Staff Picks: Handing out Chicago Bears Draft Grades
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:
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.
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.
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.