For the second consecutive year Chicago Bears fans and media alike are left scratching their heads about a Phil Emery draft pick. With the 20th overall pick in the NFL draft the Bears selected offensive guard from Oregon Kyle Long. Long played in 11 games but only started in four games for the Oregon Ducks in the 2013 campaign. The Bears did address a position of need on the offensive line but likely drafted the fifth best remaining interior offensive lineman I had on my draft board.
Long is a fine athlete with good length and speed and lateral movement, and as a player he could very well develop into an NFL starter, but he could have been drafted in the second round, quite possibly even the third round. Brian Schwenke, Larry Warford, Barrett Jones, Dallas Thomas and Travis Frederick would all be players along the interior offensive line that I would grade out ahead of Kyle Long. NFLDraftScout.com rates Long as the 56th best overall prospect in the draft which gives him a late second round grade. That means at a minimum there were 36 players left on the board that were rated higher than Long.
At this point in the draft there was absolutely no reason for Long to be drafted, he was a complete reach by any standard. Alec Ogletree, Manti Te'o, Tyler Eifert, Sharif Floyd are just some of the players that were left on the board when the Bears selected Long. Players that fit in positions of need that were still highly rated by most NFL scouts. Yet somehow, Long was taken ahead of these players while leaving the Bears with struggling to draft for a position of impact.
This is by far the most baffling draft pick I would have considered at the 2oth overall pick in the draft. Much like Shea McClellin was the most baffling pick a year ago and Marc Trestmann was the most baffling pick to be the head coach of the Bears after the firing of Lovie Smith.
At this point, two years into his tenure as general manager Phil Emery has made one solid NFL draft pick, in Alshon Jeffery. Each and every other draft pick can be questioned to the fullest extent of logic. It's almost as if Emery's ego is getting in the way and he's trying to redefine the game of football to a set of standards he believes will make the Bears a successful team. What logic and rules Phil Emery is playing by, to make this storied franchise a Super Bowl contender won't be determined until another eight months has gone by on the calendar.