Before the draft, I looked in-depth at Ryan Pace’s draft trends from 2015-17 and used them to make predictions for what would happen in 2018. Well, it turns out Pace’s approach changed a good bit this year. Let’s look at those identified trends to see which ones were and were not followed.
- Go get your guy. The Bears reportedly tried to trade up from pick #8 to get somebody Ryan Pace really wanted. He continues to be very aggressive targeting his chosen players at the top of the draft.
- Replace a veteran. Every round one pick has been made to replace a high-profile veteran who recently left. That continued this year with Roquan Smith replacing Jerrell Freeman.
- Prototype prospects. Pace loves his athletes at the top of the draft, but that changed a bit this year. Roquan Smith is still extremely athletic, but he was not the physical prototype Tremaine Edmunds was. Pace went for the better player right now instead of the player with the highest ceiling, a definite shift in approach.