How did Bears' division rivals fare in NFL draft?

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  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 George Halas
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    How did Bears' division rivals fare in NFL draft?

    By ARTHUR ARKUSH - - Sunday, May 11, 2014 2:45 p.m. CDT
    In addition to the eight players the Bears selected over the past 72 hours, their NFC North foes drafted a combined 27 players. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the rest of the division fared.
    Needs met: Though the Bears added a terrific football player at No. 14 in Kyle Fuller, some fans lamented the Packers nabbing Chicago Football’s top-ranked safety, Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, seven picks later. The rangy Clinton-Dix brings ball skills and coverage flexibility to a safety group that didn’t turn the ball over a single time, rivaling Chicago’s maligned tandem in its inadequacy. After crossing his club’s biggest need off the list in Round One, Ted Thompson used a third-round compensatory pick on Cal TE Richard Rodgers, who will help replace Jermichael Finley. Rogers isn’t the athletic marvel that Finley is, but the sure-handed receiver should quickly ascend to Aaron Rodgers’ top pass-catching tight end option.
    Bottom line: After Clinton-Dix, Thompson dedicated the majority of Green Bay’s resources to further strengthening an already excellent supporting cast for Aaron Rodgers. Hard for us to argue, as Thompson received great value on a trio of talented receivers – Fresno State’s Davante Adams, Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis and Saginaw Valley State’s Jeff Janis. With tough decisions on 2015 free agents Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb looming, Thompson clearly has one eye on the future. The defense could improve from within if former high picks stay healthy and make expected jumps.
    Needs met: Eric Ebron and Kyle Van Noy make Detroit more dangerous – Ebron gives coordinator Joe Lombardi his Jimmy Graham-type tight end, and Van Noy will be Teryl Austin’s top blitzing linebacker. But the Lions might regret waiting until Round Four to address corner (UtahState’s Nevin Lawson). The Lions needed a kicker and added BostonCollege’s Nate Freese, who GM Martin Mayhew said is more consistent than strong-legged at this juncture, with their final pick. Mayhew added C Travis Swanson, the potential heir to Dominic Raiola, in Round Three. DE Larry Websterhelps replace Willie Young.
    Bottom line: An offseason centered on giving Matt Stafford everything he needs to regain his 2011 form continued early with the Ebron addition. He’s a dynamic talent and another mismatch piece on offense – but also a luxury pick for a club with greater defensive needs. Unlike the Bears and Packers, Detroit didn’t acquire a starting-caliber safety, despite veteran James Ihedigbo ideally being a third safety and special-teams demon. If recent highly drafted CBs like Darius Slay, Bill Bentley, Jonte Green and Chris Greenwood pan out, the Lions will look like geniuses here. If not, passing on one of the four first-round CBs selected after Ebron will haunt Mayhew.
    Needs met: GM Rick Spielman acquired an extra first-rounder for the third consecutive year, sending second- and fourth-rounders to Seattle to select Teddy Bridgewater 32nd overall. By moving back one spot in Round One, Spielman picked up Cleveland’s fifth-rounder, used to acquire Stanford OGDavid Yankey, and still landed Mike Zimmer’s preferred edge rusher in UCLA’s Anthony Barr. Spielman also secured Oregon DE Scott Crighton and Georgia Southern RB Jerick McKinnon, the final bounty from the Percy Harvin trade, in Round Three. Add to that a trio of DBs and a tremendous value pick in the final round, NT Shamar Stephen

    Bottom line: Fantastic haul for Spielman. Bridgewater isn’t the typical Norv Turner QB, but he enters a great situation with one of the NFL’s best QB developers and a decent bridge starter to eliminate pressure early. Barr will start at “Sam” on Day One and help replace Jared Allen’s prolific pass-rush production. Yankey should also be in the Week One lineup ahead of Charlie Johnson. Stephen and Crighton at best are diamonds in the rough and at worst help add Zimmer’s trademark depth and athleticism up front. Spielman’s job hinges on Bridgewater’s success, but there’s a ton of talent beyond the former Louisville passer.
  2. sluggobear

    sluggobear Veteran

    Jan 21, 2014
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    Looks like the Division could be strong again next season.

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