Who Should the Chicago Bears Draft First in 2020?

By Noah Davis in NFL
| April 21, 2020 3:40 am PDT
Matt Nagy Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are one of six teams that don’t own a pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Last year’s failure to make the playoffs delivers a sinking feeling, but considering that pick was sacrificed to get Khalil Mack, I’d say they agree it was worth it.

While the Bears can’t get a marquee prospect in round one, they can still get a solid player with the 43rd overall pick in round two.

That’s one of two picks in that round, so the Bears still have enough draft ammunition to do some damage.

Bears fans and sports bettors may largely be concerned with what they do with that first pick, so let’s take a look at their key needs and the prospects they should be targeting.

Chicago Bears’ Biggest Draft Needs

  • Cornerback
  • Offensive Line
  • Safety

The Bears have a good defense, but they took a hit in their secondary this offseason. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix left after one year, while the team also released cornerback Prince Amukamara.

Chicago’s offense looks pretty good on paper, but they also lost a quality guard with Kyle Long retiring. You could also argue long-term needs at quarterback and a few other positions, but these three areas are of the greatest concern.

With that said, here’s a look at some of the best prospects that could be available to the Bears with their 43rd overall selection.

Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

Dugger is one of my favorite day two prospects, and when I mocked the Chicago Bears 2020 draft, he made the cut.

An athletic safety who offers serious pop as a hitter and elite playmaking ability, Dugger just fits the mold of a vintage Bears defender.

Chicago could really use his talent at the back of their defense, and it’s arguable they’re getting a first-round talent if he falls to them at 43 overall.

Austin Jackson, OT, USC

Jackson is a true first-round prospect that could fall. Ezra Cleveland, Josh Jones, and Cesar Ruiz are rocketing up draft boards, which may mean someone starts falling.

While not a perfect replacement for Long specifically, adding Jackson’s athleticism and upside to Chicago’s o-line allows them to shake things up and get more versatile up front.

Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

I also don’t mind Damon Arnette here, but Johnson is a little longer and has better timed speed. It’s arguable he’s simply the better overall athlete, too.

Either way, the Bears could use a rangy cornerback, and Johnson fits the bill as a guy who doesn’t make things easy on the opposition due to physicality and aggressiveness.

Who Will the Bears Draft First?

This is one of the tougher 2020 NFL Draft picks to project, seeing as it’s not in round one and there’s a lot that could happen before the Bears get to make a pick.

The best strategy may be to replace Long directly with a true guard prospect later in the draft. That would have Chicago looking at a defensive back, and either Dugger or Johnson would be amazing additions to an already talented defense.

I would prefer Dugger, who is a heat-seeking missile with a well-rounded skill set and amazing upside. Johnson may be a little more likely to slide all the way to 43rd overall, but Dugger to the Bears feels like an incredible fit.

For more 2020 NFL Draft predictions, updated odds, and insight on betting markets, check out our NFL betting blog.

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