LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears (3-9) are about to embark on another critical offseason in which general manager Ryan Pace's decision-making will be more scrutinized than ever.
Aside from making inevitable changes to the coaching staff, Pace is responsible for fixing numerous problems on the roster. Most of these problems are self-created -- stemming from questionable draft picks, free-agent signings and personnel choices (think letting Alshon Jeffery walk away for nothing in free agency).
The fastest way for Pace (12-32) to end Chicago’s seven-year playoff drought -- besides having Mitchell Trubisky transform into a franchise quarterback -- is to draft another strong class in the spring.
Right now, the Bears own seven picks in the 2018 NFL draft: first round, second round, fourth round (2), fifth round, sixth round and seventh round.
Except for one of next year’s fourth-round selections (from Arizona), the Bears should be picking near the top of each round for the second consecutive year.
Let’s take a look at Pace’s draft record over a three-year period from 2015 through 2017.
Round 1 -- Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: The seventh overall pick in 2015, White has played in only five regular-season games because of multiple injuries. White’s $2,693,597 base salary for next season is fully guaranteed, but there’s no chance the Bears exercise White’s fifth-year option. Pace’s first-ever draft pick looks like a total bust. Arrow: Down
Round 2 -- Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State: Goldman’s health has been his biggest liability. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound lineman played in only six games last year. However, Goldman has started all 12 games in 2017 (Goldman presently is “day-to-day” with a hip injury) and is considered an excellent run stopper. Pace gets the benefit of the doubt on this selection. Arrow: Up
Round 3 -- Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon: Grasu was a healthy scratch in Week 13. That tells you all you need to know. Arrow: Down
Round 4 -- Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State: Langford had decent numbers as a rookie but fell out of favor last year after an ankle injury opened the door for Jordan Howard. The Bears cut Langford in September. Arrow: Down
Round 5 -- Adrian Amos, S, Penn State: Amos started his first two years before he lost his job over the summer to rookie Eddie Jackson. Amos, however, got back in the lineup after Quintin Demps went on injured reserve, and he played fairly well. Unfortunately, Amos is currently dealing with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to play on Sunday versus Cincinnati. Arrow: Sideways
Round 6 -- Tayo Fabuluje, G, TCU: Fabuluje was suspended four games as a rookie for violating the NFL’s PED policy. The Bears waived Fabuluje the following summer. Arrow: Down
Round 1 -- Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia: Floyd is talented but has durability issues. The ninth overall pick in 2016 will have played in just 22 career games when the season ends. Floyd does have 11.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss, but it’s hard to get overly excited about a young player who has already suffered from calf, concussion and knee issues at age 25. Arrow: Sideways
Round 2 -- Cody Whitehair, G/C, Kansas State: Whitehair has been a starter since day one, which is exactly what second-round picks are expected to do. Whitehair can play multiple positions but seems better suited for center. Whitehair botched a handful of shotgun snaps in 2017, but he’s a solid overall player and good guy in the locker room. Arrow: Up
Round 3 -- Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida: Bullard is known to have a quick first step off the snap, but he hasn’t put it all together yet. Bullard has only two career sacks and five tackles for loss. He’s expected to play more down the stretch with veteran Mitch Unrein on injured reserve. Arrow: Sideways
Round 4 -- Nick Kwiatkoski, LB, West Virginia: Kwiatkoski was sidelined five weeks this season with a pectoral injury, but he’s a serviceable backup/fill-in linebacker. On a playoff-caliber team, Kwiatkoski is probably a top reserve/special-teamer. Arrow: Sideways
Round 4 -- Deon Bush, S, Miami: Bush had the opportunity to start six games last year, but he’s a complete nonfactor in 2017. The Bears were so desperate for help at safety in the offseason that they signed Demps and drafted Eddie Jackson. Arrow: Down
Round 4 -- Deiondre' Hall, CB/S, Northern Iowa: Hall, whom the Bears moved from cornerback to safety, came off of injured reserve last week and played nine snaps on special teams. Hall appeared in just eight games as a rookie and was arrested in the offseason and cited for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and interference. Arrow: Down
Round 5 -- Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana: Howard was the NFL’s second-leading rusher (1,313 yards) as a rookie. Through 12 games in 2017, Howard is fifth in the league with 885 rushing yards. Arrow: Up
Round 6 -- DeAndre Houston-Carson, S, William & Mary: Houston-Carson played sparingly as a rookie, but he was contributing more this year before he suffered an ankle injury. Arrow: Sideways
Round 7 -- Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan: Braverman didn’t catch a pass in his first season and was waived over the summer. Arrow: Down
Round 1 -- Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: Trubisky has modest numbers in eight starts: 106-of-193 for 1,237 passing yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions (74.5 quarterback rating). Again, Pace receives the benefit of the doubt -- for now -- because Trubisky is so raw and the Bears have so few weapons on offense. Arrow: Sideways/Up
Round 2 -- Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland: Shaheen has great size but played only nine snaps versus San Francisco. The Bears believe Shaheen can win contested catches, but veteran Daniel Brown plays over him in two-minute situations. Arrow: Sideways
Round 4 -- Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama: Jackson became the first rookie in NFL history with multiple 75-plus-yard defensive touchdowns in a single season. The Alabama rookie has started all 12 games. Arrow: Up
Round 4 -- Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T: Cohen is the first NFL rookie since Gale Sayers in 1965 to score touchdowns via rushing, receiving, passing and punt return in a single season. He’s the Bears' best overall weapon. Arrow: Up
Round 5 -- Jordan Morgan, OL, Kutztown: The Bears placed Morgan on injured reserve with a shoulder injury at the conclusion of the preseason. Arrow: Down