Chicago Bears 2012 NFL Draft Grades
The Chicago Bears imploded without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte down the stretch last year, and they even lost Brian Urlacher at the end of the year.
Clearly, they need to protect themselves from a lack of depth going forward. They’ve already done so at quarterback and wide receiver by adding Jason Campbell and Brandon Marshall. Let’s see how they fared with their draft picks from this year’s draft:
Round 1 (Pick 19) - Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State
Chicago may have reached a tiny bit here, but McClellin was still a first-round talent, so I’ll let it slide. McClellin is extremely versatile and athletic, and can play on the defensive line or on the outside as a linebacker. No matter where Chicago uses him, he’ll help stop the run while applying pressure on the quarterback. Very solid addition to get the draft started.
Round 2 (Pick 45) - Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
I love the pick. The Bears did just trade for Brandon Marshall, but Johnny Knox could miss the season and their talent after that is remarkably inconsistent. Jeffery plays a lot like Marshall, as he is physical and will go after every ball. He has weight and speed issues, but he has excellent potential and physical skills, as well.
Round 3 (Pick 79) – Brandon Hardin, FS, Oregon State
Hardin is big and physical for a safety, and is a very underrated prospect due to missing all of 2011 with a shoulder injury. Chicago still has some issues in the back of their secondary, so Hardin will at least add depth and compete for a starting spot.
Round 4 (Pick 111) – Evan Rodriguez, TE, Temple
Greg Olsen got traded because Mike Martz didn’t know how to use tight ends. Now Martz is gone, and it only makes sense for the Bears to start over at the position again. They don’t have a gamer on their roster at tight end, and Rodriguez is a versatile player who can play multiple positions.
Round 6 (Pick 184) – Isaiah Frey, CB, Nevada
Frey has quality speed and quickness, but is on the smaller side and didn’t face elite competition consistently in college. He does project well in their system, though, so look for him to make the final roster and add depth.
Round 7 (Pick 220) – Greg McCoy, CB, TCU
Chicago felt their secondary could use some competition, so they ended the draft with their second corner. McCoy faced moderate competition but isn’t an elite talent, so he’s no lock to make the final cuts.
Chicago got two excellent impact players in the first two rounds, which basically made this draft for them. Their defense won’t drop off with McClellin helping in a variety of ways, and a duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery could potentially be unstoppable. I like the addition of the sleeper safety in Hardin, but would have liked to see an early pick used on improving the offensive line. I think they could have found a tight end who could make a bigger impact than Rodriguez in the fourth round, as well.
Overall Grade: B