A resounding statement was made by new GM Phil Emery during the 2012 NFL draft, he’s just as confident in the Bears’ offensive line as Lovie Smith is. The Bears did not draft a single offensive lineman during the seven rounds of this weekend’s NFL draft, instead choosing to focus primarily on the secondary. Three of the Bears’ six picks addressed the secondary, with the team adding another safety in round three for the third straight year. The addition of safety Brandon Hardin also makes eight straight years that the Bears have selected a safety in the NFL draft, one for each of Smith’s drafts as head coach.
In the second round the Bears added wide receiver Alshon Jeffery who comes with one major red flag, he has a tendency to put on weight easily. Jeffery played at 230-pounds last year before dropping down to 212 during the lead up to the draft. Additionally Jeffery has been described as playing tall and having excellent body control and hands. The consensus among scouts seems to be that Jeffery fails to get separation and always makes catches with DBs draped on him. A strong quality from a physical standpoint, but not an ideal quality when he’ll need to get open.
In the fourth round the Bears went with a H-back which is essentially a TE/FB combination in Evan Rodriguez. Rodriguez is more of a FB prospect measuring at 6-foot-1 242-pounds. He too has some red flags with two arrests one for felony assault that was reduced to trespassing as well as an arrest for disorderly conduct.
With their final two picks in the draft the Bears added two CBs in Isaiah Frey of Nevada and Greg McCoy of TCU. Both will come in and compete for playing time at corner with a chance to make the roster likely as special teams gunners.
Overall the Bears draft is full of red flags, first round selection DE Shea McClellin has had multiple concussions at his career at Boise State, Jeffery has the weight problems, Hardin the safety broke his shoulder and missed the entire 2011 season and Rodriguez has the two arrests. The first four selections of the draft have the Bears taking risks with each player.
With all the information taken into context it seems as though nothing has changed from the Jerry Angelo era. Even if you are confident in the offensive line there was still a need to add a swing offensive tackle who could play either the right side or left side if called upon. Essentially replacing Frank Omiyale whom the Bears rightfully cut was a necessity heading into the draft. The Bears ignored upgrading the O-Line all together much as they did during Angelo’s tenure.
The overall feeling seems to be that nothing really changed up at Halas Hall and it’s a legitimate question. Emery was with the Bears as an area scout before he took positions with other organizations. Emery emerged as a candidate almost immediately and was the front runner from the get go. He was the front runner largely because of his ties to the Bears organization. This draft has all the earmarks of the same old same old remaining in place.