It’s time to run through a Chicago Bears 2022 mock draft now that the club is destined for a sub-.500 record and already looking to next year. At least quarterback Justin Fields said this week that every game remaining on the Bears’ schedule is another opportunity to build a winning culture for 2022. So if he’s already looking ahead, we might as well too, right?
A quick note on the 2022 draft order: The exact slotting of each of the Bears’ selections will crystalize as the regular season comes to a close. Don’t get hung up on a selection that may be a pick or two off from some other resources you’re using.
Round 2, Pick 38: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
One of the Bears’ biggest roster needs as the 2021 season comes to a close is at cornerback, where it’s typically easier to land a starting-quality player in the NFL draft rather than paying the inflated cost attached to corners in free agency. McDuffie doesn’t have elite production (only two interceptions in his career and none in 2021), but his good size and plus athleticism will make him an appealing prospect who should have little trouble cracking the top 50.
Round 3, Pick 69: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
Chicago invested two draft picks on offensive tackles in 2021—Teven Jenkins, second round; Larry Borom, fifth round—but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily finished adding talent along the edge of their offensive line. Raimann is a big dude (6-foot-7, 305 pounds) and would give the Bears flexibility to potentially kick Borom inside to guard. Here’s what TDN’s Kyle Crabbs said about Raimann at the start of the 2021 college season:
“His initial quickness out of the blocks and lateral mobility to react quickly to flashing defenders both upfield in pass rushes and across his face in the run game is notable and allows him to get into the body of defenders with consistency. Raimann's significant room for growth is a double-edged sword but the optimists will view his game as one that is filled with untapped potential and could potentially provide an exponential boom in the final return on investment."
Round 5, Pick 144: Emil Ekiyor, iOL, Alabama
Yes, the Bears go back-to-back picks (although not back-to-back rounds) on offensive linemen. And why shouldn’t they? Fields has been getting battered and bruised because of the offensive line’s struggles, making it imperative that Chicago upgrade the group’s talent in both free agency and with multiple picks in the 2022 draft.
With this selection, the Bears land Ekiyor, who fits the profile of the thickly-built interior linemen the Crimson Tide tend to produce. He’s started 25 games for Nick Saban, and while he’s a somewhat limited athlete, he does have potential starter’s upside. If this pick comes to fruition for Chicago, they could make it two years in a row a first-teamer comes from day three of the draft.
Round 5, Pick 146: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
Outside of cornerback, wide receiver, and the offensive line, the Bears are staring at a huge need at inside linebacker next to Roquan Smith. Danny Trevathan’s best days are behind him, and Alec Ogletree’s hot start has fizzled. He won’t be back. With that in mind, Chicago grabs Asamoah with the second of their two fifth-round picks.
While slightly undersized, Asamoah has the kind of speed and instincts that would fit well next to Smith on the second level of the Bears’ defense. It’s unlikely he’d be a starting-quality player early in his career, but as a rotational defender and special teams thumper, Asamoah would be a nice value here.
Round 6, Pick 185: Jaquarii Roberson, WR, Wake Forest
We have a wide receiver! Look, I know Bears fans want a wide receiver earlier than this, but part of why I have a wideout as the last pick in this mock is because I fully expect the team to prioritize signing one of the top free agents at the position. Chris Godwin? Michael Gallup? Assuming one of those players is on the roster by next April, the ‘need’ at wide receiver will evaporate.
For now, the Bears land a sound route-runner who meets the NFL’s position minimums from a size and speed standpoint. He cracked 1,000 yards receiving this year and tied his career-high with eight touchdown catches. Roberson has quality production on his resume and would be a nice depth pick toward the end of the 2022 draft.