It will be tempting over the next couple of days to overreact. Some people might state overly strong opinions. In the interest of reminding everyone to have a bit of perspective, here are some select nuggets from how this very community reacted to previous drafts.
For example, a plurality of the community (47%) gave the 2012 draft a B. Here are some key comments from the recap thread:
“I think Shea will surprise the skeptics and give the Bears some new options on the field, as well.”
“McClellin, Jeffery, Rodriguez and Hardin will be immediate impact players”
The next year, there was one specific request from member MrDef:
“Someone has to archive the 1st round draft thread when Long was picked…it was unreal the venom people were spewing.”
So, by request, here’s a sampling of that venom:
“This guy sounds like a project. I remember how our last project lineman worked out.”
“How do you take a project guard in the first round with so much NFL ready talent in other needs sitting right in front of you! We all understand the need on the O-line but Long isn’t the answer. Now we just have a plethora of poor to mediocre talent on the right side of the line,”
Of course, it wasn’t just the need to develop Long that brought out venom. It was also the talent passed on to take him:
“I'm Disgusted. Ho[w] do we not take any of the linebackers or [E]ifert there? Long could've been there in the second round”
“No Doubt It's the Worst Pick of the 1st Round Given the Alternatives. He’s got some upside athletically and great bloodlines, but C’mon Man! You could have traded down and got him later. And to pass on Floyd*, who was CLEARLY the BPA, was a monstrous mistake. Worse, he’s now a Viking and we have to play him twice a year.”
*Ed: This is Sharrif Floyd, who since 2013 has 2 years at starter and a CAV of 13, whereas Long’s CAV of 33 is the second-highest of the first round from 2013.
To be fair, the boards were not all gloom and doom. At least one Emery pick generated praise:
“I’m stunned that Khaseem Greene lasted until the fourth. He was a mid-second round talent. That pick might just be a steal for Emery.”
Greene had 6 career starts and was waived in May of 2015.
By 2014, fans were not sure what to make of the Emery experience. However, two regular contributors were sure how they felt about Leno:
“Leno to me is practice squad bound”
“Leno is not future. Future practice squad, yes. Maybe future depth. But not a future starter, unless he gets a huge dose of BMarsh FitSpeed.”
While I cannot speak to the FitSpeed factor, Leno has 30 career starts and a CAV good for 6th of 11 tackles drafted in his year (a couple of second-rounders and most of the first-rounders beat him out).
As of 2015, Ryan Pace was at the helm. Some comments can only bring sad reflection:
“I think its fair to say White and Goldman will be the starters from day 1 and both will improve game after game”
“My expectations are the top 5 will contribute to this upcoming season. White, Goldman, Grasu have an excellent chance to be starters* on opening day.” *None of them were starters on opening day
Obviously, a lot of other opinions were expressed on White, but a lot of those can be found in pretty much any board around here at any time, so it’s probably best just to move on.
2016 saw Bears fans beaten into a certain pessimistic anger, as evidenced here:
“Hits: Whitehair, Bullard, Howard will all start…Misses: Bush (big time), Floyd (sorry)...Floyd will be given every chance but he’s just too skinny, and I don’t remember who posted it but he was a reach in a draft that is short on edge rushers.”
“The Floyd pick was awful, and the fact that the Giants wanted him just confirms that”
“Leonard Floyd – Situational player only, and never makes it as a 3-down star OLB.”
On the other hand, one defensive selection received a lot of love:
“Bullard should be a starter pretty soon...”
“We all like Bullard because he’s the one guy who is built to play now, big enough to hold his own and skilled enough to start immediately, no questions.”
“Bullard: the steal of the draft!! He will play!!”
Bullard has one start to date.
Finally, we can’t forget this opinion on Ryan Pace’s first Pro Bowler:
“I think Howard will contribute some but is not going to ever be a true starter or memorable player.”
So, as we face the 2017 draft, we can be certain that many of us will be wrong. Whatever happens, though, let’s all hope Pace gets it right.