Why I am leary of Donald.

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by BSBEARS, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Ojibway Bob

    Ojibway Bob Veteran SuperFan

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    You know 1 thing Ireally like about Donald after watching the tape....of course other then his quickness, pursuit of the ball holder, and the relentless attack... Is his demeanor...1 thing I hate is all the showboating that goes on and with Donald there appears to not be alot of it..So when do we pick him up?
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  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I think it all depends on who he's marked as his guy or guys Jim and whether he thinks he can still get one of them at that spot by trading down. We've all heard him say that he typically has multiple scenarios planned for the first round including trading down, but we've also heard him say more recently that it's tough to get value for doing it. Reading between the lines by that I think he means that he drives a hard bargain when it comes to giving up a pick in exchange for a later one. Unlike Angelo I think he'd prefer to be the guy trading up than down. That way he knows he's getting the player he values most instead of taking the risk that his guy or guys won't be there.

    I don't know that there are any truly elite players in this draft but a few at certain positions are far more elite than others. After that the next bunch is ranked more tightly. As far as pass rushers go I believe Donald is one of those "more elite" types you don't want to pass on if you play a 4-3 one gap defense like the Bears and use a 3 tech DT to lead your line play. Emery emphasized that when he was discussing Melton. Now he has 3 vet DTs who are versatile enough to play both NT and 3 tech DT but none of them have quite the set of tools for it that Donald has. The combination of quickness, strength, and foot speed he has are pretty rare and that puts him in the same league as guys like John Randle or Tommie Harris or of the current guys a Gerald McCoy or a Geno Atkins and those guys are huge forces in the teams DLines. One reason Lovie never pursued Melton is that he already has McCoy and he's better than Melton. So is Atkins and he's only 6'1" as well.

    We got kind of lucky this year as far as draft position goes and got #14 rather than #19 in round one. In most drafts that's the difference between still being able to get the highest rated guy or second highest rated guy at given position vs the number three or four guy. Whoever his guy is he has a very good chance of getting one of those "more elite " players at DT, LB, FS or CB. Any one of them would be a good pick but we need some positions more now than others. I'm not Phil Emery but if I was I wouldn't give that pick up if a guy I could use and who was at the top of my board was there. All I'll be offered as an opener is probably that value difference in points which maybe gets me another late 3rd round pick and I wouldn't do it for that. I'd want far more if I'm giving up a shot at one of those "more elite" guys. The way draftees are valued since the new CBA took effect because of their salary limitations their value is higher and most teams won't give them up easily.

    So I guess my thinking is no, he probably won't get enough value to make it worth the risk.
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Phil has never made the same claim as Angelo did as far as only taking "high character" guys (what happened with "Tank" Jerry, or Sam Hurd?) but you know that being the Halas owned Chicago Bears that's something they do look at. Emery wasn't altogether pleased that Melton was down in Tx. getting himself in trouble vs sticking around Chicago and attending to his rehab. He said that didn't come into play in his desire to have him back but he didn't really go after him hard did he?

    So Donald is also a fit relative to his demeanor and that's a nice pickup on that part of him to Bob. We've had some very good luck over the years with players out of Pitt because of their work ethic and that's another reason why I like the kid. He has that same tough hard nosed style of play that guys like Ditka and Covert had. Donald doesn't come without some risk but he also comes with few if any flaws in his game or his character. He's Bears type of "Grabowski" DT and he can play ball.
  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Spot on MP! :23_28_100[1]:
  5. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Thanks, Soul.

    It can be very deceptive looking at where Donald may be ranked as of now "among DTs" in this draft. All the above guys are lumped together as "DTs" even though their strengths, weaknesses, and scheme fits vary greatly and greatly affect their "ranking" for a particular team. For instance, for a team that plays primarily a 2-gap/3-4 front, Donald would probably be the lowest ranked and least desirable of the 4 mentioned. For a primarily 1-gap/4-3 team like the Bears though, he's easily the best choice IMHO especially if the 3-tech DT spot is what you're targeting...and it is. The other three players are either way better suited to a 3-4 or to the NT/"hybrid" DT positions. Donald is easily the best pure 1-gap/3-technique DT in this draft and that's not just my opinion. It's widely shared among the experts I've read who break down the general DT category into its proper subsets.

    With Melton's not unexpected departure, the 3-tech position just happens to be a major hole (now and looking into the future) so there's a happy marriage of need & availability there. I won't complain if Emery likes Jernigan over Donald somehow but he better have a damn good reason for passing up AD at #14 if he's still on the board. Like....for example....some team offers him a trade down deal that's simply too good to turn down. Or someone tumbles down to 14 who was never expected to have a snowball's chance of making it there. I really hope Phil doesn't try to get "too cute by half" again in this draft. We need an immediate contributor in the 1st, not a "project" or a luxury pick.
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  6. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'm in total agreement. Ranking those top guys is tough because as you say each fit a different type of defensive front. Donald is a pure 4-3 3 tech, Jernigan is the 4-3 Shade NT, Hageman is more of a 5 tech 3-4 DE as is Tuitt, and Nix is a pure two-gap 3-4 NT. So how they rank on any one teams board means a lot more than how some draft publication ranks them. If a team in front of us plays a typical 3-4 and they need a pass rusher they'll take Mack or Barr and if the need a NT they'll take Nix. Donald isn't a fit for them. Conversely out of that bunch Donald is the best fit for the Bears if they plan to continue playing the same 4-3 one gap defense.

    So this debate about whose rising or falling is all pretty meaningless without looking at teams defensive needs and their draft order. Donald rising to the top could have nothing more to do than the fact that of the teams who need a DT the Bears pick earliest and they would typically opt for a guy like Donald over someone like Nix. But if it was a pure 3-4 team or a 4-3 team like Minny who likes huge 4-3 DTs then maybe Nix rises in the rankings. I see BSBears point but where he's going with it is invalid. If you look at NFP complete drafting rankings then in those Donald and Jernigan both "rank" below Nix, and Tuitt and Hageman too for that matter, but "rated" they all carry the same grade. One will appeal more to some teams than others and may be just as effective in that teams scheme than another would be in a different teams scheme. That's what some fans are missing. HOW do you plan on using the guy?

    I posted a thread of Matt Bowen's tutorial on 4-3 one gap defensive schemes and asked Loki to sticky it. He agreed and will leave it up until September. I hope some will benefit from this and gain a better understanding of just how that defense works, whose responsible for what, and why it takes a certain type of player to play each position. Matt goes into all of that including the various 4-3 alignments, what they're called and how they're schemed. To me this is crucial in the understanding of why, after our FA moves, a guy like Donald may be more useful than Jernigan, Hageman or Nix. That's not to say those guys may not be good picks but are they the "best pick".

    He covers the responsibilities of the entire front seven and even the SS at times so it very thorough. I also believe it shows why having some versatility in your rotation is imperative and despite that why you also need a specific type of player to play one spot a certain way. It's quite good and I hope the guys will read and understand it. It'll stop some of these debates cold in their tracks if they do.
  7. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    I read Bowen's article and it was a great post. We aren't sure what Tucker's scheme will be in full but we do know from Emery that it will be primarily a 4-3/1-gap front. And that means we need a 3-tech DT who can shoot gaps and rush the passer even if there's some hybrid looks mixed in. Right now all we have there is a hybrid 3t/NT who's in the twilight of his career as a depth player (Ratliff) and another hybrid option (Collins) who's only 5 months removed from ACL surgery.

    Yeah, there's a major hole there. So, lets stop pretending or denying there is a need at DT or that Donald is some "flash in the pan" Combine-hero only. Neither is true.

    Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that DT and S are our two most obvious draft targets. I'd rather have a 1st tier DT prospect and a 2nd tier S prospect than the opposite. Others may disagree. However it turns out on draft weekend, I hope Phil finds us two good players in whatever order cuz it's no secret what we need.
  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    A lot of it depends on the philosophy of the HC and maybe more importantly the DC. With Lovie he was almost one in the same and Marinelli was a hybrid DL coach and more of an Asst. DC to Lovie. There was never any doubt about who schemed and ran that defense as Chico learned a few years back. It's pretty obvious how Lovie valued Safeties vs DTs and DEs based on how the drafted and also how they approached FA. Now the $64,000 Question is, has that changed under Trestman and Tucker and equally importantly Emery?

    Emery seems far more vocal and out front regarding personnel decisions than Angelo ever was. Emery is the much stronger personality of the two and certainly more sure of himself vs Angelo cockiness which hid his uncertainties and doubts. When questioned Angelo was defensive and evasive. Emery is forthright, proactive and willing to accept personal responsibility for his actions which Angelo would never have done in the media. Those are all things I respect and admire in Emery despite the other issues I have with him. I can easily compartmentalize with him and separate who he is as a person from what he sometimes does as a GM. It's the tactics I don't like at times, not the man. I'm not sure everyone gets that.

    Anyway, Emery himself dispels some of the doubt about how the defense will be run at least for now. Despite the background of Tucker and his DL and LB coaches in 3-4 defenses Emery realizes he's nowhere near where he'd need to be personnel wise to run a productive 3-4. He simply lacks the key players to do it. Matt Bowen's next tutorial on two-gap 3-4 defenses will show that. So whatever transpired between Emery, Trestman, and Tucker that resulted in him be retained, and no matter how much more autonomy Tucker will be given as far as running things more his way, I believe it was still made clear to him that he'd sticking with a base 4-3 and be asked to get it done within those parameters. To oversimplify it I'd say it was like Emery told him we're sticking with a 4-3 base defense, if I get you the right guys can you run that effectively or not? Yes and you get another year, no and you're outta here. Tucker may show some mixed looks to confuse but I believe they're still gonna run a D similar to Lovie's because it's a damn good defense when you have the right guys playing it.

    If all of this is still true then the Bears still value DT and DE above Safeties and that first pick will be a DLineman and specifically a 3 tech DT. That's who we lost and that's who needs to be replaced. Donald is the best pure 3 tech and Jernigan is the second best 3 tech/NT and I'm projecting that it will be one or the other. Both could be there and one almost surely will be. There's really no hiding this one and I don't think he needs to. Unless there's a lot of pre-draft or draft day shuffling of picks going on early there aren't two teams picking before #14 who need a 3 tech DT. I also can't see two teams picking after that dropping picks in this draft to leap frog the Bears for both of them. For even one of them is doubtful. It's costly to move from up to those #10-#13 slots and even then you have to find a team who'll trade. IIRC Tommie Harris was the #14 pick that year and many teams value smaller 3 tech DTs even less today than they did then. Most of those who use them have one and we did too until earlier this week. Dallas would have been looking before the signed Melton but now there need is less and other than that I think Arizona was next on the list and they're at #20. To jump to #13 could cost them as much as their 2nd round pick or their 3rd and 4th. I can't see them doing it.

    Guess I've blabbed on enough about this. My thinking today is like yours. Our need is greatest at DT and next comes S and CB and hopefully the cards fall right this time and we can get the guys we need. We already know that both Wright and Conte played much better with a decent DL and LBs in front of them and several steps have already been taken for fix those problems including the sacking of Wright so the worse of those two is gone and Conte has half a foot out the door trying to get back in. IMHO for now good competition as opposed to an obvious replacement is enough to improve that deal and with Jennings and Tillman paid to start we don't need an other starting CB so there's no need on spending a 1st round pick on one. We can take a good one later and let him develop behind those two.
  9. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    Great post soul!

    From my perspective, I want to see Emery how handles his own mistakes. Good executives/CEOs do not have an emotional tie to their personnel or their own decisions. They have to be willing to reverse any decision (if it looks like it was a mistake). They make the hard decisions in a way that maximizes the performance/profitability of their organization.

    Let's say Shea continues to underperform/underwhelm. How will Emery handle it? I personally don't care if he openly admits he made a mistake or not. I just care that he comes to the correct conclusion sooner rather than later and takes appropriate action quickly.

    If that all happens, I will be very comfortable with Emery and the future of the Bears. It will mean that Tucker won't last as a DC if the defense is substandard. It will also mean that the scouting and player personnel folks will have to perform as well.

    If it doesn't happen, we might as well have JA back. I really do not think this likely but we wont know for another year or two.
  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    :5_3_1[1]:

    Chuckster, one good thing about Emery is that he at least finds a way to trade those mistakes. I still believe McClellin is valuable as a spot pass rusher if nothing else. If he proves that he can't handle all of what a LB needs to, and I believe he'll at least do OK, then he still has some trade value for the right team. We may not get much more than a late pick for him but that's better than nothing. Ideally then we would trade him after this year while he's still playing on his rookie contract and cheap.

    Emery did man up to his personnel mistakes earlier this year and that's a good sign that he's learning from his mistakes. Principal of those was his tendency to believe college players with athletic ability could easily convert to a different position. He was wrong on several McCellin being the most prominent. There's also Hardin/CB-S, Conte/CB-S (although the jury's still out on this one but he does struggle with it), Greene/S/LB-OLB (Greene is a bulked up S and plays like it), and Bostic/3-4ILB-4-3 MLB. I swear that kid will never be an NFL MLB but he's a perfect replacement for Briggs because he needs to play in space where he doesn't need to take blockers straight on every play.

    At least Emery is more decisive about change than JA ever was and I see that as good. As much as I dislike some of his plans there's still a lot there to respect and that part I do. Maybe one reason I'm hard on his decision making is that he CAN be a great GM and he NEEDS to be one if this team is ever gonna whip the Packers year after year like they've done to us.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  11. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Did Greene play S in college? I thought not but its an interesting possibility that Biggs poo-poo'd and dismissed to a reader in one his Q&A columns last season. Of course, Biggs also did the same multiple times when the thought of moving Shea to LB was brought up. Should have been done a year ago. We will be in the same boat or wondering about it if Greene doesn't step up this year and show that he can be at least a depth LB.

    Anyway, you're right that we can only make an educated guess right now about how Tucker's D values DTs vs Safeties. My vote is for DT > S in the priority list but I could be wrong. We shall see. Like you said, its no big secret to any observant GM that those two positions are likely to high priority draft targets for us. The way it looks now the only team picking ahead of us I could see looking for interior DL help in the 1st would be the NYG. But they need more of a run-stuffing NT after losing Linval Joseph than they do a gap-shooting 3-tech. Melton's signing with Dallas probably removes the danger that they would try to leapfrog a couple of spots to grab one. Though I could see them taking Jernigan at #16 if we take Donald at #14.

    My only fear that could mess up this plan is if the rumors about O players like Lewan/Manziel/Bridgewater (had a terrible pro day workout) seeing their stock fall could cause Donald/Jernigan to go earlier than they otherwise would be expected to.

    I'd love to see us draft Donald, Buchannon/Ward, and then a CB in 1,2,3.
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  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yes, he played S his sophomore year then moved to LB and he did well. He as a great tackler and could also play the pass because of his background at FS. So what happened? There most be some reason why with this kids size, speed, and college productivity he drooped to the 4th round. This almost looks like another Cornelius Washington kind of pick. Some scout saw something about this kid that said he wasn't NFL ready and that he'd be a project and he is.

    Ordinarily he would never have seen the field last year but when he did IMHO he stuck the place up. He didn't tackle well, he didn't hit and he didn't cover which were all things he did well in college. Tentativeness, lack or knowing and understanding the defense, or just a plain old pussy at this level I don't know but he sure played like on. He's another guy who won't be around in September is he doesn't improve his game or become a STeams terror which is possible if he gets some guts back.

    I think their pro days might affect Manziel because he's so unconventional and a boom or bust kind or guy, but I don't believe the other will fall out of the top ten. Manziel is already ranked below that and dropping. I think somebody will take him as much for the excitement it will provide and then hope he can win games too. With the new CBA limits and slotting on rookie deals teams aren't as hesitant to take a chance on a QB knowing they can drop him in two or three years if he doesn't pan out and they don't have to eat a lot of dead cap space.
  13. BearJim

    BearJim Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'd be more than happy with that MP. I'm hoping Stanley Jean-Baptiste is available for us in RD 3 but that might be asking too much.
  14. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Him and McGill are two bigger CBs the Bears may be looking at. Farther on down there are taller guys like Purifoy and Aikins too.
  15. BearJim

    BearJim Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yeah Soul, I think they will target one of those bigger type corners as Peanut's eventual replacement. With Jennings signed we need a bigger corner opposite him.
  16. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Purifoy is still under 6ft, I don't see the team looking at him as the answer. McGill maybe, but even though he has the size, he lacks the physicality to effectively use that size. Not exactly the two you want as front line starters.

    I was listening to the score this morning, and they said that the Steelers GM said that EVERYONE wants to trade down this year b/c the win is the depth, not the talent in this draft; he said that there are less then 10 must have guys. So regardless of what you think of Donald, Dix or whoever, no team is looking at them as sure fire must haves, so this is the perfect draft for Emery, he gets to take whoever he likes no matter the "reach factor".
    The only way the team is going to be able to trade back is if one of the qb's OG's or Watkins drop back(any D player that drops is going to be drafted by the Bears).

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