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Myth or Reality: What the Trends Say about Ryan Pace's Drafts

Certain trends have developed over five years and 32 draft picks with Ryan Pace in charge as Chicago Bears general manager

Bears general manager Ryan Pace has made 32 draft picks in five years and it's enough time to find trends developing.

He's at his best selecting certain positions over others. He's at his best picking at certain places in the draft over others.

Pace's draft day trades are more likely to succeed if he takes one course of action over the other.

It's time enough to know the draft book on Pace.

Here are the myths and realities of drafts under Ryan Paces:

Ryan Pace is at his best late in the draft: Myth

Pace has had eight picks in the sixth and seventh rounds and Javon Wims is easily the most productive member of the group.

Wims has 22 receptions for 218 yards and a touchdown with six starts in 20 games. He had 18 receptions last season. No other Bears sixth- or seventh-round pick since Pace has been GM has started a game. DeAndre Houston-Carson has been a solid special teams contributor over four years with 28 tackles on 905 tackles but has taken only 73 defensive snaps. Kerrith Whyte and Kyle Fitts went to other teams and might yet be productive. Fitts got into six Bears games without a tackle but Whyte was stolen off the Bears practice squad by Pittsburgh last year and averaged 5.08 yards per carry on 24 rushing attempts in six games as a backup running back.

Ryan Pace's Least Productive Round Is Round 1: Myth

Mitchell Trubisky might not be a standout but he has been starter for three seasons and quarterbacked them in the playoffs. Leonard Floyd was productive, just not enough to be selected with the ninth pick of the 2016 draft. Kevin White is the only complete washout he had in Round 1. And Roquan Smith looks like he could develop into a dominant player. Pace actually has fared worse in Round 3 than in Round 1. His first third-round pick was center Hroniss Grasu, who seemed to small to ever be an NFL starter and then was injured. David Montgomery looks like a potential success, but the only other third-round pick they had was Jonathan Bullard, who was given every chance to seize the third starting defensive line spot and failed. He started five games in four years and more or less filled a spot without standing o ut. They cut him after three seasons. 

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Pace's Best Round is Round 4: Myth 

It's a close call, but it has to go to Round 2. This should make plenty of Bears fans happy about the 2020 draft because the Bears have two second-round picks. Pace's hit percentage is better in Round 2 than in Round 4, although he's had two tremendous successes in Round 4. In Round 2, Pace selected Cody Whitehair, Adam Shaheen, Eddie Goldman, Anthony Miller and James Daniels. Only Shaheen has been a washout among this group. Whitehair had one Pro Bowl season. Goldman has been one of the best NFC players at nose tackle over the last three seasons. Miller had 33 and 52 receptions his first two seasons and started 11 games as the third wide receiver. Daniels has become a starter at both guard and center. The reaso people look at Bears picks and say Pace's best round is the fourth is Eddie Jackson and Tarik Cohen were selected then. He found a pair of Pro Bowl players, Jackson an All-Pro. However, Cohen isn't really a starter. His other fourth-round picks were Riley Ridley, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Nick Kwiatkoski, Deiondre' Hall, Deon Bush and Jeremy Langford. Hall and Langford went elsewhere. Iyiegbuniwe has played special teams and nothing else. Kwiatkoski was a success backup and Bush a backup. You could also build a case for Round 5 because only Jordan Morgan of four players didn't produce. He was out of the league after a year. Jordan Howard, Bilal Nichols and Adrian Amos became starters at varying degrees of success.

Pace Is at His Best Drafting Safeties: Reality

He selected two immediate starters at safety, including an All-Pro. Amos has been an elite safety, though just below Pro Bowl level. Deon Bush has started eight games, as well. None of his safety picks failed. Stephen Denmark is considered a safety or cornerback, but had never played safety before coming to the team in Round 7 last year and was on the practice squad all season. He's the closest thing they've had to a total flop at the position. The next closest position of success has been running back. Jordan Howard became the starter for three years, while David Montgomery is the starter now, and both were productive even behind some poor run blocking. Jeremy Langford was a starter for a short period, before being discarded. Tarik Cohen was a Pro Bowl player, though not at running back. Whyte never got the chance to be a success or failure as he was pilfered by the Steelers.

Pace Is Better at Trading Down on Draft Day than Trading Up: Reality

Pace has had more success with trading down but not by much. Mitchell Trubisky and Leonard Floyd were the results of trading up in Round 1. They were a bit more successful in Round 2 by trading up to get Anthony Miller. Cody Whitehair and Bush were the results of trading down. They also selected Tarik Cohen with a pick they had traded down to acquire. They actually traded down twice in Round 2 and stayed in the round to draft Whitehair while getting extra picks. It's true they traded up to get Jackson, but they only did it with a draft pick they had traded down to get.

Pace Doesn't Know How to Draft a Tight End or Quarterback: Myth

He just hasn't drafted enough of them to know. It's still possible Shaheen could blossom, although three seasons of injuries make it seem unlikely. Trubisky had not had steady incremental improvement, but is still young enough it could change. Regardless, they are the only tight end and quarterback Pace have drafted and it's taking liberty with the truth by saying he doesn't know how to draft those positions until he picks at least a few players at those spots.

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