NFL draft tracker: Chicago Bears add to their offense with RB Khalil Herbert and WR Dazz Newsome in Round 6

NFL draft tracker: Chicago Bears add to their offense with RB Khalil Herbert and WR Dazz Newsome in Round 6

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace made a splash on the first night of the 2021 NFL draft Thursday, trading up from No. 20 to No. 11 to obtain Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.

On Friday, he traded up to No. 39 to obtain Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins. And he started Saturday by selecting Missouri offensive tackle Larry Borom in the fifth round at No. 151 overall.

As the Bears make their draft picks this weekend, the Tribune will track and analyze all the moves.

Justin Fields, quarterback, Ohio State

Why the Bears drafted him

The Bears need a quarterback of the future, and they believe Fields could be that player strongly enough that Pace gave up four draft picks — including first-rounders this year and next — to grab him. Pace unleashed a long list of desirable traits Fields will bring to the Bears quarterbacks room, starting with arm talent, accuracy, athleticism, work ethic and experience in big games. Fields threw for 5,373 yards with 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions and rushed for 867 yards and 15 touchdowns in 22 games over two seasons at Ohio State. That includes throwing for 385 yards and six touchdowns despite being injured by a big hit in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Clemson. Pace said the Bears plan to develop Fields behind starter Andy Dalton for now.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Where Fields should fall in the first round was a heavy debate in the months leading up to the draft, and several outlets pegged him as the fourth-best quarterback in the class behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, who were selected with the first three picks. The Bears were lucky in that a few teams in the top 10 — including the Detroit Lions at No. 7, Carolina Panthers at No. 8 and Denver Broncos at No. 9 — already made offseason moves for quarterbacks. Analysts from NFL.com and the Athletic were among those to list Fields’ processing ability on the field as something that needs work. At least one outlet reported teams were questioning Fields’ work ethic, but Ohio State coach Ryan Day shot down that notion.

“The kind of player the Bears are getting is a versatile player, a player that can make plays both with my arm and also with my legs and of course a smart player. A player that’s going to make smart decisions and a player that wants to win, that’s willing to do whatever to win. … My No. 1 strength I would say (is) just showing up in big moments. When big moments present themselves, I feel like there’s just another thing that kicks inside of me.” — Fields

“Justin Fields to me is exactly where the NFL is trending as far as his physical skill set, and there’s a lot of evidence and proof and a lot of big games that he played in his career. I love his versatility. He can throw the ball downfield. He can throw the ball intermediately. He’s got the levels concepts and he can create off platform very comfortably, so I don’t think you’re pigeon

holed if you take him. What I just described covers a lot of offenses, and any notion that he’s not committed to the cause or doesn’t work at it, according to my conversations over the last couple years with Ryan Day, it’s been actually the exact opposite. His teammates have been blown away by his commitment. His coaches have been blown away and appreciative of his commitment.” — ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit

Earlier this week, the NFL Network revealed Fields has managed epilepsy throughout his career. Pace said the Bears were comfortable with what they learned about Fields’ medical situation and how he handles it.

“What stood out with him in all of our interviews … is just his focus and how serious he is and that determination he has. He’s really locked in. His desire to be great, you can feel that when you speak to him.” — Pace

Teven Jenkins, offensive tackle, Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins at the start of a game in Stillwater, Okla., Sept. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

Why the Bears drafted him

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah used the words “edge,” “nasty” and “mauler/brawler” to describe the pick who tempted Pace into another aggressive trade up. Pace traded the Bears second-round pick (No. 52), third-round pick (No. 83) and a sixth-round pick (No. 204) to the Carolina Panthers to take Jenkins, who could become a Bears long-term starter at right tackle after they let Bobby Massie go in free agency. The Bears also received the Panthers’ fifth-round pick at No. 151.

Jenkins started 35 games at Oklahoma State, mostly at right tackle, though he did play left tackle and a couple of games at right guard. Pace said he fits with the Bears at either tackle position. In 2019, he was part of an Oklahoma State offensive line that helped running back Chuba Hubbard rush for an FBS-best 2,094 yards.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said he thought Jenkins, who has good upper body strength, athleticism and instincts, would have been a solid first-round pick for the Bears if they had stayed at No. 20. Pace said the Bears also had first-round grades on Jenkins and began discussing a possible scenario to move up for him Friday morning.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Jenkins opted out of the 2020 season after seven games so he could get healthy to be ready for the draft. (Pace said he showed up to his pro day in great shape.) Analysts note he has short arms for a tackle, measuring at 33½ inches. Some note they would like to see more consistency, with ESPN’s Louis Riddick saying Jenkins will have to refine his technique on his way to becoming a reliable starter.

“My edge to me is about being able to finish anybody in the dirt. I don’t care who you are lining up against me, I don’t care what you earn against me, I don’t care who you are, I’m going to attack you. … Basically, I want to impose my will against another man and use that force against him until he gets worn out and tired. And I don’t care how long it takes. I’m going to do that 24/7 and I’m going to do that all game.” — Jenkins

“Drive blocker, strong hands, good finishing ability in pass protection. The footwork, the hand usage, pretty good. Now, you look at him, and sometimes the quick guys might give him a little bit of trouble. But overall, I thought he kept defensive ends at bay on a consistent basis. Impressed with Teven Jenkins week after week.” — Kiper

Jenkins, who also played baseball and basketball in high school in Topeka, Kan., said his agent told him it was a 50-50 chance he would go in the first round or slip to the second. When he wasn’t picked Thursday, he spent Friday at lunch with his brother and girlfriend and then playing “MLB The Show” on Xbox. He now hopes to prove wrong all the teams that didn’t pick him.

“I’m going to be able to make sure everybody rues that day they didn’t pick me,” said Jenkins, who models his game after three-time Tennessee Titans Pro Bowler Taylor Lewan. “I’m going into every weight room, doing everything 200%. I don’t care if my body is aching, sore, anything. I’m going to be pushing myself to the max because I want to show everybody I was a Day 1 talent.”

“A powerful tackle. He can bend. He can play with leverage. He consistently moves guys out in the run game, which is awesome to see. Beyond that, he’s got the athletic ability to get to the second level and block in space. In pass pro, a really good anchor, so he handles power really well. And then of course he plays with a lot of toughness and finish. We went into this draft looking for that trait, and he definitely has that trait, that toughness, that nasty style of play.” –Pace

Larry Borom, offensive tackle, Missouri

Missouri’s Larry Borom participates in the school’s pro day for NFL scouts in Columbia, Mo., on March 22, 2021. (Jeff Roberson)

Why the Bears drafted him

Borom played in 33 games and was a two-year starter for Missouri, mostly at right tackle, though he has experience at left tackle and left guard. He potentially could play at guard at the NFL level, but he said he would prefer to stick at tackle. The Detroit-area native is a big, strong mauler who has athleticism for his size, according to the The Athletic and NFL.com. He allowed one sack in 2020, according to Pro Football Focus.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Borom, who grew up a basketball player and didn’t start football until high school, was the 21st-ranked offensive tackle the draft, according to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, and still has areas that need development to succeed at the NFL level, according to analysts. Borom played in only eight games for the Tigers in 2020, missing time with a lower-leg injury before opting out of the bowl game to prepare for the draft.

“As a player, I’m a mean, physical, dominant big person that’s going to displace people off the line of scrimmage. I play with that demeanor and that chip on my shoulder that I’ve had since I was younger, and I’m never going to lose that.” — Borom

ESPN’s Todd McShay sent Borom to the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 94 overall in a three-round mock draft with Mel Kiper Jr. last month. “Borom has size and power, but I worry about his movement skills at the next level,” McShay wrote.

On the NFL Network broadcast, Daniel Jeremiah added: “He’s got a real wide, thick frame. I thought more of an absorb guy. In other words, when you’re watching a tackle, is he getting on people? Is he taking action to them? He’s more of a catch and absorb. I do think he has starting potential. He’s not there, but he’s got potential down the line.”

Borom said “it’s a ton of excitement” arriving in Chicago with new Bears quarterback Justin Fields and second-round draft pick Teven Jenkins, also an offensive lineman. Borom said he worked out this spring at Proactive Sports Performance in California, where Fields also trained.

“I trained with a lot of good guys that are great football players,” Borom said. “Training with those people really pushes you to be your best. You can’t slack or fall behind. You have people that are all competing for the same thing at the end of the day. Being out there, it taught me to compete even harder than I was doing. So I put in the extra effort.”

Khalil Herbert, running back, Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech running back Khalil Herbert runs the ball against North Carolina during the first half in Chapel Hill, N.C., Oct. 10, 2020. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Why the Bears drafted him

Herbert averaged 7.6 yards per carry last season, the fourth highest of any back in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He was named third-team All-ACC as a running back after rushing for 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns in 2020. He is short but sturdy and has shown an ability to see the field well while also having the power to run through contact. He has the potential to factor into the Bears plans as a kick returner as they look to replace Cordarrelle Patterson.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Herbert lacks elite quickness and explosion and hasn’t yet shown that he can be consistently reliable in pass protection. He hasn’t carved out a niche as a pass catcher.

Herbert played four years at Kansas, rushing for 1,735 yards and 10 scores for the Jayhawks. But when he decided to redshirt after four games of his senior year, a somewhat contentious exit from Kansas unfolded. “A business decision,” Herbert called it. After migrating to Virginia Tech as a graduate transfer, his connection with the coaching staff opened the doors for increased opportunity and impressive production.

“They did a great job of allowing me to go out there and play,” Herbert said. “They used me in a lot of different ways and got the ball into my hands. … It’s something I’ve always known I could do. But I think a lot of people just weren’t able to see it. (Last season), I think I was able to show everybody what I could do.”

Herbert was born with 12 fingers and still has six toes on his left foot. He had the extra finger on each of his hands removed when he was younger. Notable but not significant. “It doesn’t really do anything different that I can tell,” Herbert said.

Dazz Newsome, wide receiver, North Carolina

North Carolina wide receiver Dazz Newsome (5) reacts following a touchdown against Wake Forest in Chapel Hill, N.C., Nov. 14, 2020. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Why the Bears drafted him

Newsome had 188 catches for 2,435 yards and 18 touchdowns over four seasons at North Carolina. He also had 48 punt returns for 535 yards and a touchdown. He’s an athletic, tough slot receiver capable of producing explosive plays. Analysts on the ESPN broadcast praised his vision in the open field and instincts on when and how to make cuts.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler wrote Newsome needs to develop more discipline in his route running and had too many drops.

“All you saw was Dazz Newsome being the guy Sam Howell relied on in critical situations. He’s also an outstanding punt returner. As a receiver, electric with run-after-the-catch ability, attacks the ball. At times, I’d like to see him do it a little bit more. … When you look at Dazz Newsome, you think about a guy who plays above and beyond his computer numbers. And I love the fact he’s a really good, solid, experienced punt returner.” — ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

Thomas Graham Jr., cornerback, Oregon

Defensive back Thomas Graham Jr. of Oregon runs during practice for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 28, 2021. (Matthew Hinton/AP)

Why the Bears drafted him

With a need to add talent and depth at cornerback after Kyle Fuller’s departure, Ryan Pace finally checked the box at the end of Round 6. Graham is experienced after starting three seasons at Oregon. He made eight interceptions and broke up 32 passes during his college career.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Graham opted out of the 2020 season because of concerns about COVID-19. He also suffered a shoulder injury during his junior season at Oregon. It remains to be seen how quickly he can get up to speed at the NFL level and whether he is gifted enough to compete for a starting role up the road.

Khyiris Tonga, defensive tackle, BYU

BYU’s Khyiris Tonga (95) works during the first half against Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C., on Dec. 5, 2020. (Brent Rivers/AP)

Why the Bears drafted him

Tonga had 130 tackles, including 15 for a loss, 7½ sacks, five quarterback hits, 12 passes defended and two forced fumbles over four seasons at BYU.

Check back for more updates.

Read More

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings