The 2021 NFL season marked the need for a new era for the Chicago Bears. It was the eighth time in the last nine seasons that the Bears finished with a .500 or worse record, leading to Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus being brought in as the new general manager and head coach, respectively.
The 2022 NFL Draft will be a great opportunity for Poles and Eberflus to start their tenure off right. They'll surely be keeping an eye on this weekend's Senior Bowl in hopes of finding prospects who can potentially help them going forward.
Here's a look at three players that Bears fans should watch at the 2022 Senior Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 5.
Chicago Bears NFL Draft
1. Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
Aside from Darnell Mooney, none of Chicago's wide receivers stood out in 2021 — at least, not for good reasons. Allen Robinson had the worst campaign of his career and could leave the Bears via free agency this offseason. That's why it makes sense for the team to consider someone like Jalen Tolbert. The South Alabama wideout had the best season of his collegiate career this past fall, hauling in 82 receptions for 1,474 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He's 6-foot-3, which would give the Bears some additional size at the position. If Chicago wants its offense to be respectable going forward, someone with Tolbert's resumé could help.
2. Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College
Justin Fields will get his first shot at being the Bears' full-time starting quarterback in 2022. No team allowed more sacks than Chicago last season, so it's safe to say that building a better offensive line is a top priority. At 6-foot-3 and weighing 316 pounds, Boston College offensive guard Zion Johnson is someone with the potential to be a core piece for the Bears going forward. He's extremely athletic with good speed and can also offer some welcomed protection in the run game. After allowing only six pressures in 2021, Johnson is definitely a player that Bears fans and management should watch for this weekend.
3. Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee
While the Bears had one of the best pass defenses last season, they're a bit shallow when it comes to noteworthy names at cornerback heading into the offseason. One prospect that they should keep their eyes on at the Senior Bowl is Tennessee CB Alontae Taylor. The 23-year-old had career highs in total tackles (60), interceptions (2) and pick-6's (1) last season, while also breaking up six passes and forcing a fumble. The fact that he's a bit older than most CB prospects in the draft also shows that he can bring valuable experience to Chicago. While helping Fields should be the Bears' top priority, they shouldn't let someone like Taylor slip through their hands.
Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.