Considering the $7 million that could have been saved by dumping Graham, many thought his release would be a foregone conclusion. As
trade rumors around his friend Russell Wilson picked up and cornerback
Kyle Fuller got released, though, it became clear that Graham likely
wasn’t going anywhere.Though they have their two primary tight ends
locked in with Graham and 2020 second-round pick Cole Kmet, the Bears
are currently lacking in depth at the position.
Their three other tight ends on the roster — J.P. Holtz, Jesper Horsted and Darion Clark — have a combined 15 receptions at the NFL
level. Plus, with Graham turning 35 in November and entering the last
year of his two-year deal, the Bears don’t have a succession plan in
place for the former All-Pro.
Let’s be real here: the Bears have much bigger needs than adding a developmental tight end. However, it is a need that exists and one that
not enough people are thinking about. If Chicago gets good value on Day 3
in this month’s draft, it might be beneficial for them to go after a
tight end.Widely viewed as a top-5 tight end in the 2021 draft and the
third-ranked tight end on my board, Brevin Jordan likely isn’t an
incredibly realistic option for the Bears. However, a less-than-ideal
Pro Day showing could see him fall farther than expected.
Jordan’s measurement at 6-foot-2 1/2 is no surprise, but what is surprising is his underwhelming athletic testing. He came away with a
below-average 4.62 20-yard shuttle and while his 4.69 40-yard dash
would’ve placed fourth among last year’s tight ends at the 2020 Combine,
it fell short of how he played on tape.
All that to say this, though, Jordan’s tape is really, really good. He’s a crisp route runner who brings good footwork and a sharp
understanding of exploiting a defense’s weak spots in both man and
coverage. He accelerates well off the snap and doesn’t have any wasted
movements as a route runner. His ball skills and body control are
impressive, and he showcases good effort as a blocker. He may tumble a
little bit if teams overreact to his Pro Day outing, and if he ends up
in the early Day 3 range, the Bears would be wise to consider taking a
shot on him.
Tommy Tremble doesn’t have a breakout collegiate season to his name, having fewer than 20 catches in every season he played. What he lacks
in production, he more than makes up for in upside and quality tape.
Tremble is an athletic prospect who fires well off the snap and has the
raw speed needed to stretch a defense vertically across the middle of
the field. He shows off great fluidity on film and is able to flip his
hips seamlessly when running routes. With elite speed and explosion
numbers according to Kent Lee Platte’s RAS system, Tremble’s Pro Day
matched his strengths on tape.
He’s smaller at 6-foot-3 and 241 pounds, and he doesn’t bring significant physicality at the catch point or at the point of attack as a
run blocker. While he doesn’t project as a Day 1 starter, the Bears
wouldn’t need him to be. He could go as high as the third round, but if
he’s available by the time Chicago picks in Round 5 — or in Round 4 if
they acquire a pick there — he could be great value. Bringing Tremble in
as a “move” tight end to complement his former collegiate teammate
could be a smart move if the value is right.