Chicago Bears 2019 NFL Draft: Quick takes on each pick

(Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) /

The 2019 Chicago Bears draft class is in, and I have some quick thoughts.

It’s over. The 2019 NFL draft is behind us, and the Chicago Bears have made their picks. After sifting through the available info, I’ve got my own quick takes on the Bears’ picks.

I’m fully aware that judging a draft pick’s potential before he even puts on the pads can be a fool’s errand, so I write my takes with the caveats that no one knows the future, and that it takes three years or more, usually, to know if the Bears hit or missed on their picks. Not to mention that I’m no tape-eater or college football obsessive. With that in mind, I won’t be doing grades or anything like that. Instead, I will analyze each pick based on what we know right now, and based on the likely future of each player.

For brevity’s sake, I am going to limit this slideshow to each pick and exclude undrafted free agents. This is strictly about the draft class.

Overall, I think the Bears’ draft strategy made sense. Simply put, the idea is to get Mitchell Trubisky as many weapons as possible. This team has a dominant defense and a pretty good offense – but getting that offense to the next level seems to be idea. Head coach Matt Nagy is also an offensive-minded guy, and he was in charge of very good offenses in Kansas City as a coordinator, so the plan makes sense.

If it works, and if some of these picks are productive as rookies, this Bears team could be playing deeper into January next year. Of course, that might have happened this year if not for a missed field goal, but now’s the time to focus on the future.

Chicago Bears, David Montgomery
Chicago Bears (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) /

David Montgomery, Running Back, Iowa State

Okay, okay, I admit it. I’d never heard of this guy before this past weekend. And I don’t want to get too excited just based on the highlights I saw of his best plays at Iowa State. But with Jordan Howard leaving after a season in which it became clear he didn’t quite fit the new offense, there was room on the depth chart for someone to share touches with Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen. I’ve heard Montgomery compared to both Matt Forte and Kareem Hunt so far – and those aren’t bad people to be compared to (on field. We know about Hunt’s off-field issues).

Montgomery rushed for over 1,000 years in his final two college seasons, and did so for a school that finished with a top-25 ranking (if just barely, at #24) that faced opponents like Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington State in 2018. He should be ready to instantly contribute, and while no prospect is guaranteed to be an NFL success, the odds seem in Montgomery’s favor.

Chicago Bears - Riley Ridley
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Riley Ridley, Wide Receiver, Georgia

This strikes me as depth pick, but even if Ridley isn’t meant to compete for a starting gig in 2019, all the better to give Trubisky more weapons.

His stats aren’t eye-popping – nine touchdowns last year – but that’s OK. If he’s as talented as the Bears front office and coaching staff thinks he is, he’ll be a nice addition to the WR depth chart.

With Cordarrelle Patterson also coming over from New England, and the presence of Taylor Gabriel, Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, and Javon Wims, Ridley rounds out the receiver room nicely.

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Duke Shelley, Cornerback, Kansas State

The Bears weren’t all offense in the draft. The team did address a need in the defensive backfield with the selection of Duke Shelley from Kansas State.

It may be hard to get a full read on Shelley, thanks to an injury shortening his 2018 season to just seven games, but he did get Big 12 all-conference honorable mention in 2017, thanks in part to having 13 pass breakups, which was good for fourth most in the conference that year.

Shelley is almost certainly a depth pick, but the Bears did need to address depth in the defensive backfield, so it makes sense.

Chicago Bears, Kerrith Whyte
Chicago Bears (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Kerrith Whyte, Running Back, Florida Atlantic University

Normally, a back-up running back selected in the seventh round would be likely bound for the practice squad, if not the unemployment line, by the time opening day rolls around. But Whyte’s speed gives him a chance to make the team as a special-teamer, even factoring in the presence of Cohen and Patterson on the roster. His highlight reel is impressive, so don’t discount Whyte based on when he was taken.

He’s not a roster lock, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he breaks camp with the Bears, either.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /

Stephen Denmark, Cornerback, Valdosta State

I’m not sure I’d say Denmark, a converted wide out, is insurance in case Duke Shelley doesn’t pan out as a depth-chart filler, but I can see why the Bears used their final pick on him. That said, I think Denmark has a tougher road to hoe in terms of making the roster than fellow seven-rounder Kerrith Whyte.

Still, one never knows. A 4.46-second 40-yard-dash and a 43-inch vertical leap bode well for Denmark, and he did record over 50 tackles in his first year as a college corner.

Next. Bears: Get to know the 2019 offensive UDFAs. dark

It won’t easy for Denmark to stake a claim to a roster spot (there aren’t even photos of him in action), but I don’t see a reason to dismiss him out of hand, either.