Going into our fourth year with this leadership team, I look back at draft decisions and how my personal choices would have differed or matched those of Ryan Pace and his staff. I'm not going over free agency, the most debated actions of this regime, because factors outside of the organization's control can influence it. For instance, I also would have made a lofty effort to obtain AJ Bouye last year. It was Bouye's decision to take less elsewhere. Draft choices are a matter of choice and timing by the franchise. All of these selections are based on my thinking at the time and I've tried to eliminate hindsight from the equation. So how does a Powertool-lead Bears stack up to the real deal.
Pace Selection - Kevin White
My Selection - Kevin White
This one will disappoint people, but if I'm being real with what I envisioned at the time, White was who I would have been prepared to select. I hear you, "you don't take a receiver that early." I do take position into account, but I also want best available. White needed work for certain but I saw an alpha in him. No one foresaw his injury woes. Many preferred Vic Beasley and he has had one very good season and two forgettable ones Most of the first round from 2015 hasn't been special. The pick could have been Todd Gurley or Trae Waynes, who improved as the defense around him improved. In the end, my Bears would have experienced the same outcome here.
Pace Selection - Eddie Goldman
My Selection - Eddie Goldman
Another match. Landon Collins immediately disappeared on day 2, and I wouldn't want to pay the trade cost to get there. I was eyeing Goldman's teammate Mario Edwards as I saw him as a wrecking ball at 3-4 DE. With him gone, Goldman made a lot of sense. Not only did I like his anchor, but he was just 21 at the time.
Pace Selection - Hroniss Grasu
My Selection - Duke Johnson
Finally a difference. I thought Grasu was undersized and I frankly didn't evaluate the C position much. Johnson was that homerun threat that we now have in Cohen. Not a 3 down back but a nice weapon to move around the field.
Pace Selection - Jeremy Langford
My Selection - Ramik Wilson
Langford tested well but I thought his college tape was just okay. I actually thought he would be a near average RB but he couldn't get anything going without the space he was getting in college. Wilson is more of an old school ILB and he has had some injury issues but I thought he was a solid run defender with power to jar the ball loose.
Pace Selection - Adrian Amos
My Selection - Cody Prewitt
Here is where you can really see I am being honest. Prewitt went from 2nd round projections to UDFA. He didn't test well at all and it looked like a back injury was nagging him. He was immediately injured in camp with TEN, took an injury settlement, and never came back. I still liked his game tape a lot. Amos was an in the box safety in my eyes and I wanted a center fielder. Clearly I was bested on this one.
Pace Selection - Tayo Fabulujue
My Selection - Nick O'Leary
O'Leary hasn't done a lot, but it's plenty more than Fab did.
Pace Selection - Trade up for Leonard Floyd
My Selection - Trade around and select Taylor Decker and Myles Jack
It's too easy to say you would trade down in round 1 so I won't make a habit of it. I like Floyd but I liked these players as well. If fast, cover backers are the rage now, Jack will produce in spades. His career hasn't erupted but he's looked solid thus far. Some were claiming Decker struggled in pass protect and I just didn't see it. He is and has been athletic and technical.
Pace Selection - Cody Whitehair
My Selection - Cody Whitehair
Whitehair at this spot was unexpected. He may have been the best tackle in CFB, but size limited him to interior play. About as sound a pick as I could imagine.
Pace Selection - Jonathan Bullard
My Selection - Jonathan Bullard
I actually liked Bullard with a 2nd round value in this draft. He was disruptive and quick on tape. It's taken some time to get his career going but last year he brought that disruption back. It just didn't turn into numbers. I definitely didn't like Shilique Calhoun, who had some pundits here.
Pace Selection - Nick Kwiatkowski
My Selection - Andrew Billings
This was a situation where I didn't really know the pick. I hadn't watched film on Kwit. I had watched film on Billings and I really liked what I saw. The team already has Goldman at NT so this is either a luxury pick or an opportunity to let Goldman play up and down the line. Billings is another player who has seriously struggled with remaining healthy and would have been another detrimental move thus far had I made it.
Pace Selection - Deon Bush
My Selection - Derrick Kindred
I just didn't see anything in Bush's tape. I like his off the field character, but I didn't see him ever being effective in coverage. Kindred, though still not great as a cover man, just looked plain better and thus far that has rung true.
Pace Selection - Dieondre' Hall
My Selection - Alex Collins
I know we're all thinking we had 2 chances at Dak Prescott in the 4th and skipped on him both times. He was coming fresh off a DUI and many avoided him. Collins was picked after Howard in reality. I liked his speed and his versatility. Pairing him with Duke Johnson would have a Ingram and Kamara feel to it.
Pace Selection - Jordan Howard
My Selection - Spencer Drango
I had a different RB in mind in this draft and now I was just thinking best available. I thought Drango looked strong. Thus far he has shown some versatility for CLE and played pretty well when in the lineup.
Pace Selection - DeAndre Houston-Carson
My Selection - DeAndre Houston-Carson
Believe it or not I had actually seen some of DHC's small school film prior to the draft. I thought he looked very sticky in man cover and his 9 blocked kicks told me all I needed to know about his ST prowess.
Pace Selection - Daniel Braverman
My Selection - Daniel Braverman
I didn't have a problem with this pick. I suppose we could have taken Jalen Mills, but 7th rounders are not guaranteed and finding a good slot would have been worth it. I thought he could see the field but no.
Pace Selection - Trade up for Mitch Trubisky
My Selection - Mitch Trubisky
Did we need to trade up? I don't know. As just a fan, I'm not privy to that info. That said, I have always been clear about my evaluation of Trubisky. I realize there are 2 other QBs that he will be compared to. Still project this as the right pick.
Pace Selection - Adam Shaheen
My Selection - Obi Melifonwu
Here is where I make my adoration for size and speed more apparent. Even though I watched Obi's tape and felt that he was quite flawed, I can be blinded by measureables, but that's the same thing Shaheen had going for him, just at a lower competition level. It's no surprise that Obi is also injury riddled thus far.
Pace Selection - Eddie Jackson
My Selection - Carl Lawson
Blasphemy! No doubt I love Jackson but I had been aware of Lawson for a long time. He had some injuries in college and he lacked bend but his strengths were clear. I really felt he would destroy in his final CFB year but it turns out he waited until his entry into the NFL for that. I think he has barely begun to show his talent.
Pace Selection - Tarik Cohen
My Selection - Josh Malone
None of us knew who Cohen was. Post selection I thought "what?" After searching for his game tape I thought "whoa." Josh Malone, on the other hand, I had watched and I really liked. He did very little for CIN last year but is expected to take on a role this year. I'd still love to have him on the Bears but he clearly isn't Cohen.
Pace Selection - Jordan Morgan
My Selection - Desmond King
Not certain what we have in Morgan yet. I didn't have much of an opinion based on what little I saw ahead of time. King didn't test great but his film spoke volumes. Not certain if his lack of speed would truly limit him as a corner but he has thus far shown good play at safety.
Pace Selection - Roquan Smith
My Selection - Minkah Fitzpatrick
Smith should have a great career. A very sound pick. I am one who thinks Fitzpatrick could transition to CB just like Jalen Ramsey did his last year at Florida. Either one of these guys seem like a sound pick to me.
Pace Selection - James Daniels
My Selection - Harold Landry
Daniels also looks like a sound pick and his youth is also desirable. I was hesitant because I watched a lot of 2017 Landry and was underwhelmed. 2016 Landry was excellent though. My choice is riskier and reaching for a need just a bit. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
Pace Selection - Anthony Miller
My Selection - Anthony Miller
Absolutely my number 1, must have player of this draft. It's always exhilarating when your team picks your guy. My Bears would also feature Trubisky to Miller and I think that will be special.
Pace Selection - Joel Iyegbuniwe
My Selection - Anthony Averett
Iggy was another unknown guy. He appears to have all of the physical gifts necessary, but I thought there were other strong options still on the board. Averett is very similar to Amuk. He doesn't do anything great, but does it all well. He could easily be a decent #2 CB and even more of an asset if he is your #3.
Pace Selection - Bilal Nichols
My Selection - Tyrell Crosby
I like Nichols and I think he'll thrive as a rotational DE. Crosby fell due to concerns over a foot injury he rehabbed over a year ago. It is a legit concern for a man his size though. That said, he is talented and if you give him time to get right, he could easily be a starter.
Pace Selection - Kylie Fitts
My Selection - Equanimeous St. Brown
Fitts was a need at this point. You have to go back to 2015 to see good tape. His nagging injuries may have slowed him but I also wanted to see more physicality and technicality out of his game. St. Brown got robbed by a diminished ND passing attack. He has size, speed, flexibility, and toughness on contested catches. Not happy GB got this guy all the way down in the 6th.
Pace Selection - Javon Wims
My Selection - Hercules Mata'afa
Wims is fine. You just hope for upside in a 7th rd pick, but I had better WRs on the board like Auden Tate. In truth, my pick would have been this UDFA who just tore his ACL. MIN should not have put a kid who played DT all his life on the kickoff team without giving his body time to train and adjust. Keep him on punt protect for now. He is a tweener but I thought there could be fun schemes to move him around the front 7. I hope his career gets back on track next year.
So I have 8 of 25 possible identical picks, that I would have made at the time, with Pace. That is relatively high and at the same time, some of my picks would have been superior, but many also would have proven inferior thus far.
Who were some of your alternate choices in the past few drafts? Include the good and the bad.