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Could The Bears Draft Defense at Pick 39?

Why would the Bears draft defense with their first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft? Because they could be boxed into a corner.
Chicago Bears NFL Draft Picks 2022

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Some recent mock drafts project the Chicago Bears selecting defense at pick No. 39 in the 2022 NFL Draft. It is an off-putting idea, considering how much help they need on offense to aid in Justin Fields' development. Why do we keep seeing this happen in mock drafts? In order to find out, I ran through eight different mock drafts across four different simulators (detailed below) for the Bears' 39th pick.

Bears Draft Options

This graphic details the top 10 players available for the Bears to draft at pick 39 according to the mock draft simulators. Notice a trend?

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Bears Draft Options at Pick 39

Projected Bears Draft Options at Pick 39

The percentage column represents how often that player was considered to be a top 10 available talent according to each draft simulator. The average big board rank is based on big boards from Dane Brugler, Lance Zierlein, and Jacob Infante.

Among the 29 players that were considered to be in the 10 best talents at the Bears draft pick, only four of them fill an offensive need. Tyler Linderbaum is unlikely to be there. Meanwhile, Tyler Smith could be a good choice there (depending who you ask). However, according to the three big boards reviewed he might not even be available.

That leaves the Chicago Bears in quite a conundrum. Should they draft the best player available that fills a need? They have needs at cornerback, safety, linebacker, and interior defensive line on defense. And they will have all of those positions available to them, based on projections. Or do they reach for a wide receiver or offensive lineman that may not be good value for their draft slot?

In my opinion, the solution is to trade down to where they will have value for a wide receiver or offensive lineman. But if that option does not present itself, the Bears may have to draft defense if the picks do not fall in their favor.