2. G/C James Daniels, Iowa, Round 2, 39th overall
When the James Daniels fell into the second round and the Bears picked him, it was clear that there was something special about the Iowa product from the beginning. All throughout the 2018 NFL Draft process, many had Daniels as a player who had first-round talent.
The first of the Bears two second-round picks, James Daniels did not start a game until Week 8 against the New York Jets. Although he was inserted into the starting lineup due to injuries, he made a name for himself and would keep the starting job for the rest of the season.
Now, Daniels is one of the best players on the Bears offensive line. At just 21 years old, he too has shown that he is going to be a productive starter in the NFL. In fact, when tasked with stopping All-Pro Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams, Daniels didn’t allow a single sack.
After a promising rookie season, Daniels appears ready to take the next step in year two. All throughout 2018, he showed that he could be solid in pass protection and was a factor in the run game, especially when it came to getting to the second level.
For Daniels to take the next step in year two, he’ll need to get stronger. If the Bears can get Daniels in the gym during this offseason with offensive line guru it’s likely that we see Daniels improve in multiple areas which could lead to him having a Pro Bowl caliber season in 2019.