Ryan Pace ‘couldn’t be happier’ with Bears draft

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. - The Bears are officially off the clock.

Seven rounds in the books and seven new players ready to call Halas Hall home.

"Couldn't be happier with the way the draft unfolded," noted Bears GM Ryan Pace.

Pace addressed the defense with his first three picks on Day 3, starting with Western Kentucky linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe at pick number 115.

"He's so fast. He plays so physical. I mean there's numerous plays where, 'Hey, Matt you've got to come in here and see this play.' Just how physical he is. He throws his body around. There's a lot of plays in the backfield. He's a really fun guy to watch."

The Bears looked to Matt Nagy's alma mater next, selecting Delaware defensive lineman Bilal Nichols in the fifth round.  Nichols recorded 104 tackles, 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions with the Blue Hens.

"It looks good, right? Having another Blue Hen in there is pretty neat, but that's not why," explained head coach Matt Nagy. "At that point in time, he was our highest on the board. That's what we do. We take the best available guy. Our coaches and personnel, again, were together on it. That's just an added spice to it. It's pretty neat. It's a cool little story. I'm happy to get him in here."

In Round 6, the Bears brought in another pass rusher, Utah's Kylie Fitts. The 6-4, 263-pound linebacker led the Pac-12 with four forced fumbles in 2015.

"I was honestly surprised. I was kind of just waiting with my family and once I got the call from Lake Forest, Illinois, I knew it had to be the Bears so I was extremely happy to talk to all the coaches and they’re all excited so I think it’s a great fit. I’m excited to come to Chicago."

With their final pick, the Bears drafted another Georgia Bulldog, this time on the offensive side of the ball. Javon Wims led the team with 45 catches for 720 yards and seven TDs.

"Other than size, I just think I have the unique ability to be a natural hands catcher. I have the ability to catch the ball while I’m surrounded. I have amazing ball adjustment skills. A lot of people may say I have huge upside because I have a lot of raw talent. I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I can become. I think my best football days are ahead of me. Under the right tutelage, the right people, I think I could be a very good player in the league."

More video at chicagobears.com and nfl.com.


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