NFC North Draft Recap: Have the Chicago Bears Closed the Talent Gap?

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Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; A general view of the NFL shield logo and main stage before the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Emery was hired as Chicago Bears General Manager to close the talent gap in the NFC North a couple of seasons ago.  With the Packers and Vikings making the playoffs last season and the Bears on the sidelines during the post-season yet again, Emery had no choice but to fire Lovie Smith and set a new course for the Bears organization.  Has Emery closed the talent gap in the division?  The best place to look is in the draft. Let’s see how the Bears stacked up with their NFC North rivals:

 

April 26, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Kyle Long poses with his Bears jersey during a Chicago Bears press conference announcing their first-round selection of guard Kyle Long from Oregon University at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears 

Round 1. OT Kyle Long

Round 2. ILB Jon Bostic

Round 4. OLB Khaseem Greene

Round 5. OT Jordan Mills

Round 6. OLB Cornelius Washington

Round 7. WR Marquess Wilson

We’ve discussed the Bears picks on this site ad nauseum, but let’s recap here to compare with other NFC North rivals.  The Bears addressed questions on the offensive line and at linebacker, while adding a pass rushing specialist DE and a wide receiver with some major baggage.  Many experts agree that the Bears reached on the Long pick and left a lot of talent out there by drafting Long.  At best, Phil Emery added one starter on each side of the ball in 2013 while bolstering the team’s depth in an effort to add competition and future contributors.

 

Apr 26, 2013; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions first round draft pick Ezekiel Ansah (second from right) poses for a photo with president Tom Lewand (left), general manager Martin Mayhew (second from left) and head coach Jim Schwartz (right) during a press conference at the Lions Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions

Round 1. DE Ezekiel Ansah

Round2. CB Darius S lay

Round 3. G Larry Warford

Round 4. DE Devin Taylor

Round 5. P Sam Martin

Round 6. WR Corey Fuller

Round 6. RB Theo Riddick

Round 7. TE Michael Williams

Round 7. LB Brandon Hepburn

As much flak as the Bears have taken for the Kyle Long pick, the Lions’ choice of Ziggy Ansah could be just as questionable.  Ansah doesn’t have much experience and could end up as a major bust or could blow up and become the next Jason Pierre-Paul.  CB Darius Slay has a knee issue that could slow him up in preparation for the season.  I LOVE the Warford pick in the 3rd round and thought he would have been a nice target for the Bears at the end of Round 2.  According to some experts, 4th rounder Devin Taylor could be a force to reckon with.  Any draft class that includes a punter can’t be all that good, can it? 

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