Chicago Bears: Why Ryan Pace crushed the 2019 NFL Draft

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Ryan Pace nailed the 2019 NFL Draft this weekend despite not having a first or second-round pick.

The 2019 NFL Draft is completely over. The rule of thumb is that you need at least three years to grade an NFL Draft, but who likes to play by that rule anyway? Going into the weekend, Executive of the Year, Ryan Pace had set the Chicago Bears up nicely. The team was without any actual “needs” and Pace had the luxury of being flexible.

This is very important when evaluating exactly what the Chicago Bears and Pace were able to do this weekend. After trading away Jordan Howard to the Philidelphia Eagles, it was fairly obvious the Bears were going to target a running back. During the offseason, the Bears met with 16 running backs. Funny thing is, David Montgomery was not one of them.

Yep, Ryan Pace is at it again. After fooling everyone on the Mitch Trubisky love in 2017, this season he met with more running backs than 30 other teams (tied with the Jets) but did not show his cards when it came to David Montgomery. Then, just like other drafts, Pace made an aggressive move to get his guy.

Some might be upset by the move to trade away their fifth-rounder for New England’s sixth-rounder, but when Pace knows who he wants, he’s not afraid to go get him. Plus, he moved up for one of the best running backs to fit Matt Nagy’s system. He also moved up to pick before the Buffalo Bills who were in the market for a running back and selected Devin Singletary the very next pick.

Montgomery has the size to take on the lead role within the system. Those who are saying he’s Jordan Howard or worse than Howard need to rewatch the tape. Montgomery has amazing burst and makes elusive moves to make defenders miss, not only in open space but even between the tackles.

If you are worried about his receiving skills, do not be. Montgomery caught 71 passes during his three years at Iowa State. I know what you are thinking. Howard caught 72 passes over three years for the Bears. I am telling you, they are not the same. First, Montgomery played in 10 fewer games over that three-year span. Second, Howard is limited by his route running.

Montgomery is going to be a playmaker. Pro Football Focus has him as the current record holder for most missed tackles forced in a season and the most elusive running back in the Big 12 in 2018. Pro Football Focus grades do not always mean anything, but this just adds fuel to the fire that is David Montgomery.

I fully expect Montgomery to be a dominant force for Matt Nagy. Not to mention, with Montgomery and Mike Davis, teams will have a more difficult time knowing if the play is a run or pass. This is something that unfortunately limited the Bears offense in 2018 with Jordan Howard.

As the 2019 NFL Draft continued, Ryan Pace waited patiently in the fourth round for a player many were shocked to be on the board still. Even more shocking, is Ryan Pace taking him at No. 126 overall. Yes, I am talking about Georgia wide receiver, Riley Ridley.

Ridley is the younger brother to Atlanta Falcons wideout, Calvin Ridley. Calvin was a first-round draft pick who had a solid rookie season. Riley was projected to go in the second or third round of this NFL Draft, but the Bears stole him in the fourth.

Like his brother, Riley Ridley is not a burner. He will not torch you with his speed. However, he has sound technique. He runs fluidly through his routes and even though he might not be a dominant force this season, he will contribute and build for more success in the Bears future.

After Pace locked in his running back and stole a Day 2 wide receiver in the fourth round, he then got to work with his diamonds in the rough. He drafted Duke Shelley, a cornerback out of Kansas State, who projects as a slot corner. Then in the seventh, the Bears added another running back and a project corner.

Next. Bears: Pros and cons of Duke Shelley. dark

Kerrith White, running back out of Florida, will likely compete for Taquan Mizzell‘s job, whereas Stephen Denmark will likely push to make the practice squad. On top of all of this, Pace and the Bears got to work signing a bunch of undrafted free agents. Overall, Ryan Pace hit a home run again.