Chicago Bears NFL Draft 2021: 5 underrated first-round targets

Chicago Bears (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Nick Bolton
Chicago Bears (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Underrated first-round targets for the Chicago Bears: Missouri LB Nick Bolton

Out of all of these players, the one that would shock fans the most is Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton, who projects as a starting inside linebacker in the NFL.

The Bears have Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan for now, but there’s no telling how much longer the latter will be in his starting role. A lot like the argument made for Rousseau, the Bears will need a future starter at this position as well, and Bolton would be a perfect candidate to replace Trevathan.

Bolton may be the second-best inside linebacker in the draft and rightfully so. His skill set is very much like Roquan Smith’s, attacking sideline to sideline but also making impact plays in running lanes. Bolton is almost identical in build, standing 6-feet tall and roughly the same exact weight hovering around 230 pounds.

Although the Bears would still be paying Trevathan, they could opt to trade him for a late-round pick if they didn’t want to be stuck benching a guy getting paid an annual average of $7 million.

Over the last two seasons, Bolton has tallied 198 tackles, including 16.5 for a loss, 3.0 sacks, 12 passes defended and a pair of interceptions. He’s truly the multi-faceted inside linebacker that would look real good next to Smith for years to come.

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Now, does Bolton fill an immediate need? Absolutely not. But, again, we’ve seen Pace do some things that come from out of nowhere, and picking Bolton doesn’t seem that crazy when you put Pace’s history in perspective.