Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Long Shot: Phil Emery and Chicago Bears Surprise in First Round Selection

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 grade to you give the Bears on their first round pick, Guard Kyle Long?

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Tags: Chicago Bears Kyle Long Phil Emery

  • EnglishBearsFan

    It’s a reach, but it could pay off. Time will tell. Emery likes a surprise doesn’t he?. Made some great moves in free agency since becoming GM, but McClellin was a surprise, Trestman as HC from the CFL and now this guy. Intriguing.

    What number pick was Long projected for in the mock drafts?. Can’t say I saw his name linked with Bears in the mock drafts.

    • John Mack

      If we see last year’s draft class take a major step, that will convince a lot of people in the upside of these players. As it stands, we’re all still scratching our heads over Shea McClellin when Riley Reiff and David DeCastro were still on the board. Then, this year we take an O-Lineman (as we should have done last year) when other talent is on the board. Maybe last year was similar to the NYJets situation where the coach put all his chips on a loosing horse (in our case the O-Line) and Emery let that bet play itself out. Meh, too conspiracy theorist on that one.

  • John Mack

    When I first heard this selection, I got another WTFP moment = What the F*** Phil? There was so much talent still on the board (especially concerning defense). But I trust in Phil. I think he does have an eye for the intangibles. Still, most mock drafts didn’t have Long until 3rd Round. Maybe a few late 2nds, but mostly 3rd, if even there. When looking at combine #s only, he was at
    the right place for an Offensive lineman to be taken based on who was still
    left available. But when I saw Shariff Floyd fall, that would have made our front Defensive four NASTY! Imagine, Peppers, Melton, Floyd and Wooten/McClellin. Just sick. I think we’re going to see a run on LBs in the 2nd round. But I no
    longer believe the beloved will select an LB this season. I see us making a run at Ryan Swope.

    Here are the Combine Scores and selections of other Offensive Linemen taken last night. I know Emery uses more statistics, these are just Combine Scores to give us a frame of reference.

    #1 [Chiefs] Eric Fisher (Combine Score – 91.3)

    #2 [Jaguars] Luke Joeckel (Combine Score – 95.3)

    #4 [Eagles] Lane Johnson (Combine Score – 86.9)

    #7 [Cardinals] Jonathan Cooper (Combine Score – 86.9)

    #10 [Titans] Chance Warmack (Combine Score – 95.9)

    #11 [Chargers] D.J. Fluker (Combine Score – 85.5)

    #19 [Giants] Justin Pugh (Combine Score – 73.0)

    #20 [Bears] Kyle Long (Combine Score – 77.0)

    #31 [Cowboys] Travis Frederick (Combine Score – 78.7)

    High graded OL not taken

    Larry Warford (Combine Score – 85.3)

    Barrett Jones (Combine Score – 85.1)

    Dallas Thomas (Combine Score – 82.7)

    Oday Aboushi (Combine Score – 78.1)

    Reid Fragel (Combine Score – 77.0)

    Menelik Watson (Combine Score – 76.0)

  • http://www.MichaelMontaltoPHOTOGRAPHY.com/ Michael Montalto

    As Long is turning out to not just be a great rookie pick, but one of the best Guards in the NFL, I would say that Emery was spot on with this pick. -mM