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NFL draft tracker: Who the Chicago Bears added on Day 3 with their 8 picks after making 4 trades

After drafting two defensive backs and a wide receiver in the second round Friday, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles has finally begun adding to his NFL draft haul on Day 3.

Poles engineered four trades to increase his picks from three to eight: Nos. 168 and 174 in the fifth round, Nos. 186, 203 and 207 and Nos. 226, 254 and 255 in the seventh round.

Poles traded a 2023 sixth-rounder to the Los Angeles Chargers for pick Nos. 254 and 255 this year. He traded No. 148 to the Buffalo Bills for Nos. 168 and 203. He traded No. 150 to the Houston Texans for Nos. 166 and 207. And he traded No. 166 to the Cincinnati Bengals for Nos. 174 and 226.

The Tribune is tracking all of the Bears’ draft weekend moves. Here’s a look at each of their new players.

No. 39, second round: Kyler Gordon, cornerback, Washington

Height, weight: 6-0, 200

Why the Bears picked him

The Bears had a major need for a starter at cornerback opposite Jaylon Johnson and someone to play nickel, and now they have a dynamic athlete as an option for either role.

Gordon had two interceptions and nine passes defended in 12 games in 2021, being named a first-team All-Pac 12 player. He finished his career with 14 passes defended, 98 tackles, three tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. Gordon’s teammate, cornerback Trent McDuffie, was picked 21st in the first round by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Analysts on the ESPN broadcast called him a tough, hard-nosed player with good finishing skills who will fit in well with coach Matt Eberflus’ style.

Gordon said at the combine that he doesn’t have a preference between playing outside or nickel, and Poles said the Bears value the flexibility he provides.

Poles said Gordon popped up in their mock-draft simulations a few times, but they didn’t think he would be available.

“We kind of laughed it off and it was like, ‘There’s no way,’” Poles said. “So when it actually happened it was a really cool moment, and we’re excited about adding a guy that I believe is going to be a starting-caliber corner. … His movement skills are outstanding. He’s tough. He has what we call reactive athleticism, twitchy. He’s going to help us in coverage big time.”

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Gordon ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash at the combine, but some within the Bears were excited by that, according to scout Francis St. Paul.

“We were like, ‘Uh oh, we may have a chance now,’” St. Paul said. “He plays way faster than that time. And you see it all the time, there are a lot of players that don’t run as fast as we’re all expecting but they play faster. And he has great play speed.”

Multiple analysts indicated Gordon still needs to develop his instincts and technique, but Poles complimented his instincts, saying Gordon has a great feel for the game.

The Athletic ranked Gordon as the sixth-best cornerback in the draft, and he was the sixth selected.

Scout’s take

“Just his competitiveness, toughness. This is a guy, when you speak with him, you’ll see he’s very calm. Corners, you’ve got to forget about the next play because you will get beat. And he’s one of the guys, that if he gets beat, it didn’t bother him at all, and he came back and competed more on the next play.” — St. Paul

In his own words

“My favorite corner growing up, the one I watched the most was Darrelle Revis. He’s the one I kind of modeled my game after in just the way he is off the line. He’s just a technician the way he moves. … He’s just a great player.” — Gordon

You should know

Gordon’s mom got him into competitive dancing when he was young, and he said he traveled around the country for competitions in lyrical, ballet and hip hop. He also did martial arts.

St. Paul said you can see his dance background in his play.

“You see it in his balance,” St. Paul said. “You see it in his change of direction. He ran a 6.67(-second) three-cone. And the most impressive (thing) about it, he was stumbling and pulled out of that stumble and to finish with that time. …If he didn’t stumble, that time would have been amazing.”

Analyst’s take

“He ran in the low 4.5s (in the 40-yard dash at the combine), but he plays so much faster than that and can really find and play the ball. … He’s got the size and length that you love. He’s big-time explosive. … He’s a dynamic athlete.” — NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah

No. 48, second round: Jaquan Brisker, safety, Penn State

Height, weight: 6-1, 206

Why the Bears picked him

The Bears need a safety to start alongside Eddie Jackson, and Brisker could be that player.

Brisker was named a second-team All-American by multiple outlets as a fifth-year senior in 2021 after transferring from junior college in 2019. A defensive leader for the Nittany Lions, he had 153 tackles, 9½ for a loss, five interceptions and 14 pass breakups in 34 games and 21 starts.

In his senior season in 2021, he had 64 tackles, 5½ for a loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.

Poles lauded his toughness, his team-first mentality and his ability to rise to the occasion, noting a key interception against Wisconsin.

“One of those attributes you look for in players is can he make big plays in big moments?” Poles said. “And he showed that over and over in his career, so we’re excited about him.”

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Brisker, who was The Athletic’s fifth-ranked safety, came up through the junior college ranks, so he spent five years in college. He played through a shoulder injury in 2021.

Scout’s take

“You’re talking about a big guy that‘s physical. We like his toughness. We like his ball skills. … A guy that has got speed, range, ball skills, plus he brings the physical side of the game that we like. Obviously with ‘Flus and his defense, wanting to be a physical team, he also brings that aspect of it too.” — Bears scout Chris Prescott

In his own words

“I just think leading by example is very important, whether that’s off the field or on the field. Off the field, my teammates can depend on me, especially working out on my own, them calling me or reaching out or me reaching out to them. And also the head coach can always depend on me to do the right thing.” — Brisker

You should know

Brisker played two seasons at Lackawanna Community College before moving to Penn State in 2019.

“You just take everything one day at a time,” Brisker said. “But really (I learned to) just be humble from the beginning. Me going through junior college is going to help me a lot. It helped me be more mature and helped me see where I was at.”

Analyst’s take

“Jaquan Brisker was a favorite of (Penn State coach) James Franklin’s from start to finish. … Really a versatile safety. He’s not just an in-the-box type.” — ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

No. 71, third round: Velus Jones Jr., wide receiver, Tennessee

Height, weight: 6-0, 204

Why the Bears drafted him

Jones is a speedy receiver who ran a 4.31-second 40-yard dash at the combine.

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He spent four years at USC, including a redshirt freshman year, before transferring to Tennessee for two years. He had a career-high 62 catches for 807 yards and seven touchdowns in 2021.

He was the SEC co-special teams player of the year in 2021. He had 41 kick returns for 1,026 yards and a touchdown in two seasons at Tennessee and added 18 punt returns for 272 yards in 2021.

Poles said the Bears value Jones’ ability to be used in several ways.

“I was looking for those guys that are explosive and they’re playmakers and they can help in many different areas, and that’s what this kid is,” Poles said. “And when you get a chance to meet him, you’ll understand that he’s different. He’s special. There’s something about him. … There’s just an aura about him.

“There’s a lot of really cool traits. This guy breaks a lot of tackles. He can take the top off. His run off the catch is outstanding. He’s big, too. … This isn’t like a skinny, fast dude. This is a strong, violent runner. He used to be a running back, too. There’s a lot we can do.”

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

After spending six seasons in college, Jones turns 25 in May and still needs to show improvement in his route running, according to analysts.

“He’s a mature 25, as opposed to being an older guy who acts like a younger guy and falls in with the college crowd,” Bears scout Sam Summerville said. “He’s very humble and he’s very hungry.”

Scout’s take

“He was one of the guys that took advantage of that COVID year and came back, and it really helped him to refine different parts of his game. The more I watched him, the more I saw him improve. Even going through this season, you see a different player end the season than what you saw earlier. … In particular I would say he got better with route running and things down the field. I think he has always been dynamic with the ball in his hands. He has continuing to add those different aspects to his game.” — Summerville

In his own words

“Ball-in-hand guy, it doesn’t mean just short passes. When the ball touches my hands from an over route, curl route, an out route, I’m going to make something happen, especially with the mentality I have. It came from my father: never, ever get tackled by the first person. That’s something that I’ve been living. That’s something that I was able to put on film and prove I’m one of the best ball-in-hand guys in the nation.” — Jones

You should know

Jones brushed off questions about being a 25-year-old rookie, noting his lack of major injuries during his career.

“Age is nothing but a number,” he said. “I feel like injuries affect you no matter how old you are. I was fortunate. The biggest injury I ever had was a high ankle sprain. Never tore anything, broke anything, so I have the body of, like, a 21-year-old. Age is nothing but a number. A lot of people try to make it a big issue, but at the end of the day, I can play ball, I’m physical, I can run, I can make plays.”

Analyst’s take

“To me the most Deebo (Samuel)-like player — and it would definitely be Deebo-like, he’s not the same talent — but Velus Jones from Tennessee is kind of that guy that’s really, really sturdy and strong and explosive. Like real, real, real fast, somebody on jet sweeps. You see it in the kick return game with him, as well. Just get him the ball and let him go.” — Jeremiah

No. 168, fifth round: Braxton Jones, offensive tackle, Southern Utah

Height, weight: 6-5, 310

Why the Bears drafted him

The Bears are looking to add more talent and depth to their offensive line in order to better support young quarterback Justin Fields. That led Poles to take a Saturday swing on Jones, who is lauded for his length, his quickness and feel for the game. Jones showed good footwork and bend during his college career also has the kind of nasty edge that Poles is looking to inject into his offensive line. He has a chance to be a solid run blocker on the next level. Jones started 30 games at Southern Utah.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Jones, according to some talent evaluators, can be inconsistent with his fundamentals up front and may be particularly vulnerable as a pass protector in the NFL. He’s also coming from a struggling Football Championship Subdivision in the Big Sky and will almost certainly need time to be molded and developed.

In his own words

“I feel like I’m fairly ready, honestly, to compete. That’s the thing I do is compete all day. Obviously there might be a little bit of tweaking and some techniques that I need to fix. But that will come quickly. I think I’ll be able to come in and make a big impact immediately.”

Analyst’s take

“You want to talk about length? Almost 36-inch arms for Braxton Jones at 6-5, 310. He’s a specimen and when he gets his arms on you, it’s over. He just needs to get a little bit more comfortable and play with a little bit more balance. But to me, if he can get his pads down and play with more balance, that length is going to be a huge asset for him.” — Jeremiah

You should know

Jones’ interaction with the Bears’ was minimal during the pre-draft process. He interviewed with he team at both the Senior Bowl and the scouting combine. But that was it. Until last week when the Bears sent assistant offensive line coach Austin King to Salt Lake City, Utah, to have dinner with Jones and then put him through a private workout.

“I think they just needed to see me actually move and be able to move in space and see my athleticism,” Jones said. “Maybe they weren’t totally sold on it yet. For me to come out there on short notice and just do my thing, I think they saw that in me.”

No. 174, fifth round: Dominique Robinson, edge rusher, Miami (Ohio)

Height, weight: 6-5, 253

Why the Bears drafted him

Robinson was a high school quarterback who started his career at Miami as a wide receiver. He transitioned to edge rusher in 2020. In his fifth and final year at Miami, he had 29 tackles, 8 ½ tackles for a loss, 4 ½ sacks and four quarterback hurries.

Bears scout Brendan Rehor said Robinson has the makeup and the traits, including outstanding athletic ability, to be worth a risk on a still-developing player.

He saw Robinson show up against Central Michigan against offensive lineman Luke Goedeke, who was drafted Friday in the second round, and said Robinson also impressed at the Senior Bowl.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Robinson only had two years of collegiate experience on defense, and so still has development ahead.

Rehor said Robinson still has to improve in the run game. Robinson said he considers himself to be “really, really raw.”

“I’ve been working on some new stuff,” Robinson said. “I was a one-dimensional player, kind of. I only had one move throughout college. I wanted to add some power. I wanted to add some things that come off of power, and I think I’ve been doing that pretty well on a consistent basis during this off time.”

Scout’s take

“The athlete stands out the most. There’s only upside with this kid, which is what we’re betting on and what we invested in. The athlete himself, the frame, when you get up on this kid, he’s a lean dude. … There is some rawness to him, but this kid can rush the passer. He showed this at the Senior Bowl. That was really where he made his biggest step where he (showed he) belonged.” – Rehor

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In his own words

“The thought when I was making the switch (to defense) was I wanted to make plays. I’ve been a playmaker all my life and when I was not able to get the ball to make plays at wide receiver, I knew I needed to put myself in a position to make plays without having the ball in my hand. I knew that the defense was the best way to do that and that’s what I did.” —Robinson

You should know

Robinson said he has been watching film of various players, including former Bears first-round draft pick Leonard Floyd, T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett, as he tries to add pass rush moves.

“Those guys are very explosive, very good with their hands, very good with doing different things and that’s what I plan to try to bring,” Robinson said. “My agent kind of helped me out with finding people who are similar to my build and kind of move the way that I move. I move like (Floyd) moves. We’re built the same, kind of longer body guys. He has some nice moves that I definitely want to take and start crafting and put them in my arsenal.”

No. 186, sixth round: Zachary Thomas, offensive lineman, San Diego State

Height, weight: 6-5, 308

Why the Bears drafted him

Offensive line was one of the first positions Poles identified needing work when he was hired. The right guard job appears wide open during the middle of the offseason workout program. While it is a long shot Thomas will be able to push for that spot, it’s reasonable to believe that with a year of development, he will be in position to help the team in a year. Thomas made 30 starts for the Aztecs and while he primarily played tackle in college, he projects as a guard in the NFL. He’s got toughness and durability and plays with good leverage. The Bears were in on Thomas early in the process and used one of their top-30 visits to get to know him better. The Aztecs have a run-dominated scheme with zone blocking so that might help Thomas make the adjustment to the professional level.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

He needs a little more polish with his handwork and lacks the athletic ability to be considered more than a guy that can get you through a game at offensive tackle.

Scout’s take

“Zach probably has a little bit more dense lower body, a little bit more physical in the run game (compared to Jones). I think that really stands out. Braxton has more gifted length. Braxton’s 35-inch arms, Zach is probably closer to 34 but both have the prerequisite length that you can put them at tackle or put them at guard. I think (Thomas’ position) probably will just depend on the need of our team. I know that’s kind of punting on that question but he does have the football intelligence, he does have the height, weight, length, arm length that you need to play tackle but also can play guard because he’s done it before and he has the body type. When you see his body type he’s a lot thicker in the lower body.” — Bears scout David Williams

In his own words

“I’m coming off a season at left tackle so I’d probably have to say that (is where I am most comfortable). I feel comfortable anywhere on the line. I will be ready to go as soon as I get there to just kind of fill in and do what I can. I’m not sure (where they want me to play).

Ball-in-hand guy, it doesn’t mean just short passes. When the ball touches my hands from an over route, curl route, an out route, I’m going to make something happen, especially with the mentality I have. It came from my father: never, ever get tackled by the first person. That’s something that I’ve been living. That’s something that I was able to put on film and prove I’m one of the best ball-in-hand guys in the nation.” — Thomas

You should know

His younger brother Cameron, who also played at San Diego State, was drafted in the third round Friday night by the Arizona Cardinals. Cameron is a defensive lineman.

No. 203, sixth round: Trestan Ebner, running back, Baylor

Height, weight: 5-11, 206

Why the Bears drafted him

Ebner was the Big 12 special teams player of the year in 2021, when he had 23 kick returns for 511 yards and a touchdown and seven punt returns for 154 yards. He totaled 4,542 all-purpose yards over his five-year career at Baylor, with 1,690 rushing yards and nine touchdowns and 1,515 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had four return touchdowns.

No. 207, sixth round: Doug Kramer, center, Illinois

Height, weight: 6-2, 299

No. 226, seventh round: Ja’Tyre Carter, Offensive lineman, Southern

Height, weight: 6-3, 311

Why the Bears drafted him

Continuing a Saturday shopping spree on offensive linemen, general manager Ryan Poles went back to the FCS for Carter, a left tackle in college who will almost certainly shift inside to guard at the next level. Carter has prototypical size for an interior offensive lineman and plays with confidence. He was a four-year starter at Southern and exhibits grit when he plays. Bears talent evaluators were impressed by the way he moves at his size.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Carter lacks elite burst, agility and strength, limiting his long-term upside. As a Day 3 dice roll, he has a skill set worth gambling on. But it is far from a given that he will remain with the Bears beyond the preseason.

In his own words

“I already had a lot of confidence. It’s just that that week proved to teams that I could compete with the high-level guys. That was the biggest question for me going into this draft process.” — Carter on his experience at the Senior Bowl in January

Analyst’s take

“Carter relies on his grip strength to strain and steer his man, maintaining footwork and leverage to be a finisher. He needs to clean up some movement pattern flaws and improve his recovery skills in pass protection, but his quickness and punch are assets.” — Dane Brugler, The Athletic

You should know

Breck Ackley, the Bears area scout in charge of assessing Carter, was a kicker at Southern and therefore felt an added connection to Carter: “Close to my heart there,” Ackley said Saturday.

Of all the games Ackley watched Carter play, Ackley seemed most impressed by his performance against Troy with Carter stepping up in class and more than holding his own against an FBS opponent.

“He wasn’t stressed,” Ackley said. “When you’re watching O-linemen, a lot of times when they’re facing better players, you’ll see them athletically strain and it’ll look a little different from one of their normal conference games. But you didn’t see that with him. He handled (Troy) well, played his game and you didn’t see any real bad beats.”

Check back for more.


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