Sunday, May 11, 2014

Grading the Bears Draft

I really like how Phil Emery and his crew handled this year's draft.  Let's go through pick by pick and talk about our new rookies.

Rd 1, pick 14: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech.  I thought this pick was going to be Aaron Donald (went at 13 to the Rams).  But apparently Fuller was the Bears' target all along.  It seems as though a lot of analysts, Mike Mayock included, think he might be the best corner in the entire draft.  I thought his highlights were impressive.  His ideal player comparison in the NFL is Charles Tillman - 'nuff said.  Good fit, good potential.

Rd 2, pick 51: Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU.  He's HUGE (6'3" 315), and absolutely fits a major need on the defensive line.  I gotta admit he wasn't on my radar since he was a borderline top 10 guy, but watching his highlights he looks strong and tough and obviously LSU has a reputation for churning out pros.

Rd 3, pick 82: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State.  I love guys who had good college careers and Sutton was the Pac-12 DPOY the last TWO years!  He looks slower and a bit less athletic than Ferguson but seems to be more of a hole-stuffer at defensive tackle.  I think this was an extremely smart pick.  These two defensive tackles could complement each other for years, especially learning from all the vets the Bears brought in via free agency on the defensive line.

Rd 4, pick 117: Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona.  Ka'Deem is a BOSS.  He has had some legal issues but c'mon, who hasn't?  This guys is a legit starting quality talent in the NFL.  Offensive POY in the Pac-12 last year (way to go with the trivia picks, Emery), and just pops out at you on tape.  He's going to be an excellent guy learning behind Forte.  Love this pick, excited to see him in a Bears uniform.  If Forte goes down at any point next year, I would pick him up in fantasy without any hesitation.

Rd 4, pick 131: Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota.  Yet another mid round safety.  Eventually, we have to get one right, right?  Jerry Kill, Vereen's coach at Minnesota, had a lot of nice things to say about him.  And his big brother Shane Vereen has done well with the Patriots the last couple years when he's been healthy.  Haven't watched enough of Brock to comment on his NFL future with any kind of authority.  But go Big Ten.

Rd 6, pick 183: David Fales, QB, San Jose St.  He put up great college stats, I've never watched him.  Might be a wasted pick, but can't hurt from a depth perspective.

Rd 6, pick 191: Pat O'Donnell, P, Miami.  Sure, why not?  First punter of the draft I believe.

Rd 7, pick 246: Charles Leno Jr, OT, Boise St.  He's got the size and the pedigree, and Emery struck gold with OT Jordan Mills in the fifth round last year, so I'll give this pick the benefit of the doubt.  Check out ESPN's take on Leno, which points out that the last few Boise State left tackles haven't been half bad!  (Daryn Colledge, Ryan Clady, Nate Potter)

All in all, this looks like a solid B+/A- draft to me.  I feel like all four of the top four picks are going to make important contributions on the field next year, and that all eight guys are going to stick on the roster.  Fales is the only real question mark.  We got guys from strong programs and power conferences, which I dig.  Carey could end up being one of those Lance Briggs-type genius midround picks, and all three of the top guys are studs in my opinion.

One other note.  I was happy to see Michael Sam get drafted.  He deserves huge praise for the way he's gone about this thing and the bravery he has demonstrated in being so open and being a standard bearer for GLBT folks everywhere.  Good on the Rams and Jeff Fisher for going out and drafting him and being so classy - it was really a cherry on top of what was already a good draft for them.