Congrats to Scott Vandermoon, winner of the DBB draft weekend ticket contest. He’ll receive a pair of tickets to a Bears home game this year.
The Bears drafted eight players over three days. They were Kyle Fuller (CB, Va Tech), Ego Ferguson (DT, LSU),Will Sutton (DT, Arizona State), Ka’Deem Carey (RB, Arizona), Brock Vereen (FS, Minnesota), David Fales (QB, San Jose State), Pat O’Donnell (P,Miami) and Charles Leno Jr. (OT, Boise State).
They also signed as undrafted free agents: Jordan Lynch (QB?, Northern Illinois), James Dunbar (OT, TCU), Christian Jones (LB, FSU), Brandon Dunn (DT, Louisville), DeDe Lattimore (LB, South Florida), Tana Patrick (LB, Bama), Lee Pegues (DT, East Carolina), Cody Booth (TE, Temple) and Ryan Groy (OG, Wisconsin).
There is a lot to discuss when it comes to this bounty of players. I, of course, am starting with the punter.
- Explain this to me. The Bears punted 68 times a year ago and fielded the worst punter, both statistically and emotionally, in the league. They are entering the 2014 season with Drew Butler and Tress Way – both wildly unproven – as their only punting options. So what do they do? They draft the best punter available in the sixth round? Why did they do that? Because they did not want to risk losing a player they coveted at a position of need in the scrambled lunacy of the UFA period. Criticize the pick all you want but you won’t be critical should O’Donnell bomb a punt or two out of the end zone against the Bills.
- Emery’s second and third round selections (Ego and Sutton) define the different between his tenure and that of his predecessor. Emery identifies weaknesses and attacks those weaknesses with players. The Bears could not stop the run in 2013. They lacked size and strength in the middle of their defensive line. These two gentlemen are Emery’s response.
- We all – and I mean everyone – got the Bears wrong when it came to their running back approach. We thought scat back, speed guy, great in space. We thought a tweener like De’Anthony Thomas fit the bill. Instead they went with a cutback runner who excels at pass protection. If he avoids run-ins with authorities, this pick could end up feeling like a steal.
- Very interesting how few fans understand the evolution of modern defensive football. I can’t tell you how many emails I received asking why the Bears would use their first round selection on a player who’ll only see the field 25% of the time. The Bears operated out of the nickel on more than half their defensive snaps a year ago. Fuller will see the field. A lot.
- Zoobilee Zoo (how we’ll refer to Brock Vereen on this site…look it up) may end up being the defining selection of this draft. If Emery manages to have hit on a true free safety in the fourth round of the draft, the Bears may have completely overhauled a terrible defense in one offseason.
- As it stands, however, I think the Bears are another offseason away from bringing the defense to the level of the offense.
- I think the steal of this draft was Zach Mettenberger to the Titans in the sixth round. The Bears took David Fales half-a-dozen picks later and I thought the talent gap between the two was extensive. I would have left Fales on the board and added Lache Seastrunk to the running backs room.
- Charles Leno will need to have a dominant summer to make the roster but here’s the last line of his scouting report at CBS: “has the traits to survive at the NFL level and projects as a down-the-road pro starter.”
- Did the failed drug test really cost Christian Jones a draft place? When it was announced the Bears signed the former FSU linebacker, I did a double take. How did no one take him in seven rounds? (Also interesting to note the Bears seemingly snaked Jones from the Jags.) I watched a lot of Jones in college and the kid can play. It won’t surprise me at all if he’s on the final 53.
- I’d heard from very reliable sources the Bears were enamored with Jordan Lynch when they met with him so it made total sense he sign with them. I don’t think they have any idea what they’re going to do with him but they ARE going to come up with something. This was not a novelty selection. They wanted Lynch.
All in all, it was an exceedingly interesting weekend for the Bears. They still have questions at the safety position but few questions elsewhere.