The Chicago Bears made a selection in each of the first three rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft, and the Bears made three trades in the process. In round 1, the Bears gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their 11th overall pick and a 4th rounder for the 9th overall pick in order to secure Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd.
The Bears must have thought that the New York Giants might have taken Floyd at 10th overall which is why they made the trade. Floyd is a work in progress and was drafted based on his potential. NFL Network’s own Mike Mayock seems high on Floyd saying:
Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was in San Francisco when it drafted Aldon Smith. Floyd is very similar. He is one of the most polarizing conversations in the entire draft. He has a ‘wow’ get-off and he bends like Gumby. I don’t know if he can convert speed to power in that pass rush. He has the best burst and get-off in this entire draft. He’s a sub-package, designated pass rusher on Day 1, just like Aldon Smith was in San Francisco.
In round two, the Bears wanted to move up again according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport,
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2016
There were rumors going around that the Chicago Bears had their eye on Eastern Kentucky outside linebacker Noah Spence, who was later selected with the 39th pick by the Buccaneers. This rumor makes sense as Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer compares Spence to a former player of John Fox while at Denver,
He’s not a lengthy defensive end pass rusher, but has Von Miller-type size. He brings it every day in the weight room and brings it every day on the practice field.
The Bears traded down with the Buffalo Bills immediately after Spence was off the board. Coincidence, I think not.
This happened again later in the second round when the Green Bay Packers traded up one spot before the Bears and selected offensive tackle Jason Spriggs out of Indiana. Right after the Packers selection the Bears traded down with the Seattle Seahawks to get another 4th round pick. Eventually, the Bears took offensive guard Cody Whitehair out of Kansas State with the 56th overall pick.
The Bears ended day two of the NFL draft with defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard out of Florida with the 72nd overall pick. Both Whitehair and Bullard are highly rated prospects, but there will always be the question of what could have been if the Bears were able to get Spence and Spriggs.