I am trying really hard to believe in Phil Emery. Maybe I’ve been jaded by years of Jerry Angelo. Heck, maybe I’ve just become jaded as a Bears fan period. It’s hard not to be critical of the first three picks in the Phil Emery era. I’m not sure if Phil is trying to “show off his geniusness [sic] or if he’s trying to zig when everyone thinks he should zag. Let’s look at each of the picks and break them down.
Isolated from the other picks that Emery made on Day 2, I wasn’t quite as steamed as a lot of Bears fans with this pick, but looking at it along with his Day 2 picks and I’m getting a little worried. The Bears chose McClellin when they could have gone with a couple of the top offensive linemen out there, like Riley Reiff or David DeCastro. They could have taken a more highly touted prospect like Chandler Jones or Whitney Mercilus. It was a red flag to me that as soon as the Bears drafted McClellin, the Patriots traded up to take Jones. Aren’t we supposed to be modeling out drafts from a successful organization like them?
The Bears had Jeffery ranked as the third wide receiver on their board and didn’t feel like he’d drop too much more, so they traded up a few spots to select him at #45. He’s shown that he can be productive, but he’s also shown that he can mail it in. When he’s most compared to Lions’ former draft bust Mike Williams, it raises some red flags. The Bears had a chance to take LSU WR Reuben Randle, whom the Super Bowl Champion Giants snapped up at the end of the round despite having a pretty deep wide receiver pool. Jeffery represents a high risk, high reward guy for Emery and the Bears. He could present matchup nightmares with Brandon Marshall or he could gain another 20 pounds and try to play tight end.
Here’s the pick that really got my goat. The Bears have been drafting safeties in perpetuity as long as Lovie has been around. It means they just can’t seem to get it right. Maybe Emery came in to show the brain trust how it’s done and grabbed the next Mike Brown. Or maybe he took Al Afalava, Part II. He was a big hitter who was supposed to stabilize the safety position for the Bears.
Hardin gets such low marks because while the Bears could use a bump in production from that position, I think there are other positions of greater need. With OT Bobby Massie sitting there with a big 2nd round grade on him, the Bears chose a safety. With needs a DT and CB, they passed on guys with pretty high grades – and good values for the third round – and chose another safety with a history of injuries, including missing all of last season with a bum shoulder.
Overall, I’ll give Phil a generous C- in this draft through 2 days. He addressed areas of need, but did so with guys who may have slid further down or guys who don’t project to be as good as their draft position would indicate.
What grade do you give Emery so far? Does he get a little equity since he’s done well in Free Agency?
I’m not giving the all too easy answer of “Incomplete”. That’s true for everyone.