Staff Picks: Handing out Chicago Bears Draft Grades

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Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of University of Phoenix Stadium as reflected in a Chicago Bears helmet during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft is in the books.  There are differing opinions from every corner of the football universe on how well everyone did.  We’re a little late to the party, but I asked our staff writers to provide their draft grades.  Here you go:

Boomer (B-)

The Bears get knocked down a full letter grade for selecting a punter.  He was the first and only one taken.  That tells me they could have gotten him as a free agent.  I didn’t have a problem selecting Fuller over one of the safeties; anyone who thinks the Bears are set at cornerback is a little shortsighted or has selective amnesia. I feel like Ego Ferguson is a signature Phil Emery pick – a reach for a higher upside guy who has the chance to blow up or flame out.  I’m a little concerned that Ka’Deem Carey is Evan Rodriguez 2.0; there were character issues that came home to roost.  Let’s hope Carey checks his baggage at the door and proves me wrong.  Brock Vereen offers a lot of upside and was a great value pick in the fourth round, but we can’t overlook that it cost us a 5th round pick next season. Emery and the Bears didn’t draft any Day 1 starters, but I’m OK with it.

Mike Flannery (B)

The Bears addressed all of their position needs, except maybe wide receiver, and didn’t reach more than a round or so for any pick which is unusual for Phil Emery. I think the Bears drafted 5-6 potential starters included UDFA LB Christian Jones who I had rated higher than every Bears pick except Fuller and Sutton.

Tooch (B)

The Bears filled voids in several key areas, however they are still in desperate need of a starting-caliber safety and selected too many “project” players.  Defensive tackle Ego Ferguson was a tremendous reach and drafting punter Pat O’Donnell in the 6th round was a true head scratcher.  However, defensive back Kyle Fuller should give them great versatility in the secondary and safety Brock Vereen was a smart selection.

Heather (B+)

If you take a step back and look at the personnel the Bears drafted, they covered all their needs. I think Fuller was the best available to fill the need, and don’t think Clinton-Dix was worth that high of a pick. Instead of two DT’s in a row, the Bears should have gone safety. My only real question to Emery is on David Fales. I don’t like the pick. Overall, I felt the Bears stepped up their game, traded up for Brock Vereen, and these picks will help the defense this season. 

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Tags: Chicago Bears Draft Grades

  • Lloyd A Brodnax

    Bears Draft Grade B. If they would’ve selected another quality safety or either that talented kick returner mentioned above by one of your writers then their overall grade would’ve been upgraded to B+ or A-. Moreover, I’m really looking 4ward to seeing our Bears in action this year and let’s hope that Mel Tucker’s Defensive schemes work, otherwise all of Bears Nation will be calling for his firing, cause he won’t have the excuse(s) from last year!

    • John Vassar

      Lloyd, the issue of drafting another safety is that in the minds of the Bear management there weren’t any. You have to avoid drafting for a need when no one is there to draft. On the kick returner, they have several on the roster that can do the job. Chris Williams, Hixson, Morgan are all capable of being effective returners. It is going to be an exciting season.

  • Pedemegonz

    Your staff evaluations are way too low and this smells of disappointment because the Bears didn’t pick “their guys.” The reality is they got the best player (and a need) after Donald was chosen. Number 14 is just too high a draft slot to take a safety both from a money point of view and a value to the team point of view. After that they got the offensive and defensive players of the year from PAC 12 and a guy ” who controlled the line at the Senior Bowl.” As to ever drafting a punter, gimme a break. This guy has a huge leg and I’ll take having the ball be on the other teams 20 yard line with no return every time. Vereen looks to be better than anything they have now so it is an upgrade. This draft gave them 6 guys who are going to play. GIVE THEM AN “A.”

    • Michael Curcio

      I think it’s too early for giving them any sort of rating – it’s just so early. I hope they prove many of us wrong though. As for a punter….the Raiders had the best kicker/punter duo for much of the last 6 years and look where it got them….I agree with your first round safety evaluation, however.

  • metalhead65

    because they drafted a punter you dropped them a grade? you did you notice it was a sixth round selection right?calm down it’s not as if they could have drafted a starting caliber safety there. maybe he would not have been drafted but he also could have been signed by somebody else right after the draft before the Bears could sign him. if they had a proven punter then I could see it being a wasted pick but they don’t and he was one of the best so they took him. hope he makes it but if not so what? I think they did pretty good with their other picks and along with the free agent signings the defense will bounce back this year, they don’t have to be the monsters of the midway anymore they just need to be able to make a stop which they could not do with the guys they were signing off the street every week last year.

    • DiscountPCRepair SATX

      Looks like he could play safety and punt as well!!!

  • IUCannon

    I’m normally very critical of the Bears/Emery’s choices but this year I think he killed it. Fuller is in the mold of Peanut only more athletic, Ego and Sutton could be a dangerous combo – Sutton was Aaron Donald in the 2012 season, Vereen will start by 2015 plus has the work ethic and athleticism to be an All-Pro (not to mention he was the best safety bargain in the draft), Carey could be a steal if he stays out of trouble – most productive college back in both yards and scoring over 2012 and 2013 combined, and Fales with Trestman could be the gem of the draft in 3-4 years. O’Donnell is a huge punter with a great leg and by far the best punter in college last year, plus he’s not afraid to cover returns. At worst I think we end up with 4 starters – Fuller, Sutton, Vereen, and O’Donnell (yes a punter is a starter) but if everyone progresses and the coaching staff assists with this (biggest overlooked issue in the NFL) then I think we have 6-7 starters over the next 3-4 years. If you truly think there was a “reach” (I’m looking at you Mel Kiper
    about Ego) that’s fine but at least own up to it if you’re wrong in
    the coming seasons.

    • Michael Curcio

      I like your optimism and totally agree on Vereen. Bear Down!

  • Goodshepherd Americanbullies

    I give this draft an A. I’m just gonna trust Emery on the Ego pick , Nix was still on the board when we took him so he must have a higher grade atleast for what we’re trying to do on Defense. As far as the O’Donnell pick goes I say it’s a grand slam. Being a Canes fan for college I can tell you that guy was like the MVP of a few games last year. He’s definitely gonna be a day 1 starter, how many 6th round picks can you say that about? Alot of 6th round picks don’t even make the team. I was really pumped when I saw that pick #BearDown

  • bobportcharlotte

    My biggest disappointment was the Bears not drafting CB Pierre Desir. Especially when he dropped so low. I still don’t understand why the Bears did not take him. There is a good chance the QB they drafted would have been available after the draft. Who else was going to draft him? Evidently Trestman fell in love with him. Anyway, I have to figure Emery knows what he is doing. Hope springs eternal!

  • Scott Palmer

    I find it completely illogical to complain about a punter being picked in the 6th round. Most 6th rounders don’t even end up seeing the field. If the guys ends up our starter…it’s a successful pick. Rather take a tackle or safety who has NO chance of making the team? I do wish we would have tried to get Colt Lyerla or another TE….but overall, pretty satisfied with this draft.

    • IUCannon

      I completely agree. Look at Washington from last year, loads of talent but can’t put it together. At least with taking a punter you get the guy you want and will more than likely end up with a starter – yes punters are starters too. People under estimate punters and special team guys that aren’t kickers or returners but they can play a huge role at the right times.