Hey guys. It’s time we went back to my Bears’ draft review that I wrote before the season, and evaluate how our opinions have changed since. On the left you’ll see my preseason analysis, and on the right the response and reaction.
Round 1 Pick 7 (7): Kevin White, Wide Receiver, West Virginia
As many predicted, the Chicago Bears went with 6’3” 215 pound Kevin White, who many rated as the second best receiver in the draft. The West Virginia product caught 109 balls for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns. I like the fit here as the bears get a replacement for Brandon Marshall’s production and a better down-the-field threat in White. His leaping ability and soft hands should make him one of Jay Cutler’s favorite targets.
older and having off the field issues, I like the addition of Goldman here. With this 6’4” 339 DT the bears are getting a lot of up front run plugging, an element which they have lacked since Tommie Harris. I do worry about Goldman’s ability to rush the passer, along with his ability to be a three down contributor.
Round 3 Pick 7 (71): Hroniss Grasu, Center, Oregon
I absolutely love this pick. An early favorite to be an early first rounder, Oregon’s offensive line struggles caused Grasu to be overshadowed and drop to this pick. This is a brilliant addition and exactly what the doctor ordered for bears (and saints) fans missing Olin Kreutz.
Round 4 Pick 7 (106): Jeremy Langford, Running Back, Michigan State
With Matt Forte on the wrong side of 30, Langford is a solid addition to a running back corps consisting of Senorise Perry, Ka’Deem Carey, and Jacquizz Rodgers. Last season Perry and Carey were decent contributors on special teams, but the latter turned out to be a big disappointment in his first season with the bears. What is the difference between Carey and Langford? Well, Carey ran a 4.7 40 and Langford ran a 4.4. Look for Jeremy on third down as a pass blocker.
Round 5, Pick 6 (142): Adrian Amos, Free Safety, Penn State
I question this pick by Ryan Pace, as he passed on Gerrod Holliman to get Amos. Looking further, though, this rangy, athletic safety (6’0” 218) looks to compete with Brock Vereen and Ryan Mundy for the starting spot. This pick was one for the future, as the bears have an under-the-radar strong young secondary in Amos, Vereen, and Kyle Fuller.
Round 6, Pick 7 (183): Tayo Fabuluje, Offensive Tackle, TCU
I don’t like this pick at all in fact, I haven’t even learned how to pronounce this kid’s name (I’d like to see Goodell try). In picking Tayo, the bears got their second mammoth TCU offensive tackle (6’6” 353) in the 6th or 7th round in 2 years. I would have liked to see Pace have opted for Ifo Ekpre-Olomu out of Oregon, who was a consensus top-15 pick until he tore his ACL before the national championship.
The jury is still out on White, who has yet to play a down in the NFL. On Monday the Bears opened up White’s 21 day window in which he can practice in any sort of capacity. If he has not practiced 21 days from Monday, he will go on season-ending injured reserve.
Well, I was right on about Ratliff’s character problems, that’s for sure. Goldman has been the best rookie defensive tackle this year by a substantial margin. He has started 7 games and played in all 10. Rock solid all season, my pass rushing concerns have been partially put to rest, as he has recorded 2.5 sacks on the season. He has been an every down contributor.
Grasu was thrust into his NFL debut by Will Montgomery’s season ending injury, and has been phenomenal. He has started ever since. I want to make clear just how smart this pick was. Hroniss was a first rounder by any measure before last CFB season, and with Oregon’s o-line struggles he fell down big-boards all around the blogosphere. Great steal, great value, great player.
Early on in the season, Langford’s counterparts Senorise Perry and Jacquizz Rodgers were lost for the season due to injury. An injury to star running back Matt Forte and poor play by Carey resulted in the 4th round Michigan State product’s first 3 NFL starts. Boy, has he delivered. In the past 3 games, Langford has averaged 56.6 yards on the ground and 65.3 yards receiving with 4 touchdowns over that span.
at safety. He has averaged 4 tackles a game, but has yet to come up with an interception. “Hulk” has proven to be another player that John Fox will have as a building block for years to come.
Fabuluje has been abysmal when he’s been in. He has played in 4 games and hasn’t started. He earned a 4 game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy. But I have learned to pronounce his name, so there’s a plus.
Overall, this year's draft has turned out to be fantastic. With so many starters and great contributors, the future might not be too far off.