The good news for Chicago Bears fans is that we’re officially in the phase of the 2022 NFL Draft season when draft analysts and talent evaluators begin adding a second round (and more) to their mock drafts. That includes the exceptional scouts here at The Draft Network like Joe Marino, whose latest 2022 NFL mock draft included round two. A quick scan through Marino’s picks at the top of the second round should have Bears fans excited. There are some really, really talented players who fell out of the first round and within striking distance for C hicago. For example, Coastal Carolina tight end Isaiah Likely comes off the board one pick before the Bears at No. 38 overall (to the New York Jets). Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary lasts until the 36th pick, where the Houston Texans end his slide. Here’s the point: the Bears may be without a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but that doesn't mean they’ll end draft weekend without an impact starter. And that’s what happens in Marino’s mock draft, where Chicago comes away with Ohio State offensive tackle, Nicholas Petit-Frere. “He’s a natural on the left side of the line, as his footwork and movement skills appear to be smoother when manning the left tackle spot,” TDN’s Kyle Crabbs wrote of Petit-Frere. “We’ve gotten a good look at Petit-Frere in both settings, as he was a full-time starter for the Buckeyes in 2020 at right tackle before transitioning to left tackle in 2021 and occasionally adding reps at right tackle for a series or two throughout the course of the season. Petit-Frere has excellent physical tools and offers the kind of frame that is meant to play on the edge. He’s long, dense, and fluid as an athlete, offering a promising skill set for an NFL team to continue to tinker with in an effort to reach his high ceiling.” Petit-Frere would make sense for the Bears for a number of reasons. He already has experience blocking for quarterback Justin Fields in 2020 and his positional versatility would allow Chicago to use training camp to figure out which combination works best at offensive tackle. Maybe last year’s second-rounder, Teven Jenkins, slides to the right side and Petit-Frere is the left tackle. Perhaps Jenkins remains on the left side, Petit-Frere plays the right side, and Larry Borom kicks inside to guard (which would likely happen in any scenario that includes the Bears drafting an offensive tackle at No. 39). Bears general manager Ryan Poles made it clear at his introductory press conference that the offensive line will be a priority. There should be some quality prospects for him to choose from in the second round aside from Petit-Frere, too. Marino’s 2022 NFL mock draft has six offensive linemen coming off the board in round two alone. Bears fans who are hoping the team adds another weapon for Fields to throw to with their second-rounder should be encouraged by Marino’s mock draft. Three picks after Chicago selects Petit-Frere, the Washington Commanders snag Purdue wide receiver David Bell, who’ s become something of a Bears fan-favorite. Sure, in this mock draft, Chicago lands the offensive tackle. But it’s exciting to see there will be quality options at several positions still hanging around at No. 39, including players who could have a direct impact on Fields’ success in 2022.
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