At the dawn of the draft…
A lot of questions were circling the Chicago Bears organization about who the rookie GM would select in his first draft.
Some Bears fans were hoping that Mariota would fall to the seventh pick or that the Bears make a move to Tennessee to draft him.
Others were hoping for either Kevin White or Amari Cooper. It was inevitable that one of them would be drafted before the Bears seventh overall pick, but no one really knew which receiver would be available.
Additionally, a few select people wanted Trae Waynes (our own Brandon included) to bolster that secondary that is now “Peanut-less”.
Now with the 2015 NFL Draft complete
We have given our grades for each Bears selection. Keep in mind it takes a few years to fully evaluate any draft class, but here is our immediate analysis.
Round 1, Pick 7: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Pace makes a splash with his first pick as a General Manager. White has all the intangibles to be an impact player from day one. Bears fans should be gushing at the thought of White torching secondaries for the foreseeable future. Pace stuck true to his board and selected the best player available and for that we thank him! Here there is not a lot to say as we have talked about Kevin White for quite some time. Let’s hope he pans out better than our last top-ten receiver, David Terrell.
Height Height Height! Marshall was 6’4”, and he was replaced in the first round by Kevin White who is 6’3”. A “quick” replacement by Pace, White can come in and make an impact from the get-go as he completes the tall trio of Jeffery, Bennett and now White. Solid first pick by the Pace Administration.
Round 2, Pick 39: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
At first it was hard to stomach selecting a DT in the second round for the second consecutive draft. Not to mention, the Bears selected a DT in the third round last year too. After some time to digest this pick, I am ecstatic and believe Pace struck “Gold” with this pick. Goldman is a violent player with excellent hands and a quick first step. He can be our solution at the nose for a long time to come.
I LOVE this pick. Eddie fell to the second round and Bears fans should rejoice! Switching to the 3-4, Eddie adds some size to the nose tackle position. Now lies the possibility of swapping four guys into that nose tackle position; keeping fresh legs on the field. The quartet of Ego, Will, Eddie and Jeremiah should scare opposing offenses.
Round 3, Pick 71: Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
To be honest, Hroniss Grasu wasn’t the first name to come to mind in regards to who I was looking at in the third round. However, the more I think about it the more I like the selection. Grasu has experience with Kyle Long and has Long’s approval and respect. Thus we should do the same. Grasu has great leadership skills and that is something that cannot be coached. His grit reminds me of Olin Kreutz which excites me! However, his current lack of weight (297lbs) is something he needs to work on as he will need some extra pounds to stack up against the bigger defensive tackles in the NFL.
Kind of a questionable pick in the third round. If Pace was thinking the best available player for the whole draft I’m not sure that this was the pick he should have selected. I have no doubt that Hroniss can have an immediate impact, but I thought there were other needs to address before the center position. However, with Will Montgomery as his mentor for a year he has the potential to be the long term solution at center. Just because of the other positions that could use an upgrade, I gave this pick a lower grade.
Round 4, Pick 106: Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State
We all know John Fox likes to use a committee at the running back position. Pair that with the fact that Forte’s future with the Bears is up in the air and this pick makes perfect sense. Langford has that 5th gear, which is evident by having fastest 40 time out of all the backs at the combine. This speed along with his blocking ability makes him a solid pick. Yet, he needs to work on yards after contact as he doesn’t break a lot of tackles. My biggest question regarding Langford is whether or not he will choose to wear Peanut’s #33. If so, he will have some big shoes to fill.
The running back position just got really competitive. Signing Jacquizz Rodgers and now drafting Langford is going to make the post Forte-era an interesting competition. I don’t see Forte coming back once his contract is up. That makes this year an open competition for the starting spot for the future, and if Rodgers does not come out with his best stuff, I think it will be Langford as the long term solution at running back. He has a lot of upside and potential to work with and I think that gives him the edge over both Carey and Senorise Perry.
Round 5, Pick 142: Adrian Amos, S, Penn State
A second straight Big Ten player, Ryan Pace gets his safety in the fifth round. Amos is an athletic player who has superb range and has the ability to close in on throws. He is superb in zone coverage; however, he is only average in terms of his run support. I believe Pace saw a player that both Fox and Fangio can coach up this season and will compete for a starting job in 2016. I see Amos being a special teams player this season. Overall, this is a solid pick with high upside.
It took all the way to the fifth round, but the Bears finally got a defensive back that I felt they needed. After watching this sub-par secondary get shredded the last two years, I thought the secondary was going to be a point of emphasis. It turns out the Bears got a steal at this pick, according to a couple of sources Adrian was projected to go in the second or third round. He will have to compete against Brock Vereen, Ryan Mundy, and Antrel Rolle for a starting position. However, he also played cornerback at Penn State. There, he had seven career interceptions and can pack a punch with his hits; however, he struggles to wrap up when he tackles. If he can improve on this part of his game, he will be the complete package at safety. Adrian has soft hands, a ton of athleticism, he can play the zone pretty well, and has a good deal of football intelligence.
Round 6, Pick 183: Tayo Fabuluje, OL, TCU
With the final pick, the Bears continued to stock the offensive line by selecting Tayo Fabuluje out of TCU. He is a bit of a “raw talent”, but he possesses a strong core and has a gigantic frame. His size and strength makes him an ideal late round prospect. If Tayo can hone his skills, he can possibly start at guard for Chicago. Personally, this pick tells me that Kyle Long will make the switch to tackle either this season or next, as the Bears are adding more bodies for the interior portion of the offensive line. Kind of surprised Pace didn’t select a defensive player with this pick. Although, I cannot complain with another big body to bolster the O-Line.
In the final pick for the Bears in this year’s draft, Tayo could very well be another steal. He is bigger than every offensive lineman the Bears have on their roster and can thrive at the guard position. Having a big body to run behind, the running game can improve immensely if he is out on the field. I don’t foresee him coming in right away and making an impact, but in the future I definitely see him taking the guard position away from Kyle Long , making him a tackle once again. Like I said in the Mock Draft, “games are won and lost in the trenches.” Tayo is definitely going to make an impact in the trenches. Good last pick by Pace.
What a successful draft for Ryan Pace and the Bears organization.
Landing Kevin White was the splash that the Bears needed. Ryan Pace and the Bears stuck to their gut and took the best overall player on the board.
Now the Bears have a “Goulden” kicker and some “Gold” at the nose tackle position. Both of us really like the Eddie Goldman pick. He’s a big guy that can plug up the defensive line and slow down the run, and even get to the quarterback on occasion. He’s got a lot of potential along with last year’s DT picks Ego Ferguson and possibly Will Sutton. Put that young trio with the veteran Jeremiah Ratliff, and the sky’s the limit looking into the future.
Hroniss Grasu was the surprise pick. At the time he was not exactly who we had in mind, but the longer we think about it, Hroniss makes sense at that pick. Montgomery is only signed to a one-year contract, so he will have to be replaced ASAP. Pace was thinking ahead and got a young guy to learn under Will and therefore should provide a consistently good player at center.
In the remaining rounds, it appears that Pace stood true to his word and selected some of the best players available that coincided with our needs.
Overall, we believe that Ryan Pace and company did a swell job, but like we said before, it’s hard to give an overall grade to a draft class until we see how they perform on Sundays. 😉