When the 2017 NFL Draft concluded, most draft pundits didn’t think very highly of what the Chicago Bears did. One NFL executive was reported to have said that general manager Ryan Pace “just got fired with this draft.” The overall grades that were handed out last spring weren’t very favorable either.
Our own Robert Zeglinski gave them one of their better grades with a C+, as did ESPN’s Mel Kiper and NFL.com’s Chad Rueter. In the accompanying poll of Robert’s article asking you guys to grade the draft class, you gave them a D with 30% of the vote. In fact, most of our writers weren't very excited about what the Bears did. After day one, we were pretty pissed off, as were many Bears’ fans.
SB Nation gave the Bears a C, Sports Illustrated gave the Bears a C-, CBS Sports gave them a D, and FOX Sports gave Pace’s haul a C, saying of Chicago’s GM that he was “by far the most aggressive GM in this class — points for that — it’s hard to see this draft being anything but an A or F a few years down the line.”
An A or an F points to a classic high ceiling low floor type of draft.
And speaking of an F...
Rotoworld’s Evan Silva gave the Bears an F, taking a shot at their second rounder in the process saying “They wasted No. 45 on D-2 Frankenstein lookalike Shaheen,” and he didn’t like their rookie running back either saying, “fourth-rounder Cohen is a fun guy to watch, but he has almost no chance to make an NFL offensive impact at 5-foot-7, 179.” Silva even compared him to Garrett Wolfe. He thought it’s “likely that that this was the worst draft in the entire league.”
As the NFL season wore on, the media and fans alike started to come around on the Bears’ rookies. We started to see the promise and playmaking ability that Pace did.
Now that the season is over we’ll start to see some re-grades trickle in, with the first being from NFL.com.
Round 1: (No. 2 overall) Mitchell Trubisky, QB, 12 games/12 starts.
Round 2: (45) Adam Shaheen, TE, 13 games/7 starts.
Round 4: (112) Eddie Jackson, S, 16 games/16 starts; (119) Tarik Cohen, RB, 16 games/4 starts.
Round 5: (147) Jordan Morgan, OG, 0 games/0 starts.
Notable rookie FA signings: Tanner Gentry, WR, 4 games/3 starts.
Trading up one spot to draft Trubisky -- and letting go of three mid-round picks in the process -- was a risk, but one worth taking in retrospect. Trubisky is a work in progress, but under the tutelage of Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich, the QB can aspire to a sophomore surge, a la Jared Goff in L.A. Chicago made the most of the few other selections it possessed, hauling two great athletes in Jackson and Cohen, the latter of whom was an immediate game-breaker. Jackson and Adrian Amos will give the Windy City a top-five safety tandem in years to come. Chicago needs to utilize Shaheen more to justify a higher draft grade; the tight end caught just 12 passes in 13 games despite Zach Miller missing half the season. GRADE: B+
Back when Robert graded the Bears for us, he alluded to this being a “project class,” and that we’d learn more as they grew and developed, and that seems to be the prevailing though of most experts now.
I wonder if Silva will come off his harsh assessment of the Bears class now that he’s seen them play?
How would you re-grade the Bears rookie class?
How would you re-grade the Chicago Bears’ 2017 rookie class?
This poll is closed