Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Phil Emery is drafting defense this week. The Bears general manager is drafting it early and often, and he’s not very good at it.
Emery said last week that he had six choices he feels worthy of taking with the 14thoverall pick Thursday. Yes. Well. That gives Emery multiple chances to be wrong, and he has been wrong a lot when drafting defense.
Emery took the blame for McClellin’s failure as a linebacker masquerading as a defensive lineman and Hardin’s complete bust coming off injury and being forced to move from cornerback to safety.
Problem is, there was significant blame to be had with blown first- and third-round picks, and besides, Emery took the blame two years after everybody already had hung it on him.
The only reason that Emery hasn’t had to redraft every position at which he has taken a stab is that he has signed free agents to fix his mistakes.
Emery has done a good job with defensive players in free agency, but the only thing he seems to know about drafting defense is that he can’t do it very well.
Emery has found zero -- count 'em, zero -- impact starters on defense in the draft, which is bad enough, but then there’s this:
The Bears have only 15 of their own picks on their roster, worst in the league and less than half of the number the Packers claim.
Sure, deposed GM Jerry Angelo gets some of that blame, but Emery, a scout at heart, was supposed to change that, and change it quickly. Waiting. Wait. Ing.
The Bears desperately need safeties and could use a cornerback. This year’s draft has depth at cornerback, but also a steep dropoff after the first two safeties, Louisville’s Calvin Pryor and Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Pryor is regarded as fast enough to make an impact all over the field and explosive in coverage. Clinton-Dix is similar to Pryor and is a violent tackler. They both share the enviable trait of not being named Chris Conte.
Drafting either Pryor or Clinton-Dix would be drafting a player at his best position. That’s the point.
Emery, however, talked about drafting a cornerback with the intention of moving him to safety. Did he not learn from McClellin and Hardin? How many times do you use a high pick on a surprise with a position change and some experimenting before you stop the silliness?
Drafting a player to play his best position is putting him in a position to succeed. That should be the GM’s goal. It’s not that complex, Phil.
Maybe this draft will be different. I hope so, but McClellin, Hardin, Bostic and Greene are compelling reasons to be afraid. Very afraid.