it off at the Senior Bowl.
The skinny: Graham’s athleticism doesn’t jump off the page, but he’s been a productive, smart player since his freshman year. Pro Football Focus considered him the No. 76 prospect in the entire draft; if he comes close to that, he’ll be a steal.
He said: “[After opting out] I listened and learned from everybody and what they had to say about my game, and I just tried to see what I agreed on …”
Round 7, Pick 250
Brigham Young NT
6-2, 325 pounds
Background: A three-star recruit who did not play football as a senior in high school, Tonga did not play at BYU until he was 21 in 2017 after a two-year LDS mission. Started 32 games, including 22-of-24 games as a junior and senior.
The skinny: Typically stout run-stopping nose tackle with good, strong hands but also athletic enough to impact the pass game with rush ability and 12 career pass deflections.
He said: “[I’m] somebody who tries to be powerful — that’s something I pride myself in — being a powerful player and being disruptive and winning most of my one-on-ones and being able to find the ball.”