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NFL Draft: Bears take Iowa's Daniels early in second round

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NFL Draft: Bears take Iowa's Daniels early in second round

Bears general manager Ryan Pace turned largely to the defensive side in the final day with three selections, including sixth-round defensive end Kylie Fitts from Utah. Chicago selected Western Kentucky linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe in the fourth round and DE defensive lineman Bilal Nichols in the fifth.

And when Bears fans were about to check out until the fourth round on Saturday, the Bears traded back into the second round to select Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller, FBS's 2018 leader in touchdown receptions.

The Bears still have a need at edge rush, but they obviously showing a lot of faith in Leonard Floyd and Aaron Lynch to stay healthy throughout the season.

"You've just got to be careful that you don't force these things", Pace said. "We do that [reach block] a lot at Iowa, so I have to be good at the outside zone and with reach blocks". That was a bit of a change from 2016 and 2017, when he took linebacker Leonard Floyd and Trubisky in the first round. The Bears sent the Patriots their second-round pick in 2019 and this year's first fourth-rounder (105th overall) to get back into Round Two for Miller.

Nichols is the first DE defensive player chosen in the National Football League draft since the Oakland Raiders selected defensive end Shawn Johnson with the 166th pick in 2004. "He just plays with natural leverage and natural pad level that really helps him, too, and helps with our projection when we're looking at him going to guard". And the draft was another indication that after years of post-Lovie dysfunction, the Bears' arrow finally is pointing up.

Fitts played one fewer game (12) over the past two years than he played in 2015, as he's been plagued by injuries that shortened his opportunities to make an impression. On Saturday, they picked Western Kentucky linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe in the fourth round, DE defensive tackle Bilal Nichols in the fifth round, Utah defensive end Kylie Fitts in the sixth round and Georgia wide receiver Javon Wims in the seventh round. "I can't thank the Bears enough for believing in me and giving me a chance to prove myself against the best in the world". I think this kid will be a game changer for Mitchell Trubisky.

The Bears did not have a third-round pick late Friday.

At Memphis, the 5-foot-11, 201-pound Miller caught 191 passes over the past two seasons for 2,896 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Bilal Nichols pushes past a Delaware State defender in the Blue Hens' 2017 season-opening win against the Hornets.

It's hard to quarrel with the rating, considering Pace's Bears teams have won 14 games in his three seasons. One NFC scout said that Nichols has the size and length to play any spot on a 3-man defensive line. "He was one of the guys that helped recruit me at Delaware".

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