A year ago the Bears used a second round draft pick on a defensive tackle from the southeast. They took a productive running back in the fourth and a safety with the pick that followed. This year they did the same in those three spots. This was not, as it has been characterized, a redraft of 2014. 2014 never happened according to Ryan Pace and John Fox. Those picks, more than anything else happening on draft weekend, signaled clearly the Bears have begun to rebuild their roster. They are acknowledging their talent deficiencies and turning positions over.
Is this significant? Absolutely. Phil Emery tried to build an offense around a pre-existing defense. In doing so he created a massive locker room divide that proved irreparable. The Bears were two teams. Emery’s Trestman-led offense and the remnants of Lovie’s defensive dynasty. This resulted in the Sarajevo-like disaster that was the 2014 Chicago Bears season.
Ego Ferguson must know he is not a big part of the team’s future. So must Ka’Deem Carey. Alshon Jeffery must know now the Bears are skeptical of his ability to be an elite, game-changing wide receiver. Jay Cutler must know that in flirting with the second pick the Besrs have given yet another clear indication that their support of the signal caller is tenuous at best.
The Bears also did not draft for need; a clear acknowledgement they understand the team as constructed is not yet on the level of the league’s best. The Giants believe they are, thus the move to the top of the second round for Landon Collins. The Patriots know they are, thus drafting a long snapper in the mid rounds is a move they can afford to make.
Bears fans are a notoriously impatient bunch but this draft weekend was Pace’s call for patience. Most of the men on this football team today won’t be in two years. And it will most likely take those two years before we see Pace’s roster vision in full form.