They say you can't truly judge a draft class for three years after the fact. If that's the case, then wouldn't the same hold true in judging the man responsible for picking the players?
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery started to put his stamp on the Bears during the off season of 2012. His first big move was trading a couple draft picks to the Miami Dolphins to acquire wide out Brandon Marshall.
Should those draft picks be considered when evaluating his drafting? I think so.
They say even the best of GMs holds a 50% success rate, but how do you define success? Finding a starter, a contributor, a Pro Bowler?
Here's his first draft class from 2012.
1) Shea McClellin, DE, Boise State
2) Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
3) Brandon Hardin, FS, Oregon State
4) Evan Rodriguez, TE, Temple
6) Isaiah Frey, CB, Nevada-Reno
7) Greg McCoy, CB, Texas Christian
Not a lot of win in that group so far.
Emery also brought in a number of undrafted free agents after his initial draft was in the books. One of which is still on the team. So do we consider offensive linemen James Brown when evaluating his 1st rookie class? I think so.
With the NFL draft being only seven rounds now, it's critical to find guys that fit your team needs and culture, among those undrafted players.
Bringing in a lot of those types of players is almost a no risk/potential reward situation. The contracts aren't guaranteed, but if you hit on a player, you control his rights for four years.
But back to the actual draft class of 2012, only three Bears remain on the team from those six selections. That's 50%. You factor in Brown, and you have four members of the rookie class on the roster. But then you remember that Joe Anderson was signed in the second wave of undrafted free agents that offseason, so you're up to five players from that rookie class.
Five rookies to stick on the team out of six total picks isn't too shabby in my opinion.
Three of his drafted players are receiving major playing time this season. The productivity from McClellin and Frey isn't what we were hoping for, but these are young players. Time will tell. In my opinion, it's far too early to pass final judgement on their careers.
And what about second rounder Alshon Jeffery? He may be the best wide out in that entire draft class. Does Emery receive any bonus points for trading up to nab him?
Moving along to the 2013 draft class.
For as much criticism Emery received for his, so far 50/50 rate on his '12 class, he's batting a thousand on his '13 class. Then you factor in the four undrafted free agents that are currently on the team, Michael Ford, David Bass, Christian Tupou, and Zach Minter, and you have to give him passing marks don't you?
Ten rookies on the 53 man roster out of six total selections looks pretty good for Emery and his scouts.
But we should also consider the three rookies on the Bears practice squad, C.J. Wilson, Demontre Hurst, and Rogers Gaines. The jury is out on these three players, but then again the jury is out on both of his rookie classes so far.
Time will tell, so we'll have to check in next year, because two years is far too early to judge what Emery has done with the Bears.
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