A big reason Emery was let go, was his inability to procure talent. Current Bears’ GM, Ryan Pace, was brought in for a rebuild and that started with a massive purging of the roster. Pace lopped off players that didn’t fit the new scheme, players that had some “character” issues, aging players, and players that were just plain bad.
Pace’s teams have won a grand total of eight games during his two year run, but they are still in the middle of a rebuild. The arrow should be pointing up at some point, shouldn’t it?
Of all the players drafted by Emery during his three year run, only six remain, Kyle Long, Will Sutton, Ka’Deem Carey, Pat O’Donnell, Kyle Fuller and Charles Leno Jr. The chances of these six all making Chicago’s 2017 53-man roster are slim. Sam Householder recently asked you guys to vote on this, setting the over/under for Emery picks to remain at 3.5. I took the under.
I realize that not all of Emery’s selections would be a schematic fit for what the Bears currently do on defense, but just for fun, let’s re-draft all three years of Phil Emery’s picks.
There’s also the chance that the Bears wouldn’t need a certain position in the future if they redrafted in the past, but let’s not get all paradoxical on things.
1st round, Shea McClellin, DE, Boise State
Re-Draft - Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
McClellin never fit in to what the Bears wanted to do, going from DE, to OLB, to ILB, but Jones has racked up 47 sacks in his 5 year career.
2nd round, Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Re-Draft - Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State
Since it didn’t work out with Jeffery, I’ll redraft it to the three time Pro Bowl inside linebacker, Wagner.
3rd round, Brandon Hardin, FS, Oregon State
Re-Draft - Akiem Hicks, DT, Regina (Canada)
Ten picks after the Bears whiffed on the athletic Hardin, the Saints grabbed Hicks, who played really good for the Bears last year.
4th round, Evan Rodriguez, TE, Temple
Re-Draft - Bobby Massie, T, Mississippi
Here’s another re-draft to a current Bear. Love him or hate him, Massie has started 61 games during in the in the NFL.
6th round, Isaiah Frey, CB, Nevada-Reno
Re-Draft - Danny Trevathan, LB, Kentucky
Let’s make that three in a row. Four picks after Frey went to the Bears, the Broncos took Trevathan.
7th round, Greg McCoy, CB, Texas Christian
Re-Draft - J.R. Sweezy, G, North Carolina State
Sweezy started 49 games at guard during his first 4 years with the Seahawks and he took this epic head shot. Meme courtesy of Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show.
1st round, Kyle Long, OG, Oregon
Re-Draft - Nope, I’m good with Kyle.
Pro Bowler and a team leader.
2nd round, Jon Bostic, ILB, Florida
Re-Draft - D.J. Swearinger, SS, South Carolina
There were a few solid options after Bostic, but I went with a player the Bears were rumored to be in on during this last free agency period.
4th round, Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers
Re-Draft - Kyle Juszczyk, RB, Harvard
I had to go 13 picks down to the Ravens’ selection of Juszczyk, but I love the versatility a talented fullback brings an offense.
5th round, Jordan Mills, OT, Louisiana Tech
Re-Draft - Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
I know I’m in the minority, but I always liked Mills. Since being cut by the Bears, he found a home starting at right tackle for the Bills. But for the redraft, I’ll go with a better right tackle in Wagner.
6th round, Cornelius Washington, DE, Georgia
Re-Draft - Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame
If it wasn’t for injuries, I think Washington would have carved out a role for himself in Chicago, and I think his best football is ahead of him. I went with the pass catching tailback here in the redraft.
7th round, Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
Re-Draft - Kemal Ishmael, DB, Central Florida
Injuries has been the story of Wilson’s career too, so give me back up safety and special teamer Ishmael.
1st round, Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Re-Draft - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St.
Since I already redrafted a couple of ILBs to the Bears, I passed on Ryan Shazier and C.J. Mosley, and went down to the speedy wide out with 215 catches in 3 years.
2nd round, Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU
Re-Draft - Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
This one stings a bit. Emery recently had given Jay Cutler a huge contract (another possible reason Emery was fired), so I understand him not taking a QB in the 2nd round, but hindsight tells us that Jimmy G would have been a swell pick.
3rd round, Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
Re-Draft - Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi
I thought Sutton would be a 1 gap disruptive force after his college career, but after three seasons, he’s still looking for his first career sack. Moncrief is a solid #2 or #3 wide out.
4th round, Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
Re-Draft - Anthony Hitchens, LB, Iowa
The Ka’Deem Carey fan club was probably hoping I’d keep Carey here, but I think he’s getting cut this year, so he’s gotta go. Hitchens has 36 starts in three years for Dallas, and would be ILB depth behind those two ILBs I redrafted above.
4th round, Brock Vereen, SS, Minnesota
Re-Draft - Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida
Lynch has played OLB for the 49ers and he has 14 sacks in three years.
6th round, David Fales, QB, San Jose State
Re-Draft - E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri
As a developmental QB, Fales is still hanging around the NFL, havinhg just signed on with the Dolphins, but for the sake of this exercise, I’ll take Gaines, who has 25 starts for the Rams during the 2014 and 2016 seasons.
6th round, Pat O'Donnell, P, Miami (Fla.)
Re-Draft - Pat O'Donnell, P, Miami (Fla.)
I wasn’t as mad as some when the Bears took a punter in 2014. Sixth round picks are usually long-shots to make a 53 man roster, so the fact that O’Donnell is still hanging around is fine by me.
7th round, Charles Leno, T, Boise State
Re-Draft - Charles Leno, T, Boise State
Leno may not be an All Pro, but at the very least, he’s a serviceable NFL left tackle.
The Bears may have fired Emery after the 2014 season, but he was just a part of the scouting staff of the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons.
To be fair, the jury is still out on Ryan Pace’s drafts, so hopefully we aren’t here in a couple years doing this exact same thing again.