No one runs around Chicago proclaiming the greatness of former Bears’ GM Phil Emery. His tenure as the Chicago Bears general manager created the roster holes that now haunt the franchise. However, the release of Ego Ferguson begs the question as to exactly how bad the Bears drafted between 2012-2014.
Numbers don’t lie. Unfortunately for the Chicago Bears, those numbers include low win totals and gaping roster holes. Those numbers are due to extremely poor drafting by Phil Emery between 2012-2014. It’s time to look at exactly how bad his drafts were by a numbers standpoint.
2012: Only two of the six players selected from the 2012 draft still play in the NFL. Neither of those two players remain in Chicago. Ironically enough, one of them owns a Super Bowl ring. However, many would attribute that feat to the grace of God and Tom Brady. His name is Shea McClellin. The other recently departed from the Windy City, Alshon Jeffery. No player from this draft class has received a multi-year extension from any NFL team. The other four players made hasty NFL exits: Brandon Hardin, Evan Rodriguez, Isaiah Frey, and Greg McCoy. McClellin and Jeffery played 115 combined games with 87 starts. The other 4 combined to play 31 games with 12 total stars. Only Isaiah Frey lasted more than a year with the Bears out of those four.
2013: This draft actually showed some real potential. Three of the six drafted players still hold a spot on an NFL roster (Wilson is a free agent). Ironically, the 2nd and 3rd picks are out of work indefinitely (Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene). The Chicago Bears actually found decent role players in the later rounds of the draft. Jordan Mills, Cornelius Washington, and Marquess Wilson all managed to make some sort of impact despite being 5th, 6th, and 7th round picks. However, Mills is the only player who earned a starting role outside of Long. Only Long is guaranteed to return to the Bears next season. Kyle Long is the only player from these three draft classes to earn a multi-year contract from the Bears.
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Games/starts as a Chicago Bear- Long: 55 games/55 starts over 4 years. Bostic: 29 games/17 starts over 2 years. Greene: 25 games/6 starts over 2 years. Mills: 29 games/29 starts over 2 years. Washington: 31 games/2 starts over 4 years. Wilson: 31 games/14 starts over 4 years.
2014: This draft class is a year away from looking extremely ugly. Ego Ferguson’s release made him the second player (Brock Vereen) from this class to be released. Kyle Fuller could easily be out next year after inconsistent play and an injury filled 2016, Will Sutton only acts as depth on the defensive line, Ka’Deem Carey teeters back and forth between the 2nd and 3rd string running back, David Fales will likely be cut before the season starts, and Charles Leno is constantly cited as the weakest link on the offensive line. At least Pat O’Donnell has the punting job locked down. Even if Fuller does regain his rookie year form (and by rookie year, I mean week 2 of his rookie year) the draft class still comes out as a failure. There’s a solid chance that not one player from the 2014 draft has a roster spot on the 2018 roster. Most would call that a problem.
Games/starts as a Chicago Bear- Fuller: 32 games/30 starts over 3 years. Ferguson: 20 games/1 start over 2 years (inactive all of 2016). Sutton: 36 games/18 starts over 3 years. Carey: 37 games/1 start over 3 years. Vereen: 19 games/4 starts over 2 years. Fales: 1 game/0 starts over 3 years. O’Donnell: 47games/47 starts over 3 years. Leno: 38 games/30 starts over 3 years
Numbers never lie. When 7th round picks play more games for the team then the 2nd and 3rd picks combined, that’s usually a major problem.