NFL Draft 2019: A pick-by-pick look at the Bears’ choicesMay 15, 2019
A capsule look at the Bears’ five draft picks:
Round 3, No. 73
Iowa State RB
5-11, 211 pounds
Background: Montgomery was a prolific dual-threat quarterback at Mount Healthy High School in Cincinnati — he was the Ohio Division III Player of the Year as a senior in 2015 when he rushed for 2,707 yards and 41 touchdowns and passed for 726 and seven touchdowns. But he was only a three-star prospect and chose Iowa State over Illinois and Marshall. He was a three-year starter for Iowa State — including 1,146 yards (4.4 avg.) and 11 touchdowns in 2017 and 1,216 yards (4.7 avg.) and 13 touchdowns as a senior. Also had 71 receptions for 582 yards (but no touchdowns) in three seasons. He applied for the draft with one year of college eligibility remaining.
The skinny: Without imposing size or blazing speed, Montgomery has many of the qualities of a successful three-down back in Matt Nagy’s offense — quickness, vision, patience, physicality, balance, good hands, yards-after-contact, run-after-catch, big-play ability and the grit to be an effective pass blocker.
He said: “My strength is … my ability and my motor not to go down, being able to make people miss and being able to catch the ball.”
Ryan Pace said: “[He’s] everything you look for in a running back, starting with his instincts, his vision, his ability to make people miss. He’s just a well-rounded player. Good hands. He fits the offense very well.”
Round 4, No. 126
6-1, 199 pounds
Background: The four-star prospect graduated early from Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, to enroll at Georgia. He led the Bulldogs with 44 catches for 570 yards and four touchdowns last season before turning pro early. He never topped six catches or 87 yards in a game.
The skinny: Ridley is a classic possession receiver, a route-running tactician who lacks breakaway speed. He ran only a 4.58-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. ‘‘I know he didn’t test well; I know he doesn’t have a ton of production,’’ NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said last week. ‘‘But that dude knows how to run routes, and he generates separation.’’
He said: ‘‘The things [former college teammate Javon Wims] told me about Chicago was that it’s home, but it’s work. Whenever you come here, you gotta be about business. You gotta be able to work. And you have fun.’’
Ryan Pace said: ‘‘[We] stayed true to our draft board, and his name is sticking up there. All of us had high grades on him, so we we’re excited to get him at that point in the draft, no doubt.’’
Round 6, No. 205
Kansas State DB
5-9, 180 pounds
Background: A four-star recruit out of Tucker, Georgia, who was ranked 22nd nationally among cornerbacks in 2014, Shelley had offers from Clemson, Wisconsin and Mississippi State but signed with Kansas State. He was a four-year starter for the Wildcats and had eight interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns (against Oklahoma State in 2016 and Texas Tech in 2017). He was a second-team All-Big 12 pick last season and had three interceptions in seven games before a toe injury ended his season.
The skinny: The Bears see him as a slot cornerback. Though undersized, Shelley is athletic and scrappy with above-average speed. He ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. He is solid in man and zone coverage and effective in run support.
He said: ‘‘Technique is probably the biggest thing that sets me apart. I’m a competitor. I don’t like balls getting caught on me, [whether] it’s one yard or five.’’
Ryan Pace said: ‘‘He’s very sticky in coverage. He’s highly, highly competitive. When you look at his [pass breakups] and interceptions, they’re coming in a very athletic manner. Everything [he gives up] is earned.’’
Round 7, No. 222
Kerrith Whyte, Jr.
5-10, 197 pounds
Background: Whyte averaged 26.1 yards per kickoff return in three seasons, with touchdowns in 2017 (98 yards against Louisiana Tech) and 2018 (100 yards against Old Dominion). He played in the shadow of Devin Singletary, a third-round pick by the Bills, but emerged as a rushing threat in 2018 (134 carries, 866 yards, eight touchdowns).
The skinny: He gained momentum as a sleeper in the draft after he ran a 4.37-second 40-yard and showed a 42-inch vertical jump at his pro day. He’s explosive and elusive and warrants a legitimate look as a running back. There might be more here than meets the eye.
He said: ‘‘I’m giving this whole organization, this whole city, everything I’ve got. I’m just thankful for this organization. Whatever role that may be, I’m going to give them my all.’’
Ryan Pace said: ‘‘I think his speed just jumps out when you’re watching tape. And then you throw in the special-teams value. . . . The scouts, our offensive coaches and the special-teams coaches are all excited because he brings that kind of versatility.’’
Round 7, No. 238
Valdosta State CB
6-3, 220 pounds
Background: Denmark came to Valdosta as a receiver and remained there through his first three seasons, catching 30 passes for 347 yards. He moved to cornerback for his senior year, however, after jumping into a drill during spring ball. He picked off three passes, broke up nine and finished last season with 55 tackles.
The skinny: Denmark is a project with a capital ‘‘P.’’ His athleticism is intriguing — he ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at his pro day — and his size is unreal. The Bears prefer long, physical outside cornerbacks. When the Bears tested him in a private workout, they watched how fluidly he flipped his hips and tracked the ball. It figures to take awhile, however, for him to be a serviceable pro. NFL Network analyst Lance Zierlein said Denmark had ‘‘a complete lack of coverage fundamentals that shows up time and again on tape.’’
He said: ‘‘I had a private workout with [the Bears]. . . . The coaches really liked the way I played and liked the way I moved in the workout. It was like, ‘Stay ready and look out for the call.’ ’’
Ryan Pace said: ‘‘Has ridiculous measurables.’’