Ryan Pace is no longer hitting 1.000 with his draft picks.
The Chicago Bears announced earlier today that they have cut ties with 2015 6th round pick Tayo Fabuluje. Fabuluje becomes the first draft pick from Ryan Pace to be released.
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All but two of Ryan Pace’s draft choices from 2015 contributed significantly to the Bears last season. The two that did not were first round choice Kevin White, who missed the entire season with a leg injury, and Fabuluje.
Fabuluje struggled most of training camp and preseason and was buried on the depth chart in the regular season. He played 20 total snaps for the season, 18 on special teams, and only two on offense.
Complicating his situation, Fabuluje was supended for four games for violating the NFL’s PED policy.
Pace knew he was taking a chance on Fabuluje who was a long shot to become a viable NFL player. He’s struggled with weight and mental toughness while in college, and the Bears hoped that wouldn’t be an issue as a professional. He had an extremely difficult life, one that included him mother being imprisoned and forcing him to raise his siblings as a teenager, but overcame all of that and more to become a division one stand out at TCU. Despite his hardships, he showed flashes of great athleticism to go with his massive size and Pace hoped the coaching staff could develop Fabuluje into something special.
Unfortunately, that never happened, and when Fabuluje was a no-show at OTAs, the writing was on the wall. Despite Fabuluje’s release, Pace’s first draft class can really be classified as no worse than ‘very good.’ Eddie Goldman is already an excellent nose tackle and Adrian Amos had a very good rookie season at safety. There are still questions around Hroniss Grasu, but he did show some ability before his rookie season was lost to injury. Jeremy Langford showed flashes of developing into a legitimate offensive weapon when subbing for Matt Forte. Of course, no one even knows what Kevin White could become, as a first round pick, he could become the biggest star of the bunch.
Pace may not be hitting 1.000 with his draft choices anymore, but he’s proving to be a very good evaluator of talent and the release of Fabuluje doesn’t change that. He took a shot in the dark at the TCU offensive lineman and it didn’t pan out. Fabuluje’s release isn’t even a bump in the road. Pace and the Bears are still right on track.