The NFL Draft is a giant guessing game.
There is obviously scouting involved, and people stake their livelihood on the recommendations they give to their franchises but, at the end of the day, it's a crap shoot.
Some prospects are more "can't miss" than others, but even the highest graded player has to transition to the NFL game. For every Peyton Manning there's a Tim Couch.
In the 20 drafts between 1992-2011, nine of the #1 overall draft picks -- the guy that should be head and shoulders above his draft class -- never made a Pro Bowl. Of the #2 overall picks in that 20 year span, eight never made a Pro Bowl. If general managers picking 1 or 2 in the draft are only finding Pro Bowlers on 57.5% of their selections, what are the odds of finding impact players later?
Countless hours of film study, player evaluations and meetings lead a team to draft this guy over that guy. But until you get your guy under contract, until you see how he responds to pro coaching and the pro lifestyle, you're just hoping you made the right choice.
We'll take a look at the last three drafts, and the players that were selected with the same picks that the Chicago Bears hold in the 2014 draft; 14th, 51st, 82nd, 117th, 156th, 183rd and 191st.
14 - Carolina Panthers - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Lotulelei had a very productive rookie year with the Panthers after falling in the draft because of a heart ailment. He started all 16 games and his 3 sacks and 40+ tackles really helped the interior of their D.
51 - Washington Redskins - David Amerson, FS, North Carolina State
Washington had to be pleased with getting 9 starts from their 2nd rounder. Amerson added two interceptions, one of which he returned for a TD.
82 - New Orleans Saints - John Jenkins, NT, Georgia
Jenkins appeared in all 16 games for the Saints, making 5 starts along the way.
117 - Chicago Bears - Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers
Greene was forced into action when the Bears had some injury issues at linebacker. He had 4 starts, but he has to work on strength and technique this off season. The same could be said for most young players.
156 - Cincinnati Bengals - Tanner Hawkinson, G, Kansas
Played only 5 snaps in week 16, but appears to be in the 2014 plans for the Bengals.
183 - New Orleans Saints - Rufus Johnson LB, Tarleton State
Spent all but the final game on the practice squad.
191 - Washington Redskins - Bacarri Rambo, SS, Georgia
Besides having a bad ass name, Rambo made 3 starts for Washington. Some scouts had him pegged for the 2nd day of the draft, but some failed draft tests in college led to his fall.
14 - St. Louis Rams - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Brockers has been a very productive interior defensive lineman for the Rams. In two years he has started 28 of the 29 games he's appeared in, with 9.5 sacks.
51 - Green Bay Packers - Jerel Worthy, DE, Michigan State
The Packers moved up in the draft to take Worthy and he played in 14 games as a rookie before hurting his knee in week 17. He missed most of 2013 because of the knee.
82 - Tennessee Titans - Mike Martin, DT, Michigan
Martin has been part of their d-line rotation since being drafted, only missing 3 games.
117 - San Francisco 49ers - Joe Looney, G, Wake Forest
The back up lineman saw his first on field action last year.
156 - Cincinnati Bengals - Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
Prater is on his 3rd team since being drafted. He's a member of the Minnesota Vikings now and he picked up 3 late season starts for them.
183 - Kansas City Chiefs, Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M
Gray played sporadically his first two years on offense for the Chiefs, but he logged 339 special team snaps last season.
191 - Cincinnati Bengals - Dan Herron, RB, Ohio State
Herron went from the Bengal practice squad to the active roster to the street. He was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts in 2013 and barely saw the field.
14 - St. Louis Rams - Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Quinn is one of the best DEs in the NFL. Bears fans would love their team to snag a player capable of his type of impact at #14.
51 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
In three years Bowers only has 8 starts. He provides some versatility up and down Tampa's line.
82 - San Diego Chargers - Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State
I guess you could call 2013 Brown's breakout year. He had 10 starts, 41 catches and 472 yards after missing all of 2012 with an ankle injury.
117 - New York Giants - James Brewer, T, Indiana
Brewer finally cracked the starting lineup in 2013, picking up 8 starts. I was most interested in learning his middle name was Da'One.
156 - Seattle Seahawks - Mark LeGree, DB, Appalachian State
LeGree, currently without an NFL team, has made 8 separate spots on his NFL journey including a 12 day stint with the Bears.
183 - San Diego Chargers - Jordan Todman, RB, Connecticut
Todman is on his 3rd team and last year he established himself as a reserve tailback and kick returner with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
191 - Philadelphia Eagles, Jason Kelce, C, Cincinnati
Kelce is the type of 7th round pick every team would like to find. He started every game as a rookie, two more in 2012 before being injured, then bounced back to start every game in 2013. He's one of the top young centers in the NFL.
This will be an important draft for Bears GM Phil Emery as he faces a roster with a plethora of holes in it. He needs to find a difference maker at 14, and get a few very productive players after that. It's time the Bears start building depth with homegrown players instead of being forced to plug holes in free agency.