Bears’ NFC North rivals play numbers game in draft
BY ADAM L. JAHNS email@example.com April 28, 2013 8:56PM
UCLA v Colorado
The Bears signed 10 rookie free agents Sunday. The list:
• Michael Ford, RB, LSU
• Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers
• Demontre Hurst, CB,
• Josh Lenz, WR, Iowa State
• Patrick “P.J.” Lonergan, C,
• Zach Minter, DT, Montana St.
• Marcus Rucker, WR, Memphis
• Brent Russell, DT, Georgia
• Tress Way, P, Oklahoma
• Curtis “C.J.” Wilson, CB,
Updated: May 30, 2013 3:26PM
More picks make for more room for error. It’s a luxury the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers had again this year and one that continues to elude Phil Emery and Co.
How much so?
The Bears entered Day 3 of the draft with three picks, while the Packers had 10 to maneuver their way around, which they did.
Seeing NFC North teams get more players in the draft has been a predicament Emery has faced in his two years in charge. He’ll spend this week looking at what they did.
“We’ll evaluate where we’re at in relationship to the drafts and who had a strong draft [and] how we’ve got to look at our roster in terms of countering what they added,” Emery said. “Is there something that we need to tend to in terms of adding players that may still be available that will help us competitively against those other teams?”
Emery addressed needs, taking Oregon guard Kyle Long (20th overall), Florida linebacker Jon Bostic (50), Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene (117) and Louisiana Tech offensive tackle Jordan Mills (163). Georgia defensive end Cornelius Washington (188) and Washington State receiver Marquess Wilson (263) also were added.
But it was the second consecutive year the Bears selected six players, while their rivals added more. The Packers (19), Minnesota Vikings (19) and Detroit Lions (17) have been able to add significantly more players in the last two drafts.
Not all will become full-time players, but the Bears’ rivals have had more chances to get it right.
It’s why Emery had been open from the beginning about trading down and getting more picks (he only was able to add one more). He has to stop the Bears from becoming too reliant on free agency and trades.
That said, Brandon Marshall was worth the two third-round selections, including one this year, that Emery gave up for him.
With that in mind, here’s a look at how the 2013 draft unfolded for the NFC North:
Green Bay Packers
Additions: DE/OLB Datone Jones, UCLA (26th); RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama (61); OT David Bakhtiari, Colorado (109); OT J.C. Tretter, Cornell (122); RB Johnathan Franklin, UCLA (125); CB/S Micah Hyde, Iowa (159); DE Josh Boyd, Mississippi State (167, compensatory); OLB/DE Nate Palmer, Illinois State, Simeon (193); WR Charles Johnson, Grand Valley State (216); WR Kevin Dorsey, Maryland (224); LB Sam Barrington, South Florida (232).
Quick hit: The Packers added a dynamic pass-rushing threat in Jones. They also added two running backs to fill a major hole. Getting Lacy at No. 61 is thievery.
Additions: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida (23rd); CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (25); WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee (29); OLB Gerald Hodge, Penn State (120); P Jeff Locke, UCLA (155); OG Jeff Baca, UCLA (196); LB Michael Mauti, Penn State (213); OG Travis Bond, North Carolina (214); DT Everett Dawkins, Florida State (229).
Quick hit: The Vikings ended up with three-first rounds picks. They jumped at Floyd, whom many pegged as a top-five pick, while taking Rhodes, arguably the second-best corner in the class. Patterson was rated as the second-best receiver by some.
Additions: DE Ziggy Ansah, BYU (fifth); CB Darius Slay, Mississippi State (36); OG Larry Warford, Kentucky (65); DE Devin Taylor, South Carolina (132, compensatory); P Sam Martin, Appalachian State (165); WR Corey Fuller, Virginia Tech (171); RB Theo Riddick, Notre Dame (199); TE Michael Williams, Alabama (211); LB Brandon Hepburn, Florida A&M (245, compensatory).
Quick hit: Ansah could fill the void left by Cliff Avril but is a boom-or-bust pick. Warford is a massive interior lineman. Slay is a big and fast corner but has injury concerns.