2024 NFL Draft

Mel Kiper shares his draft grade for Bears picks in 2024 NFL draft

Kiper had mixed feelings about the Bears draft

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As post-draft analysis continues to trickle in, consensus is that the Bears and GM Ryan Poles did an excellent job of improving the roster as the team gets ready to turn the page from rebuilders to contenders. NFL draft expert Mel Kiper recently released his draft grades for every team in the league, and while he was complimentary of what the Bears did, he wasn’t as impressed as others.

New quarterback Caleb Williams was a no-doubt choice for the No. 1 overall pick and No. 9 selection Rome Odunze should help Williams transform the offense. Kiper agreed with pretty much everyone that these two picks were slam dunks.

“Williams, the No. 1 player on my Big Board, is an elite talent who will be surrounded by a great group of playmakers, which now includes wideout Rome Odunze (9), who finished No. 4 on my Big Board,” Kiper wrote. “As I wrote Thursday night, he's going to be able to hit the ground running in Chicago. This is a fantastic start to the draft for Poles.”

From there, Kiper took off points for the Bears’ relative lack of picks. Poles improved the team a ton when he acquired Montez Sweat at last year’s deadline in exchange for a second-round pick. Sweat will almost certainly help them team more than anyone they would’ve drafted with that pick. Alas, Kiper isn’t grading the team’s roster building as a whole, just the draft.

“Chicago didn't have the capital to fully help both its offense and defense in this draft, and as a result, the other side of the ball needs some work,” Kiper wrote.

By now, the Bears have filled many holes on their roster and shouldn’t have too many more open spots. However, following Kiper’s logic, the team could’ve added an extra defensive tackle– which they still need– if they had more picks.

“Kiran Amegadjie (75) is a project offensive tackle coming off a partially torn quad injury,” Kiper wrote. “His physical traits are intriguing. I didn't love a team with only a handful of selections taking a punter in Round 4, but at least Tory Taylor (122) was the best at his position. Austin Booker (144) had eight sacks last season and could be a situational pass-rusher.”

The Bears addressed two big needs by adding an offensive tackle and pass rusher, even though neither are expected to start this season. The team’s depth was lacking in each area, and in a league where injuries are to be expected, they needed to bolster their bench while increasing competition. As for picking a punter in the fourth round, incumbent punter Trenton Gill was one of the worst in the NFL last season. By drafting Taylor, the Bears should upgrade that unit significantly. There’s an argument to be made that the Bears could have potentially traded back to grab Taylor and Booker so that they wouldn’t have to give away a future draft pick to get Booker, but that’s nitpicking.

Kiper’s grade: B

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