Ryan Pace

Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports

Bears Primed With Possibilities For Day 2

April 27, 2018 - 10:36 am
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By Chris Emma

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Thirty-two NFL front offices will remind of how significant Day 2 of the NFL Draft can be.

Thursday night brings the primetime special, the red carpet, and for the Bears a dynamic linebacker in Roquan Smith out of Georgia. But rosters get bolstered on Friday with the second and third rounds.

The Bears have just one pick for Friday, the seventh slot at pick No. 39, and are again sitting in prime real estate.

A wild first round Thursday left plenty of players with first-round grades available in the second round. Think Bears general manager Ryan Pace is fired up? (Yes. Yes, he's always fired up.) He confirmed the team explored its options of trading back into the first round. However, the Bears lack a third-round pick but have two in the fourth, presenting scenarios for trades either way.

"There’s another opportunity to get better," Pace said. "And there’s a lot of players available that excite us. 

"If need be we could [trade down], or if there’s a player that we love, shoot, we could go up [in the second round]. We’ll see. Having two fourth-rounders helps us. I think this is a pretty deep draft in that area, so we’re comfortable we’re going to get some pretty good players at that part in the draft, too.”

The Bears have traded back with their last two second-round picks, taking center Cody Whitehair 56th overall in 2016 and tight end Adam Shaheen with the 45th slot last year. The trade two years ago was predicated on landing a player of value later in the round, while the move last April was to regain draft assets after the trade up for Mitchell Trubisky with the second pick.

Pace can now restock the "cloud" to which he often refers, loading up the few names that he would love to land in the second round. The list could include cornerbacks Josh Jackson or Isaiah Oliver, receivers Courtland Sutton, Christian Kirk or Anthony Miller, offensive lineman Will Hernandez or James Daniels, or edge rusher Harold Landry.

The case with Landry is interesting as reports have suggested teams have been swayed by medical flags on the projected first-round pick.

It's likely the player Pace sought in a trade up Thursday night is still on the board for Day 2, and we know well how he works with convictions. Perhaps there's somebody he can land later in the night and stockpile draft capital for later.

The Bears have a chance to add some more key pieces to their roster on a pivotal day.