On Friday night, a foreign feeling cemented itself in Chicago: Hope.

It began creeping in like a fog a year ago when the Bears traded up one spot to draft their quarterback of the future in Mitchell Trubisky, but it was clouded by the realization that the Bears gave up way too much draft capital to move up one spot in the draft order when they likely could've taken Trubisky at their original position. It nearly disappeared entirely when the Bears held firm in their belief that starting Mike Glennon over Trubisky was the right decision. Trubisky restored that initial feeling of hope when he submitted an impression audition over the final 12 games of the season, but even he couldn't overcome the Bears' hideous flaws, posting a 4-8 record as the starter. 

So, general manager Ryan Pace spent the offseason reconstructing the roster. On Friday night, Pace put the finishing touches on his rebuild by getting the players he so desperately needed. The result is a roster that gives the Bears real tangible hope for the first time since the early stages of the Jay Cutler era. The Bears might not turn into the 2017 Rams overnight like some have speculated, but they're finally on track to make their way back into the playoffs for the first time since 2010. 

With their first three picks in the 2018 NFL Draft -- No. 8, No. 39, and No. 51 -- the Bears selected inside linebacker Roquan Smith out of Georgia, center James Daniels out of Iowa, and wide receiver Anthony Miller out of Memphis. All three players represent tremendous value. All three players fill important needs that the Bears so desperately needed to address after free agency came and went. 

In Smith, the Bears are adding their new version of Brian Urlacher to a defense that is on the cusp of greatness. Under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who decided to remain in Chicago under new offensive-minded head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears defense finished 14th in DVOA last season. But to continue their ascent, the Bears needed to fill the holes they created when they underwent a purge of older, oft-injured contributors. 

Among those holes? Inside linebacker. By cutting Jerrell Freeman -- one of the best inside linebackers against the run when healthy -- the Bears suddenly had an opening next to inside linebacker Danny Trevathan

That's where Smith comes into play. Smith might be undersized at 6-foot-1, but his speed, athleticism, and instincts should be enough to overcome that shortcoming. 

He can cover receivers downfield. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith posted the fifth-highest coverage grade (90.6) for a linebacker in the PFF College era.

And he can chase ball carriers from sideline to sideline. According to PFF, he missed one tackle in run defense all last season.

He's a complete player. 

And watching him fly alongside the hyper-athletic Trevathan in Fangio's scheme is going to be a ton of fun -- think Navorro Bowman and Patrick Willis (someone Smith said he was a fan big fan of growing up), both of whom anchored Fangio's dominant defenses with the 49ers. There's no doubt that the Bears still need help at cornerback and pass rusher. But it's not difficult to envision this Bears defense -- with Smith, Trevathan, Leonard Floyd, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Adrian Amos, Eddie Jackson, and Kyle Fuller -- flying around and disrupting high-powered offenses.

So, about the offense. It's true that many -- including me -- thought that the Bears' top target at No. 8 was Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, who would've slotted in the spot formerly held by Josh Sitton, and given Trubisky the protection he needs, and Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen the run blocking they need. When the Colts took Nelson at No. 6, it felt like the Rams taking Aaron Donald one spot ahead of the Bears back in 2014 and the Chargers taking Melvin Ingram one spot ahead of the Bears back in 2012 all over again. 

The Bears didn't panic, though. They still found a way to fix their opening at offensive line. With the 39th pick, the Bears took a center in Daniels. Drafting Daniels likely means that 2016 second-round pick Cody Whitehair will move back to guard. Whitehair began his career as a guard, but an injury to center Hroniss Grasu in the summer of 2016 forced Whitehair to slide to center. He thrived in 2016, but struggled with the snapping aspect of playing center -- which is sorta important for a center -- in 2017. Blocking, however, has never been an issue. Now, with Daniels on the roster, Whitehair can transition back to his natural position. 

In Daniels, the Bears are getting PFF's second-highest graded center in the draft. According to PFF, he allowed only 10 pressures on 371 pass-blocking snaps this past season. He's a dominant run blocker. Both aspects are important. While Trubisky flashed plenty of promise in 2017, he struggled mightily under pressure, posting the fifth-worst passer rating (48.7) under pressure among qualified quarterbacks. Meanwhile, the Bears' highly touted running game flew under the radar as a rather mundane component of their offensive game, averaging 111.8 rushing yards per game (16th out of 32 teams). According to Football Outsiders, the Bears' offensive line ranked 28th in run blocking. That's why the Daniels pick is so important.

Just when we thought the Bears were done on Friday -- they don't own a third-round pick -- they decided to move back into the second round to fix another alarming hole that was entirely self created. Engineering a trade with the Patriots, the Bears moved up to No. 51 by giving the Patriots the 105th pick (fourth round) and a 2019 second-round pick. With that pick, the Bears took receiver Anthony Miller out of Memphis.

It's an important get because even though the Bears won the Allen Robinson sweepstakes, they also let the Saints steal away Cameron Meredith when they refused to match their offer sheet. Meredith wasn't an eye-opening type of receiver, but he was productive. In 2016, Meredith hauled in 66 of 97 targets (a catch rate of 68 percent) for 888 yards and four touchdowns. Even after signing speedster Taylor Gabriel, the Bears needed a reliable receiver to add to the starting mix -- after all, Kevin White is the antithesis of reliable after playing in five games since the Bears took him in the first round back in 2015.

They got reliable in Miller, who caught six contested touchdowns last season, which tied for the nation lead last year, per PFF. He also caught 32 touchdowns over the past two seasons, including 18 in 2017.

Suddenly, it's not just the Bears' defense that appears to boast loads of potential. So does the offense. 

Remember, they're not going to be running the same "basic" offense that they used under John Fox.  Perhaps their biggest addition on offense was Nagy, who comes from Kansas City, where he just helped turn Alex Smith into the league's highest-rated passer. On paper, the Bears have a ton of explosive parts -- from the bruising pure runner (Howard), to the shifty running back coming out of the backfield (Cohen), to the potential star WR1 (Robinson), to the dynamic tight end duo (Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen), to the offensive line. Add in a defense that is already solid and can make the leap to good if Smith turns into the player he's supposed to become, and the Bears do look like a sneaky, fringe playoff team. Of course, all of this will end up coming down to Trubisky's development, but again, he already demonstrated over a 12-game sample in a bad offense that he's got the tools to dominate at this level. Imagine what he'll do with a competent team and coaching around him. 

A year ago, Pace was mocked as a desperate general manager who was gambling away his future on a quarterback with one year of starting experience on his resume. That gamble ended up working out. Now, Pace has followed up his first act by bringing in a roster that can help his quarterback get the Bears back to the playoffs -- a task that former general managers Jerry Angelo and Phil Emery failed to do with Cutler. 

As a result, hope has manifested itself across Chicago. And as we all know, hope is what good football teams -- and rebellions, of course -- are built on.