Just How Bad Have the Bears Been Drafting?..........

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,889
    Likes Received:
    1,217
    Ratings:
    +1,484 / 0 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    734ß
    Just how bad have the Chicago Bears been at drafting?

    By Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.@wiltfongjr on Jun 13 2014, 3:32p 14
    [​IMG]<img src="http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/34315717/146226753.0_standard_730.0.jpg" alt=""/>
    Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery has been on the job for three seasons now. He's trying to build his team up with young talent acquired through the NFL Draft, like all good teams do. But how is he doing so far?

    Shea McClellin, Kyle Long and Kyle Fuller.

    Those are the three #1 draft picks from current Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery, and they are the only three #1 draft picks on the Bears' current roster that they drafted themselves.

    That's the least amount of number one picks of all 32 teams in the NFL, and that's pretty sad. The highest amount of self-drafted #1s is 10 by the Minnesota Vikings, with the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers all checking in with 9 apiece.

    SB Nation recently broke it all down in a handy chart that you can find right here, Which NFL team is best at building through the draft?

    Part of the Bears' low number could be attributed to the regime change, and Emery simply wanting to acquire "his" guys. But an overall look at the chart paints a story of inept drafting. The man Emery replaced deserves some of the blame, but the jury is still out on Phil's picks too.

    SB Nation's James Brady points out that the undrafted free agent numbers on his chart are high because we're at the point of the off season when teams are at 90 man rosters. But even with the UDFAs skewing the overall numbers, the Chicago Bears check in dead last with only 41 players that they picked up as rookies.
    When Phil Emery talked about building up the quality of depth on his roster through the draft, this is why. There are far too few home grown (i.e. cheaper) players littering his roster. He has been forced to add veteran free agents during his three years in Chicago because former GM Jerry Angelo was swinging and missing far too often.

    The first two days of the NFL Draft (rounds 1-3) you hope to hit on some players that can come in and contribute right away and be a part of your team for years to come. The Bears only have 12 players on their current roster that they drafted in these rounds. Only the New Orleans Saints (10), Oakland Raiders (10) and Philadelphia Eagles (11) have fewer. The second round has actually been the sweet spot for the Bears as their 6 2nd rounders are their most of the seven.

    And speaking of the full seven rounds, only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (21) have fewer than the Bears' 23 drafted players on their current roster.

    Bottom line, Phil Emery has to hit on his drafts, and he has to keep hitting. The more home grown players you get to stick on your roster, the better shape your salary cap will be in.

    Do you see the Bears' acquiring of homegrown talent becoming a strength of this current regime?
  2. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    317
    Ratings:
    +343 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    13ß
    My humble opinion.

    McClellin (1st) - Jury still out, if he's a starting quality linebacker there'll be no complaints. I think he could do well there.
    Jeffery (2nd) - Absolute animal, worth a first rounder judging by last year. Home-run hit. So glad we traded up for him.
    Hardin (3rd) - Risky injury wise for our 3rd rounder but I think he coulda been good. Dude shoulda came with a "Fragile: Handle with care" label because, damn. Sometimes you gotta take a risk. Bad pick in retrospect but hindsight is 20/20.
    Rodriguez (4th) - Risk due to character. 4th rounder so meh, wish we coulda seen if he coulda done anything for us. I think he coulda been like a better version of Rosario. Shame.
    Frey (6th) - Seemingly decent nickel corner, not bad for 6th.
    McCoy (7th) - Doubled down on corners, Frey basically worked out and McCoy.. well not so much.

    Jeffery really saves the draft and Frey seems decent. If McClellin can be a starting quality LB then it was a pretty good draft in my opinion. Plus you need to remember Emery didn't have a full off-season with the team and didn't have "his staff" in place. I think that sort of stuff makes a difference. Phil isn't like JA where he doesn't value other peoples opinions, who knows what junk JA had in that scout room, probably a bunch of yes men.

    Long (1st) - Drafted on his upside and worked out better than most could have dreamed. Guy is an absolute beast and should only be better this year. Seems like a great pick.
    Bostic (2nd) - If he beats out DJ then he's probably a pretty good pick, he has the tools and I think Herring will get the most out of him. He's a 2nd rounder and I think he'll end up being a solid player for us. I really wanted Kiko there but he was gone so the LB's taken right after Bostic were Jamie Collins (Patsies), Arthur Brown (Ravens), and Sio Moore (Raidaz). I'll take Bostic.
    Greene (4th) - Depends on who you ask. Some say he was outplaying Anderson and looked decent at times, some say he's junk. A 4th round rookie who wasn't meant to the see the field got thrown to the wolves behind one of the, if not the worst DL in the NFL last year. No linebacker looked good and I wouldn't expect a 4th rounder to fair any better. Jury still out and we'll see what he can do.
    Mills (5th) - Started 16 games and looked pretty damn good to me. Has flaws but what 5th round tackle wouldn't? Great pick if you ask me, has good chemistry with Long and could lock down that right side for years to come. For a 5th rounder? Hell yes, more please.
    Washington (6th) - Didn't get any playing time when we had more injuries than you can count on one hand. That worries me. Paul P seems to be an actual DL coach worth his salt so we'll see this year if Corny can pay dividends. If he even provides somewhat quality pass rush in rotation it's a great pick. Jury still out.
    Wilson (7th) - Dropped due to character. Other biggest knock was his size and he's beefed up considerably. Can't anoint him with only a couple catches under his belt but word from Marshall sounds wonderful. The guy could be an animal for us and if we just got a quality #3 in the 7th I'm happy. Sounds like he's doing great. We'll see.

    Long was a home run pick, that's two drafts with two eventual All-Pro candidates in the first couple rounds. Not bad. Gimme a Pro Bowl of their caliber every draft and we'll have a hell of a team real quick. Doubled down on linebacker like we did this year with DT. I think Bostic could be a good starter for us and if Greene can benefit some from Herring he could be a great depth player. Who knows, maybe he'll start down the road. I still want to see what he brings to the table. Mills was such a wonderful surprise and really rounded out our OL rebuild quite nicely. I'm giving Corny more time because he's a 6th round DE. There's first round DE's who don't produce right away and if the light can come on for him, he could be a steal in a year or two. Wilson has the platform all set to be a monster this year, benefiting from working with the team and the other big three drawing coverage. I think, overall, it looks like a good draft.

    You can't really debate this years draft yet. I like the plan he had and how it all laid out. Fuller, Ego, Sutton, Carey, Vereen, and O'Donnell all have great-decent chances to provide some quality time in rotation. He hit as many of our weak spots as possible with what we were given. But, we won't know for a few years if this draft class looks good or not. From this side, I think he did great. Looking back his first two, I'm happy. Are there some picks that could have been different? Sure. But, overall, I'm really happy with his work. In fact, I think he's improving in his drafting ability and won't be like JA where he has a fault and never fixes it. He works tirelessly and I think we'll have a lot of homegrown talent in the next few years. I'm very happy with Emery thus far.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,889
    Likes Received:
    1,217
    Ratings:
    +1,484 / 0 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    734ß
    Before I answer the question asked which I highlighted I'm gonna step out and defend Phil Emery and his approach. IMAGINE THAT! :bah:

    He really was handed a bad deal from the get go. He had the worst OL in the entire NFL, a very good but aging and expensive defense, and a HC who couldn't beat the best or win the big one. Some GMs' would have nursed that for a little longer and maybe gotten another winning season or two and a playoff appearance but then the whole mess would have crumbled and the Bears would have fallen apart and to the bottom of the heap again.

    So he made some gutsy moves (letting Lovie go after a 10-6) and a few bad or at least premature ones. His inability to retain Marinelli and allowing Urlacher to leave before he had a competent defensive leader and under less than auspicious circumstances would probably fit here. Requiring Mel Tucker to run Lovie's defense was a mistake that probably wouldn't have turned out so badly if Urlacher had played but that's just more ancient history that we'll have divided opinions on.

    But Emery's recovery from that was what he's all about and what he really needs to be measured by. He may have misestimated where he was defensively but he nailed the offensive weaknesses dead solid perfect. He hired an offensive minded HC and a qualified OC (imagine that) and then set about building an OL for Cutler and getting him the receivers he needed to become more successful. So he bought him all of the tools he'd need to become the franchise QB he was brought in to be but he was smart enough not to reward him with an extension until he showed what he could do with them. And when he finally did extend his deal he did it with a very cap and team friendly deal that won't leave us in cap hell if Cutler doesn't succeed. Some fans can crow that it was too much but it wasn't and the genius of it is in the structure. Emery was able to use the flexibility in that deal to create the cap space to sign Jared Allen.

    So even that huge contract didn't interfere with his ability to continue to fix the defense.

    Speaking of the defense he's drafted for defense and signed top FA talent with enough aggressiveness to believe that that entire defense can be turned around in just one year. That took a little doing and although we don't know if it will all come together the coaching and player personnel moves he made couldn't have been much better as far as getting the job done.

    He even took care of STeams needs by signing a Devin Hester type WR/PR/KR star from the CFL, extended the contract of the best FG kicker we've ever had, and drafted the best college punter in the country. That may not be the steak and potatoes but it's sure as hell a nice side dish that could win us quite a few games.

    Yeah we don't have a lot of home grown talent yet but when you're in a "win now" mode trying to leap frog the Packers and the other two teams in your division are also improving each year ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do and that means we needed top talent in starting roles and quality depth both in the form of vets and rookies and younger players learning the game well enough to become next years or the year after's starters. That core can take a few years to develop and Emery isn't willing to wait for that to happen.

    He's doing what he needs to do now to win now. Only the best will make the team and I agree with his approach. We may cut a few good players but for the first time in forever we seem to have a scouting staff and a GM talent evaluator who can go out and dig up two or three for every one of those we lose. I'll settle for that right now.

    This is pretty much the year when we'll see just how well Phil Emery's master plan is working. He has quite a few high draft picks who should be ready to become difference makers and he's spent a lot of money on vet free agents to fill roles and compliment those guys. Maybe this is the pro forma for how it should be done these days. If it is we should know by this January. This team has more than enough top talent to reach and compete in the playoffs. Now it's up to the coaches and the players to meld that talent into a winning team.

    If it works Phil Emery will be on tap for a GM of the Year honor and if not I can only imagine the articles the media will be writing next January and February. There'll be nowhere to hide.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  4. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    135
    Ratings:
    +157 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    76ß
    A few picks were traded for BM and AJ . The jury is still out on Shea - and I hope he blossoms because there's a cadre of people who seem to be rooting for him to fail so they can say see I told u so . It takes years to draft a deep roster . He hasn't had the luxury of lucking into some great drafts the way Finks and Vanisi did ( and lets be real they did have some incredible luck ) . Name me the last 7th rounder who became a Richard Dent . Good scouting ? Maybe but I'd bet if u asked them ( when u could ) they'd say they got pretty lucky here and there .

    He still gets a couple more years in my book b4 we can honestly critique .
    • Like Like x 1
  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,889
    Likes Received:
    1,217
    Ratings:
    +1,484 / 0 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    734ß
    IMHO of you expect to win by building through the draft you have to hit on your first three picks. One should have Pro Bowl potential, one should be a very good core player and the other is usually a guy with huge upside who may have to sit and learn for a year or two and then he becomes a key core player.

    From round four on down you're taking shots on upside or trying to find bargains to fill a hole of two with or picking up backup strength and STeam guys. If you get a first year starter here IMHO it's bonus. UDFAs are in pretty much the same category but cost less. Usually they have a bigger hole in their game the may never be able to overcome as pros.

    So by those metrics, subjective as they may be, how has ol' Phil done?

    He got two Pro Bowlers so far (Long and Jeffery) with a mid first and a high second round pick and both look like they could get a lot better. Big points for these two.

    He's drafted three LBs (McClellin included here) and a signed a prime UDFA all of whom show some promise or at least did when they were drafted. Points here only if McClellin and Bostic both play at a level deserving of where the were drafted and I believe they will but we can't give him any points for them just yet. Greene and Jones are bonus point guys if the make the team and can play STeams well.

    This years draft looks like the best yet on paper. I'd be very surprised if Kyle Fuller didn't make everyone glad we took him in one. There's a spot for him to start in and I think he'll go with that and run. He's got Pro Bowl potential in a another few years.

    I'd also be very surprised if Sutton didn't work out well as a rotational guy and get some sacks and TFLs. They can work him in behind Ratliff and Collins and keep him fresh and hungry to make an impact both against the run and the pass.

    Ferguson may disappoint fans initially but he's a guy who I think needs some time to grow into his role. Emery drafted him to replace Ratliff in another year or two so I'm not really expecting big things from him this year. Not with Paea playing for a contract extension.

    Vereen is the bonus guy and I think Emery is gonna collect on him. He may not start but I'm betting he plays and contributes somewhere and if he doesn't start he'll push Conte so hard we'll forget all about his play in 2013 which from his stats were actually better than 2012.

    So after a couple of whiffs in that first draft we could still come out great if McClellin turns into a monster LB and Jeffery is only gonna get better. Bostic only needs to win that MLB spot this year for that to score points and we need to see contributions out of Fuller and Sutton to make this one a hit.

    Overall he hasn't done that badly and if some of the fringe draftees and UDFAs or waiver pickups end up making the roster and looking like they may be here to stay the whole ratio will begin to pivot in the other direction. The biggest challenge for the coaches will be trying to decide which rookies or second year guys should be kept over an experienced vet when you're trying to win now. It's those decisions that take place at the bottom of the roster that'll have a lot of impact over the next few years. The Packers have been pretty good at developing starters from late draft picks and developmental guys at the bottom of their roster and we need to get better at that too.
  6. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,889
    Likes Received:
    1,217
    Ratings:
    +1,484 / 0 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    734ß

    They did have some luck but some of those guys took a few years to develop too. Dent exploded in his second year. Steve McMichael was in his second and third years when he lit it up same with Mike Singletary. The OGs Bortz and Thayer were all later picks and Hilgy and UDFA who took some time to gel. The groundwork for that team was laid 2-5 year before they hit it big.
  7. omc1969

    omc1969 Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    171
    Ratings:
    +190 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    Let's face it ......... The "Angler" left Phil a bare cupboard to work with so I believe he has done a good job at restocking and getting this team up to speed. I know we were, for the most part, pleasantly surprised at some of the moves he has made that J.A. would NEVER have attempted.
    :18 1 205:
  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    20,658
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Ratings:
    +2,485 / 6 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    314ß
    we're still talking about this? fluffs a way.

    ya they WERE bad at drafting, but that seems to be turning w/a new GM and newer larger scouting department.
  9. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    29,318
    Likes Received:
    3,784
    Ratings:
    +4,021 / 8 / -6
    ßearz ßuckz:
    268ß
    What a stupid article. Doesnt even mention how many years we DIDNT HAVE a first round pick.

    Since 2006:

    2006: no pick
    2007: Olsen - good pick, let him go
    2008: C-Will - bust
    2009: no pick
    2010: no pick
    2011: Carimi - bust
    2012: Shea - too soon to tell
    2013: Long - good pick
    2014: Fuller - too soon to tell

    So, out of 9 first round picks, 33% we didnt even have a pick, 2 were a bust, 2 were good picks, and 2 are too soon to tell.
  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,889
    Likes Received:
    1,217
    Ratings:
    +1,484 / 0 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    734ß
    I'm still giving Emery the benefit of the doubt on Shea because the vets have had nothing but positives to say so far about how quickly he's picked up his LB assignments but in his case the real proof is only gonna come when they put on the pads in camp and in preseason. It's when the contact starts and he has to avoid blocks and make tackles that I want to see. But, just seeing what he as able to do against Rodgers when the Packers gave him room to work was enough to tell me that I think this conversion will work out well.

    No one has a had a bad word to say about Fuller either and most of the draft evaluators believe he was the most complete NFL ready CB in the draft. I'm no draft expert but knowing how Emery tends to evaluate players that makes some sense. Also the fact that he doesn't have to step into a full time every snap job and that he has Peanut and Jennings to help him adapt I think will be a benefit or at least enough so that he'll have a good rookie year.

    JA found some good players just not enough of him and while others may not see it that way I still believe the deal for Cutler was at least his one crowning offensive achievement and probably the single most aggressive move he ever made. If he hadn't done that we might still be using the Kyle Orton's of the league as starting QBs. Jay may have cost us two 1sts but it would have taken the we didn't have in 2006 to draft him to begin with. So I see it as just and extra number one and Orton to seal the deal and for that price IMHO we've come out well ahead of the game.

    To me it was as much the misses JA made on so many second and mid round picks that was what really cost us youth and depth and it was cumulative. The LB core got old without any decent youth developing behind them and JA couldn't draft an OL or WR to save his ass so the offense always struggled with less talent than it needed. Those things cost him his job as much or more as those 1st round misses.

Share This Page