That, my friends, is the best Bears draft pick in the 2010 class. And maybe a hold.
On Tuesday we took a look back at the 2011 Bears Draft and how the last picks of the Jerry Angelo era have faired in their one year in the NFL. This time we'll go back another year to see just how the Bears draft of 2010 has performed, and the players that we could have drafted.
2010 was an incomplete draft due to two major trades; one has worked out pretty well for the Bears, while the other ended tragically for the acquired player. The rest of the draft for the Bears featured some promising picks - depending on how you view the specific player - and some wasted ones. I was going to combine 2010 and 2009 since they were the "sans first-round pick" years, but a thousand words later, I'm sticking to one year at a time.
First Round: The first round pick the Bears traded away for Jay Cutler ended up being the #11 overall pick in the 2010 draft. Denver traded that pick to San Francisco, who selected Rutgers tackle Anthony Davis. Davis has been the starting right tackle for the 49ers each of the past two seasons, not having missed a game.
Verdict: I don't think anyone would disagree with the Jay Cutler acquistion. Sure, it cost us a bounty (two first-round picks, a third rounder, and Kyle Orton), but Cutler has led the Bears back to the NFC Championship game and performed well despite a substandard line and receiving corp.
Second Round:The second round pick in 2010 was traded away for Gaines Adams, the fourth overall selection in the 2007 draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs. The Bears acquired Adams during the 2010 NFL season, giving up their second round pick for a player that had at the time 13.5 sacks in his career. After being traded around, the pick ended up being tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Since then: Adams appeared in ten games for the Bears in 2010, earning seven tackles and one forced fumble. On January 17, 2010, Adams tragically died of cardiac arrest due to an enlarged heart, which had gone undiagnosed.
Verdict:I didn't like the move at the time, considering that Adams hadn't proven on the field yet that he could be a proven asset, especially one worth a first or second round pick. I don't want to be too harsh here because of Adams' death, but the trade was questionable at the time anyway. Consider this scenario: Brandon Graham and Derrick Morgan were both first-round picks in the 2010 draft that so far, haven't lived up to their draft status but still have promise. Would you be okay with Phil Emery trading away a second-round pick for either of those guys?
Players Available: Sergio Kindle LB, Taylor Mays S, Carlos Dunlap DE
Third Round: The Bears finally had a selection, and with their first pick in the 2010 draft, they selected Major Wright, free safety out of Florida. Wright was selected as a future starter by Angelo, and hoped that he would help end the safety carousel (that continues to this day).
Since then: Wright has appeared at times solid, and other times is featured getting juked out of his shoes or burned on a go route. Two years in, and the Bears still aren't sure what they have in Wright, in part due to his injury history. Wright has already missed nine games in his brief career with a variety of injuries. Still, he accumulated 41 tackles and three interceptions last season, including a touchdown-after-interception (or TAINT, if you're feeling randy) of Matthew Stafford.
Verdict: The jury is still out on Wright, although as a third-round pick he has been able to perform respectfully when he's been able to stay healthy. I like Wright, especially if there is a capable backup around for if/when he falters on the field or gets injured. Not a home run by Angelo; maybe a single that could stretch into a double.
Players Available: Emmanuel Sanders WR, Eric Decker WR, Navorro Bowman LB, Jimmy Graham TE
Fourth Round: After using his first three picks - technically - trying to fill major roster holes at quarterback, defensive end, and safety, Jerry Angelo went after the type of player he was so often criticized for: a defensive lineman, with an injury history. With the 109th pick in the draft, the Bears selected Corey Wootton, defensive end from Northwestern. Wootton was projected at the time as a potential second round pick after collecting ten sacks in 2008 and tumbled in the draft due to a variety of injuries and underperformance (four sacks in final college season).
Since then: Corey did the world a solid on December 20, 2010, putting an end to the Brett Favre annual "will I or won't I play" drama that sucked the fun out of multiple offseasons. Despite making a sack that means he'll never have to buy a drink in Chicago again (or Green Bay probably, maybe even Minnesota), his career still hasn't really gotten started after two years. He has only appeared in thirteen games, and he epitomizes the term "one-hit wonder" as the Favre sack is only one to date.
Verdict: Its easy to go back and say, "Angelo was stupid, Wootton was a bad pick," but at the time the Bears were lauded for using a fourth round pick on a guy with a lot of potential that would fill a primary need. He hasn't worked out yet, and this season could be his last chance with the Bears, but back when the pick was made, it was a solid risky investment to make.
Players Available: Aaron Hernandez TE, Geno Atkins DT, Darrell Stuckey S, Kam Chancellor FS
Fifth Round: With the 141st pick, the Bears addressed their cornerback depth by selecting Joshua Moore out of Kansas State. Moore is listed as 5-11 on the NFL.com webpage, but is built a bit slightly at 183 pounds.
Verdict: A wasted pick, yes, but the washout rate in the draft is high, and gets even worse from round-to-round. Would like to see something out of your fifth round pick, but with a time machine the guys selected after him aren't exactly world-beaters.
Players Available: Marshall Newhouse T, Reshad Jones SS, Riley Cooper WR, Andrew Quarles TE
Sixth Round: Ladies and gentleman, I present to you: Dan LeFevour, quarterback, Central Michigan, as the Bears 181st pick. A 6-3 native of Illinois, LeFevour was a decent prospect with a questionable arm from a smaller, shotgun-happy MAC school. He holds multiple MAC records, and became the second player in Division I history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season (the first: Vince Young).
Since then: No stats for LeFevour, but he has been able to bounce around the league as a number three quarterback. He joined the Bengals after his time with the Bears was up, and is currently on the Jaguars roster.
Verdict: Like Nathan Enderle after him and Moses Moreno before him, it's probably best that we didn't see him on the field for us, although some of guys drafted after him turned out pretty decent.
Seventh Round: And last (but possibly the best), the one, the only, J'Marcus Webb! The 218th pick in the draft, Webb was a big time recruit for the University of Texas but transferred after his first season, ending up at West Texas A&M (the hated rivals of Scott Bakula's Texas State Fightin' Armadillos).
Since then: Emerged as the starting left tackle for the Bears last season after splitting time between left and right tackle in year one. I don't think I need to go into further details as to his performances on the field.
Verdict: Look, regardless of the criticism - which is often warranted - with Webb, remember that we placed a 7th round draft pick into the starting lineup at the most crucial position on the line. Whether his struggles are the result of Webb's lack of dedication or skill, or the coaching staff's somewhat maddening belief in him, we got a starting left tackle in the seventh round of the draft. He's not the best at his position, but hey, he's not Omiyale.
Players Available: Nick Reed DE, Ryan Succop K, Tiquan Underwood WR, Rashad Jennings RB