The first three picks for the Bears on Saturday all had the same theme, defense.
Linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (Western Kentucky) was the selection in Round 4 while defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (Delaware) was taken in the Round 5. Then in the Round 6, defense continued with the addition of defensive end Kylie Fitts at No. 181 overall.
Fitts made 23 starts in his three years at Utah. He had a steady 2015 season with seven sacks and four forced fumbles as a redshirt freshman. The 6’4″, 263-pounder played only nine games the following two years combining for 4.5 sacks.
He led all EDGE rushers with 31 reps on the bench press at the NFL Combine in February. Fitts also had a nice 40-yard dash of 4.69 seconds.
Ankle and shoulder injuries kept him out of games over the last two seasons. But if healthy, he’s a true developmental player alongside outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, Sam Acho and Aaron Lynch.
Bears OLB Kylie Fitts on his Lisfranc injury (2016) and ankle & AC shoulder sprains (2017): “There were no serious injuries. They were just lingering injuries that just prevented me from playing to my potential. It was just a run of bad luck, & I got it all out of the way.”
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) April 28, 2018
The seventh and final pick for the Bears in this 3-day draft process came at No. 224 overall in Round 7. It was used on Georgia wide receiver Javon Wims. The 6’3″, 215-pounder was originally a basketball player in high school at Ed White in Jacksonville, Florida.
He then went to two junior college’s, Belhaven and then Hinds before landing with Georgia in 2016. This past season, Wims totaled 45 receptions, 720 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017, all team highs.
When you turn on the film, you see good jump ball ability and speed from Wims. His nickname is Juice and he had a steady 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
He still needs time to develop as a route runner, but at the very least he’ll be a guy to bring along behind Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Kevin White, Bennie Fowler and Anthony Miller.
The Bears also have Josh Bellamy, Marlon Brown and Tanner Gentry on the roster as the wide receiver room is highly improved for Mitch Trubisky’s benefit.
Fun fact: The only other seventh round selection by general manager Ryan Pace was also a wide receiver Daniel Braverman (2016).
Thoughts on the Bears’ final two selections of this year’s draft? Weigh in below.
Anthony Miller is the pick in Round 2 (via trade with New England)