Bears Draft Review
I know everyone has been waiting with bated breath for the Windy Citizen Sports Bears draft review. People whispering in hush tones “What did the Chief think?”. Well now that I have digested it and the dust has settled I am ready to deliver a draft review. Only discussing the first four picks as they are the only picks that really matter. If the DBs taken in the 6th or 7th round pan out that is just a bonus.
1st round, 19th overall selection: Shea McClellin DE Boise State 6’3″ 260 lbs
Shea McClellin certainly fits a need and has a lot of the intangibles/character traits you want in a football player. This is a guy that put up very good combine times and shot up the draft boards. I am a little concerned about McClellin’s ability to step in and be an every down DE in the 4-3. I fear that since he doesn’t have elite strength and is a little undersized that he might get pushed around on running plays. Most NFL scouts were projecting him to be a 3-4 OLB and sub package rushers. His lack of production against weak competition is also troublesome. I think McClellin is a solid pick, but definitely not an ideal fit from a scheme stand point. Perhaps some work in an NFL weight program will do McClellin some good. Possible better fits: Chandler Jones DE, Reilly Reiff OT.
2nd Round, 45th overall selection: Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina 6’3″ 216lbs
Even with the Brandon Marshall acquisition, the Bears still needed help at the WR position. Jeffery was a dominant player at times while at South Carolina. Great redzone target who used his big frame to post up smaller corners on jump balls. Alshon Jeffery didn’t run at the combine, but weighed in at 216 lbs. 6’3″ and 216 lbs is ideal size for a WR. The only problem is that Alshon Jeffery has NEVER played at 216 lbs. Weight fluctuations have always been an issue for Jeffery and he was over 240 lbs at times in college. Jeffery ran an impressive 4.47 forty-yard-dash at his pro day, but he never seemed to play that fast. Jeffery isn’t a game breaker or a guy that will threaten a defense over the top. However, if Jeffery can keep his pro day speed and weight perhaps he can take his game to the next level. Either way he was the best WR left on the board and it was a position of need. Solid pick.
3rd Round, 79th overall selection: Brandon Hardin S Oregon State 6’2″ 223 lbs
This pick has an element of boom or bust to it. Athletically Hardin is a top safety prospect. Great size and also ran a 4.46 forty-yard-dash. However, it’s hard to say how productive Hardin will be because he had a hard time staying on the field. He missed all of 2011 with a shoulder injury and only had one year as a full-time starter. Given the Bears injury troubles at the safety position drafting another guy with a long medical history seems a bit troubling. He is reportedly another great character guy which is a theme in this draft. Emery is definitely big on adding high character players and that is possibly the most notable difference between he and his predecessor Jerry Angelo.
4th Round, 111th overall selection: Evan Rodriguez TE Temple 6’1″ 239 lbs
A pass-catching TE is obviously a position of need since the Bears traded Greg Olsen, but I am just not sure Rodriguez is that guy. They compare him to Aaron Hernandez. Yeah they are both smaller TEs and they are both latinos…and that is where the similarities end. Hernandez was EXTREMELY productive at Florida and that has translated to the NFL. Rodriguez never had more than 35 catches and 3 TDs in a season and that was playing in the MAC. Rodriguez tested out slightly better than average for his position group and has good quickness…but this feels like a big time reach for the Bears. They missed out on higher valued TEs in consecutive rounds(Egnew in the 3rd, Green in the 4th) so maybe the Bears just took the next TE on their board.
Overall I think the Bears had a nice draft and they addressed some needs. Every pick has some glaring red flags, but at least they aren’t character related red flags. The Bears did however fail to address one obvious need and that is the offensive line. Hopefully showing Mike Martz the door will help the Bears better protect Cutler. It’s somewhat stupid to gripe about a 7th round pick, but the Bears took a DB in back to back rounds with Michigan stand-out center David Molk still sitting on the board. That would have been a nice way to round out the draft, but at the end of the day it’s still just a 7th round pick.
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