To quote the scholar Brittney Spears , “Oops he did it again.” Chicago Bears Phil Emery made another curious selection in his second year as the point man of the Chicago Bears draft. Last season, he surprised everyone and took a surprising tweener DE Shea McClellin and this season they reached to take Oregon guard Kyle Long.
He bounced between baseball and football and was a selection of the Chicago White Sox right out of high school back in ’08 before returning to football and attending Florida State. He left for academic reasons and after a stint in Junior College, he switched from DE to O-line.
Long may very well turn out to be a solid player, but there are plenty of doubters in this pick and you can count me among them. Like most other fans, I was closely following the draft on TV and engaging in the chatter on Twitter. As the run on offensive linemen unfolded, plenty of talented players plummeted down the draft board. By the time the Bears were on the clock at #20, here are some players who were on the board:
Shariff Floyd (considered by many to be a Top 5 pick)
Tyler Eifert (top TE on the board)
Alec Ogletree (top-3 LB)
Desmond Trufant and Xavier Rhodes (both top-3 CB)
Tyler Eifert might have been a luxury pick since the Bears just signed Martellus Bennett in free agency, but the others would immediately be able to contribute to an aging defense. It seemed to me like this was a perfect opportunity for the Bears to trade down. There was a trading partner out there, the Atlanta Falcons, who traded picks 30, 92 and 198 to move up 8 spots to move up into #22 to take Desmond Trufant. Don’t forget that Phil Emery’s mentor was Falcons GM Thomas Dimitrof. No other offensive linemen selected in the first round after the Bears’ selection at #20.
The Kyle Long selection would have absolutely thrilled me in a trade down scenario or in the second round. In the first round, it feels like a reach. What happened to taking the best player available? Some question whether Long was even the best offensive lineman available?
The additions of guard Matt Slauson and OT Jermon Bushrod along with LB’s DJ Williams and James Anderson were supposed to give the Bears flexibility to take the best player available.
What do you think of the pick? What grade would you give the Bears on their first round pick?
What do YOU think? Let’s hear your thoughts on Phil Emery’s second first round selection, boom or bust?