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Halas Intrigue Bears Report: No quick fixes in the draft

Halas Intrigue Bears Report
The Bears are thinking long term with their rebuild, and GM Ryan Poles’ draft decisions seem to reinforce that. Read the latest coverage and analysis below.

1. Baby Bear steps
The Bears had more needs than valuable picks going into the draft, so it’ll take general manager Ryan Poles at least two classes to get through the necessary roster repairs.
He got started on that list in the second round Friday by taking Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon at No. 39 and Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker at No. 48.
“We can’t fix everything in one year, but we can keep chipping away,” Poles said.
The stakes are low this season, but drafting Gordon could put out a blazing fire in their secondary.
The Bears could be well fortified for years to come with Johnson (23) and Gordon (22), and they have both of them under contract cheaply through 2023.
Nonetheless, it was absolutely imperative that Poles emerge from this draft with significant help for quarterback Justin Fields. It was surprising that he waited until the third round at No. 71 overall to take an offensive weapon in Tennessee wide receiver Velus Jones.
“It has to be in the right spot,” he said. “Sometimes other positions are higher because [the prospects] are really good at their position. It’d be a mistake to ignore someone that good just because of a need [at receiver] right now.”
Even if the Bears are willing to write this off as a transition season, they need to supply Fields with everything he needs to make a significant jump. And right now, Poles’ plans at offensive line and wide receiver require a lot of faith.
Bears GM Ryan Poles: ‘Can’t fix everything in one year, but we keep chipping away’
2. Best available players
A week before his first draft as the Bears’ general manager, Ryan Poles had a meeting with the most important player at Halas Hall: quarterback Justin Fields.
The two watched tape of potential draft picks together during the weekend of April 23-24.
‘‘I want to be able to communicate with my quarterback, so he understands from me kind of the direction we are going in and what we are looking at,’’ Poles said. ‘‘He’s the trigger man — like, he has the ball in his hands. He should be a part of that.’’
In the modern NFL, he absolutely must be. It’s a credit to Poles that he’s embracing that idea.
But if Fields offered input on the top receivers in the draft, it didn’t matter much in the end. The six best ones were gone among the first 18 picks of the first round, and the Bears didn’t pick until the seventh pick of the second. 
‘‘Where we sat [in Round 2], there were two good starting-level defensive players,’’ Poles said. ‘‘And I would have made a huge mistake for this organization to say: ‘Let’s leave them there, let someone else take them, and we’re going to go to offense where they’re not on the same level.’ And then you’re kicking yourself a year or two later when that guy’s an All-Pro [because], ‘Yeah, I just did what I needed at the time.’
‘‘So it comes back to discipline and doing things the right way. And I felt like that’s going to be a decision that we’re all happy with.’’
Technically, the Bears gave Fields help in the draft. Six of the 11 players Poles drafted play offense. Four are blockers, one is a receiver and another plays running back. It’s impossible to argue, however, that the Bears’ offense got substantially better.
Ryan Poles: It would have been ‘huge mistake’ to draft WR in Round 2
3. Defensive starter
The Bears were a reclamation project when Matt Eberflus stepped in as coach — even on the defensive side, which was their supposed strength. That defense plunged from being one of the best in recent NFL history to one that struggled to stop anybody and got lit up left and right in the secondary.
But general manager Ryan Poles has given Eberflus a chance at making the defense good. That’s not a long-term goal. It’s possible this season.
Eberflus inherited a core of linebacker Roquan Smith, cornerback Jaylon Johnson and defensive end Robert Quinn. If he can flip Eddie Jackson back to the ball-hawking safety he was at his peak, that gives him four stars.
Poles supplied him with two second-round picks in cornerback Kyler Gordon (No. 39 overall) and safety Jaquan Brisker (No. 48). Now it’s on Eberflus, who weighed in on those selections, to develop them into legitimate NFL starters.
He has had input on everyone the Bears have added in free agency — namely potential starters in linebacker Nick Morrow, defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and defensive tackle Justin Jones — and the draft. At this point, the defensive personnel should largely be to his liking.
“It’s starting to line up — we’re getting closer,” Eberflus said. “We’ll figure out more pieces to the puzzle: where guys line up and what their skill sets are once we get going there. It’s going to be a process all the way through training camp, but this was a great step in the right direction, for sure.”
Matt Eberflus doesn’t have everything, but he has enough to make Bears’ defense good
4. In other news
5. From the podcast
Patrick Finley and Jason Lieser discuss Bears draftees Kyler Gordon, Velus Jones and Jaquan Brisker. LISTEN HERE.
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