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ATM: Fields, Borom Making Evaluation of GM Ryan Pace a Tricky Endeavor

| November 10th, 2021

The biggest difference for the Chicago Bears offense the last two weeks, aside from their quarterback play, has been right tackle Larry Borom, and the fifth-round selection seems destined to be a ten-year contributor in the NFL.

In the first two starts of his NFL career, Borom has been matched against two of the best pass rushers in the league – Bosa and Watt. He’s had some expectedly rough snaps but his overall play is adding yet another intriguing rookie to what could be a transformational class. Borom wasn’t expected to start this quickly but now has the makings of another fifth-round steal for Ryan Pace. He is also the fourth rookie to give the Bears meaningful contributions this season.

  • Justin Fields has been great the last two weeks.
  • Sixth-rounder Khalil Herbert has made some wonder if David Montgomery, one of the ten best backs in the league, is expendable.
  • Seventh-rounder Khyiris Tonga has made it so Eddie Goldman could be moved in the offseason.

(And all this with second rounder Teven Jenkins not playing a snap. If the Bears emerge from the 2021 draft with two starting tackles and a franchise quarterback, it becomes the stuff of legend.)

There are two unquestionable truths when it comes to Pace: he has left the team seriously lacking in talent at key positions and he has a rare eye for talent.

The 2020 draft class produced key starters in Cole Kmet, Jaylon Johnson and Darnell Mooney. But the 2018 and 2019 classes were not nearly as productive. They have just four starters combined from those and only two other players still on the roster. Every GM has misses, but that’s a lot of misses. Kevin White, Anthony Miller and Riley Ridley have left the team relying on street free agents at wide receiver. The Bears don’t appear to have in-house replacements for Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn or Akiem Hicks. Two of their top three cornerbacks probably shouldn’t be starting in the league. And even though there is reason for optimism, the offensive line isn’t anywhere near where it needs to be.

Can Pace be trusted to rebuild the interior of the offensive line, the wide receiving corps and the defense while Fields is on his rookie contract?

Jerry Angelo had years of bad drafts and horrendous decisions.

Phil Emery did almost nothing right.

Ryan Pace’s job performance isn’t as easy to evaluate and if the season ended today, it’s hard to see how he would still be employed. But if Fields stays on his current trajectory and the other young players also continue to improve, the decision won’t be so easy.

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