As we prepare for this week’s NFL Draft, all of our communities are looking back at some of our biggest draft-take blunders. Where did we screw up the most?
The Chicago Bears have certainly had their struggles in the NFL Draft in recent years, with the likes of Shea McClellin, Kevin White and Mitchell Trubisky all being first-round picks over the last decade who have failed to live up to expectations. There have been some solid draft picks along the way — especially with Day 3 selections in Ryan Pace’s tenure as general manager — but his penchant for trading up leaves the cupboard a bit bare when looking at past draft picks.
Without further ado, these are my freezing cold draft takes, Bears-related or otherwise.
My worst Bears draft take:
I publicly displayed my disdain for the selection of Kyle Long in Round 1 of the 2013 NFL Draft.
I had such an aggressive dislike for the pick despite not having watched an ounce of tape on that year’s class. I saw Long as someone who wasn’t pro-ready, and while the concerns surrounding an older prospect who started just 6 games as an offensive lineman seem warranted in retrospect, Long made me eat my words. His athleticism and nasty demeanor led him to three Pro Bowl appearances, including one as a rookie.
I'm tired of Chicago picking "prospects" instead of actual players. We gambled on Shea, not worth it. Mark my words, Long will be a bust.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 26, 2013
This is further proof that 12-year-olds should not be given Twitter access.
My worst recent overall NFL draft take:
I had Josh Rosen as my QB1 in the 2018 draft class. Not Lamar Jackson, the MVP who has proven to be the best dual-threat quarterback since Michael Vick. Not Josh Allen, the cannon-armed specimen who has developed into one of the league’s elite. Not even Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold, two players who have at least remained starters in the NFL.
I feel in love with Rosen’s mechanics and pro-ready throwing motion, and I liked his accuracy to the point where I was willing to overlook pedestrian physical attributes. That was a mistake on my part. Not only was the accuracy not apparent in the NFL, but having a mediocre arm and poor athleticism made for a poor combination in the pros. The 2018 draft certainly changed how I look at quarterbacks.
Most memorable NFL miss on a Bears draft pick:
I admire and respect the work that the analysts over at NFL.com do in their player profiles, but this anecdote from Darnell Mooney’s profile in 2020 certainly didn’t age well:
He’s sudden underneath and should fit right in as a slot, but he won’t be able to outrun NFL coverage and needs to tighten up the routes. He definitely has a puncher’s shot at finding an NFL home, but the slender frame and inability to help on special teams are big challenges to overcome.
Mooney was given a Round 7/priority free agent grade in the same profile. Two NFL seasons and one 1,000-yard season later, he’s looking like one of the best Bears draft picks in recent memory.
What are some of your ice-cold NFL Draft takes?