Ryan Pace missed on first-round picks and traded away too much draft capital.
Pace traded draft picks away like he was just giving out candy on Halloween. Although, some of his trades were good. Giving up two first-round picks to get Khalil Mack helped win the division in 2018. Trading up to get Fields may turn out to be the best draft trade in franchise history.
Then there was giving up a bunch of picks to move up one spot in 2017 to select Trubisky. Pace was worried a team would trade up to get Trubisky that he felt the need to give up draft capital to move up one spot. The San Francisco 49ers fleeced Pace because they thought he wanted Solomon Torres. It turns out, there was no team beating down the 49ers’ door to jump ahead of the Bears.
In the 2018 draft, he traded away a 2019 second-round pick to move up to select wide receiver, Anthony Miller. That meant in the 2019 draft the Chicago Bears had no first or second-round pick.
It was two moves like that that continued to plague the Bears’ ability to add young talent.
His first-round pick misses also meant overspending in free agency. That was a reason for the current salary cap miss.
Justin Fields is the only first-round pick remaining on the roster selected by Ryan Pace. He missed on his first-ever first-rounder in receiver Kevin White. Although to be fair to Pace, White could not stay healthy.
Leonard Floyd could not develop into a pass-rusher threat playing opposite of Mack. The Trubisky miss meant the Chicago Bears had to go back into the draft to get a potential franchise quarterback.
Roquan Smith developed into an All-Pro linebacker. He was just traded to the Baltimore Ravens over a contract dispute and he could not force a lot of turnovers in the Bears’ new defensive scheme.
He had mixed results in the second round. Cody Whitehair has been very good. Jaylon Johnson is a great cover corner and Cole Kmet is starting to show flashes he can be a very good tight end. Eddie Goldman was solid but is now out of football. Tevin Jenkins has the potential to be a Pro Bowl left guard if he can stay healthy.
The issue with Jenkins was Pace was the only general manager who thought he could be a left tackle. That prophecy did not turn out to be true.
Adam Shaheen was a huge gamble that did not pan out. Miller had a good rookie season and then ended up being a bust. James Daniels was a starter but Poles thought the Bears would be better off letting him leave in free agency.
He neglected the offensive line in the draft. He drafted just nine offensive linemen and only four players were taken with a second-round pick or higher. That neglect led to an offensive line that usually struggled during his tenure.
He also could not draft wide receivers. Darnell Mooney was the only receiver who developed. Otherwise, Pace had to use free agency to build a wide receiver corp.
He did have some success in the third through the fifth rounds but all those misses in the top rounds or at certain position groups meant he had to use free agency. That meant overpaying for players.
The Chicago Bears no longer have to worry about Pace’s mistakes. He is Atlanta’s problem now and if they keep allowing him to influence the roster, they will soon find out the results might not be what is desired.
Although, he does give nice parting gifts.