Now that the 2014 NFL Draft has completely sunk in, the doubt starts to creep in. The Chicago Bears are a team that is not in the rebuilding stage and may have had too many holes to compete for a championship. So what should the draft strategy for a team like that be? For me I would think I need as many impact guys as possible that can step in sooner rather than later. The defense was one of the worst defenses in history, while the offense was close to the top of the league. The Bears had huge holes at S, LB, and DT coming into the draft. They left the draft needing a S, a DT, and 2 LBs. So did the Bears get better? After digesting it all I cannot say I am too excited about the draft as I was when it happened. If we did not get Will Sutton in the 3rd round it is arguable that we came away with only 1 starter out of 8 picks. Here is my take on the draft:
#1) Kyle Fuller CB- Yes a lot of people wanted a S here. I really like this pick and can't fault the Bears for making the move. Fuller is an impact player day 1 and will carry the team once Tillman's contract is up after this year. People say we still didn't NEED a corner here. Why not? If Tillman goes down, which is very likely, who do we have to step in? Nobody. After Tillman is done who do we have to step in? Nobody. Fuller can step in right away and for a lot less pay than a FA CB. Did you see the money spent on CB's this year? The top guys were borderline cap busters. So the need for a CB was a little more desperate than people think.
#2) Ego Ferguson DT- I'm sorry who? I was completely confused when the pick was made. After looking at the trade and looking back at tape.....Im still completely confused. I'm hearing they wanted a run stuffer in the middle and Ego fit the bill. Are run stuffers that valuable? After watching the Bears give up ridiculous amounts of yards to RBs last year the knee jerk reaction would be YES!!! But looking at the Ego pick it was just the wrong time and wrong player. From watching Ego's play he doesn't seem special and could have been had later on in draft. I'm not claiming to be the best evaluator of talent but I can't see the talent in Ego. Now if Emery can squeeze oil out of a rock then more power to him.
#3) Will Sutton DT- I am a Sutton fan and I love the pick. I would not have been upset even if they took him in 2nd round. A back to back DT pick makes me uneasy though. As bad as the OL was the prior year the Bears waited 3 picks before they took another guy for the OL. Makes me wonder if there was some kind of worry by the front office that the Ego pick was risky and needed to be insured. Now this is purely speculation but it was a thought I had. Sutton is a great value here but still comes with some risk. Sutton had a down year and all hopes are based how dominant his 2012 tape was and praying he retains that form.
#4) Ka'Deem Carey RB- Good pick but how does this help the Bears win now? I know Forte is a FA after next year and you have to think ahead. However, in two years will the championship window be closed by then? The way the Bears are structured, it may very well be. If that's the case then why use a pick that has some value on a back up RB? Why not get a player that will contribute in more ways than 8-12 touches per game? You can also argue that we have no answer if Forte gets hurt. While this is true you cannot draft based on the what ifs. Once you start doing that you will have great depth in certain areas with gaping holes in others. Like the player hate the timing.
#4). Brock Vereen S- The tape that was available on Vereen showed a player that is dependable but not a difference maker. Not only is he an average player at best, the Bears had to trade up to get him. The only people that get traded up for are players that are 1st round talent and are slipping or difference makers that may just be out of your reach. I know drafting a S fills a need in theory but will Vereen even beat out Mindy or Jennings? I really can't say one way or another but I'm leaning toward him not replacing either.
#6) David Fales QB- This is another pick that falls into the Ka'Deem Carey category. Jay Cutler's contract is only guaranteed for three years and they will be looking for a replacement. My issue is why are you looking for a replacement when you should be looking for immediate help? Again I know its the 6th round but if you look hard enough you can find somebody you like. Same as Carey, I like value but hate the timing.
#6) Pat O'Donnell P- After the bitter taste wore off that my favorite team just drafted a punter I looked at it objectively. I can see this pick be done because O'Donnell will more than likely start day 1, while other players available would probably not start. The immediate impact wins out and you draft the punter.
#7) Charles Leno OG- I don't know much about him but I understand the pick. The Bears still have two weak links on the offensive line at LG and OC. If they can groom this guy to take over for one its a success. Seems to me that OL that get picked late have a better chance of finding a way to get onto a team and have success.
Impact: C- (Contingent on Sutton becoming a day 1 starter. If not grade will slip to D or worse.)
Value: B (Bears did a good job of getting solid players at a value throughout the draft.)
CHICAGO BEARS HINDSIGHT DRAFT
Rd. 1 (14): Kyle Fuller CB: I would not have changed this pick. I think it was needed and the player is an impact player.
Rd. 2 (51): Will Sutton CB: Have I mentioned that I love Will Sutton? I would have had no issue with the Bears taking Sutton here. You can call it a reach but you have to get the 2nd best rushing DT in the draft before anyone else does.
Rd. 3(82): Keith McGill CB: With the top safeties gone early the Bears turn to McGill. McGill is no stranger to FS so why not convert a CB that has technical flaws into the 2nd best cover S in the draft? In contrast to Vereen, McGill would almost be a must to start over the current safeties for the Bears.
Rd. 4(117): Telvin Smith LB: Smith has some character and size questions for sure. Despite the questions, by drafting Smith you get a guy that can play 2 LB positions. Smith is a tackling machine and we all know the Bears NEED someone to tackle once in a while. I think the Bears are still trying to tackle McCoy and Brown right now.
Rd. 5(156): Jordan Tripp LB: Again the Bears have to go after a guy who is all motor and tackling. Tripp made a statement at the Senior Bowl showing he belongs and can compete on a higher level. I love Tripp's tenacity and the ground he covers. He is a real sideline to sideline type player.
Rd. 6(183) Daniel McCullers DT: Did someone say the Bears need a plugger in the middle? Well here is 6'7" 350lbs worth of middle plugging and it didn't cost a 2nd rd pick. In essence he is a bigger Ego Ferguson but I would rather get it at the 6th rd rather than 2nd.
Rd. 6(191) Michael Campanaro WR: Campanaro is a tough and sure handed slot WR with good speed. Without Earl Bennett the Bears are inexperienced at the slot position. Campanaro can challenge Wilson day 1 for that job.
Impact: A (Almost everyone drafted here can step in Day 1 and contribute.)
Value: C- (To get the guys that fit a need and make an impact the Bears had to reach a few times.)