How did the Chicago Bears fare in the 2011 NFL Draft?
To spark up the offseason we are going to go back in time and regrade the Bears drafts of the past decade. Some will be a lot easier to grade than others but it will be a good exercise to look at recent history and compare it to what the team has and has not learned over its hits and misses. This edition, we will focus on the 2011 NFL draft.
1. Gabe Carmimi, OT, Wisconsin
Similar to the 2008 NFL draft, the Bears whiff on another first round tackle. Carimi may have been even worse, sticking with the team for just two seasons before being traded for a sixth round pick. The team got David Fales out the Carimi pick. At least Chris Williams, the 2008 pick played for all four seasons.
Carimi started 16 games in two seasons for the Bears, and was below starter quality. To be fair to the Bears coaches, he only made ten starts in two more NFL seasons before his career ended in 2014. This would be the last in a string of bad picks made by Jerry Angelo as the General Manager of the Bears.
2. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
The Bears saw something in Paea, as they used their fourth round pick to trade up and select the defensive tackle from Oregon State. Paea was a fan of many around the draft community. He was a bench press champ, putting up 49 reps and had increased his stock overall at the combine.
His strength and ability did show at times, and he was not a complete waste of a pick, like Carimi. However, he was a bit undersized and was a bit limited in his role and his upside. Still, Paea was a three-year starter for the Bears, putting in 40 starts during his rookie contract. The team opted to let him loose after his rookie contract, and he wound up in Washington.
Paea has served as a rotational nose tackle for the Redskins and the Browns in the past two seasons and had recently signed with the Cowboys, where he expects to get some playing time. The shift in coaches, and schemes between 2013 and now make sense as to why Paea was let go. However, he would be a nice fit as a backup nose tackle behind Eddie Goldman to go into next season.