I was once told a story by someone in sports media. They were talking with a personnel guy with the Bears in the tail end of the 2018 season, when they were gearing up for a playoff run. Talking about the 2019 Draft, my buddy asked how the Bears' front office felt about the Khalil Mack trade, now that they had a year of Mack under the belt.
The response? "We'd send Gruden another first if we could."
Round 3, Pick 73: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
Round 4, Pick 126: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
Round 6, Pick 205: Duke Shelley, CB, Kansas State
Round 7, Pick 222: Kerrith Whyte Jr., RB, FAU
Round 7, Pick 238: Stephen Denmark, CB, Valdosta State
The Bears draft class is accordingly skint, as their 2019 first was used to acquire Khalil Mack (eventually became Josh Jacobs), and their 2019 second was part of the deal to move up and draft Memphis WR Anthony Miller in 2018.
But of course, a NFC North champion roster didn't have too many holes: the departure of Jordan Howard via trade opened up a gap at running back, which was quickly filled by the Round 3 selection of David Montgomery. Again, starting slot receiver Bryce Callahan left in free agency, but Buster Skrine was signed and Duke Shelley drafted to compete at that spot.
The biggest departure that I think went unanswered was Adrian Amos, who found a big contract in Green Bay. Amos is an underrated do-it-all player, as I wrote in early in the Draft cycle, and I wanted to see the team draft a potential replacement.
Of course, they did add HaHa Clinton-Dix in free agency, but his one-year deal and shaky play as of late doesn't really inspire confidence in his ability to replace what Amos brought to the table. Deon Bush could step up into a larger role, but I view him as more of a backup.
The Bears didn't draft a safety in 2019 -- and it could put them in a spot where they're forced to draft one in 2020.
But I can fix that today.
My Bears Draft Mulligan: Georgia WR Riley Ridley for Oregon S Ugo Amadi
This is a two-fer here, as Amadi not only gives the Bears a potential box safety to play underneath Eddie Jackson, but also has corner background and tons of man coverage experience from his time with the Ducks. He factors into the slot corner competition between players like Skrine and Shelley.
I simply don't see a huge need for a player like Riley Ridley on the Bears current roster. As was alluded to, they traded up a hefty amount to go get Anthony Miller last year; they already have Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel providing quality veteran reps; and Cordarelle Patterson was added in free agency to compete with Javon Wims for WR4 reps.
That room simply doesn't need a Round 4 pick at WR, in my opinion -- especially a guy like Ridley, who's lack of athletic ability leaves him with a low ceiling and a projected future at WR2/3.
The Bears like to share touches and already have a slew of plus athletes on the roster, so Ridley's Year 1 contributions are likely heavily capped. A player like Amadi, on the other hand, with returning experience and versatility in the secondary, has a high Year 1 floor to provide quality reps wherever there's a gap on defense. By Year 3, he's likely carved out at least a nickel role, if not a starting role in your 4 DB sets.