The Chicago Bears had to prepare for a litany of various scenarios in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Chicago didn’t have a first-round selection in the draft (they traded it to the New York Giants last year to move up in the draft for Justin Fields). And they were committed to not trading up in the draft because they didn’t want to give up draft picks (the Bears actually ended up making some trades to gain more draft picks later in the draft).

That meant there were a lot of players on Chicago’s draft board that they knew they wouldn’t have a chance to draft.

Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon, the Bears’ selection at No. 39, was one of the players that Chicago general manager Ryan Poles didn’t think the team had a chance to land.

Bears
Nov 26, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies defensive back Kyler Gordon (2) participates in pregame warmups against the Washington State Cougars at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Poles was so convinced that Gordon wouldn’t fall to them, that he told his front office to ignore that Gordon was still available in a simulation of the draft that the team ran.

From ESPN:

Poles and his staff ran countless simulations to see what their draft might yield. Sometimes doubling down on defense in the second round was the result, but never did the general manager think Gordon, a player who did not allow a touchdown in 696 coverage snaps during his college career, would be available.

“There’s actually one time we ran it through and he was there, and we said just ignore him, just act like it’s not there,” Poles said, reflecting a belief Gordon would be drafted by the time the Bears picked. “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.”

The Bears basically got a player they believed was a first-round talent in the second round, which makes the Fields trade a year ago look even better (landing a potential day one starting cornerback in the second round is incredible value for Chicago).

Poles has a lot of work to do to get the Bears’ roster to a level where it can compete for a Super Bowl. So far, he’s doing an excellent job.

This could be a tough season to root for the Bears, but fans should take solace in knowing that the future is starting to look bright.

Featured image via USA TODAY Sports