ESPN NFL Draft senior analyst, Mel Kiper Jr., published his second mock draft of the 2021 NFL Draft cycle, and he has the Chicago Bears adding juice to the passing game in the first round.
At No. 20 overall, Kiper sends the Bears wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who dazzled as a member of the Florida Gators with his start-and-stop after-the-catch ability.
This is another team with a big quarterback question. The Bears made the playoffs (at 8-8) with Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles under center, but they reportedly were in the Carson Wentz sweepstakes. With Trubisky a free agent and not expected to return, are they now going to stick with Foles? Regardless, I don’t see a quarterback for them here, but they can add Toney, a playmaker who will help as a receiver, runner and return man. Get the ball in his hands and get out of the way. Chicago could also get in on the tackle class and draft a successor for Charles Leno and Bobbie Massie.
If Allen Robinson departs via free agency, the need at wide receiver will jump toward the top of GM Ryan Pace’s wish list. But the emergence of rookie Darnell Mooney in 2020 may have provided Chicago with enough confidence in the position group to hold off until Day 2 to add more talent to the depth chart.
Still, there’s no denying the game-breaking ability that Toney brings to the table. He’s the kind of wide receiver who can convert short passes into long chunk plays; it’ll be his calling card in the NFL. And while that certainly has value, it’s unclear whether NFL scouting departments will hold Toney in high enough regard to select him in the top 32.
For Kiper’s complete mock draft, click here.