Bears

Re-drafting: A Bears tradition GM Ryan Pace must end

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Re-drafting: A Bears tradition GM Ryan Pace must end

Organizations can get themselves into difficulty when they feel forced to re-draft the same positions repeatedly because of injuries or misses on picks. The Bears under new general manager Ryan Pace hope they are not falling into another of those holes, but the incoming staff felt the need for a virtual do-over from the final draft of the Phil Emery administration.

Four of the Bears’ six draft choices were at the same positions addressed in the 2014 draft. Pace and the Bears stayed on point with their draft board but four of six repeat selections cannot be excused to coincidence or grades.

Pace wasn’t aware of the organizational do-over he was transacting. “It was really best player available all the way through,” he reiterated. “That’s how it fell. We knew we had a lot of needs.”

Therein lies the problem.

This is not a good thing. Position players have cycles if they are NFL caliber. If they don’t, the team has to draft or go into free agency for their replacement too soon in the overall cycle. And re-drafting too frequently involves reaching on a pick because it is being made specifically to fill a need.

In his first draft as Bears general manager, Ryan Pace nearly did a re-draft of the 2014 class left by Emery:

2014 (round) 2015 (round)
DT Ego Ferguson (2) DT Eddie Goldman (2)
RB Ka'Deem Carey (4) RB Jeremy Langford (4)
S Brock Vereen (4) S Adrian Amos (5)
OT Charles Leno (7) OT Tayo Fabuluje (6)

Emery selected Ferguson and Will Sutton in rounds 2 and 3 last year. Because of either scheme change or performance – Ferguson fits in the 2015 plan, Sutton TBD – Pace and the Bears went into free agency to add defensive linemen Jarvis Jenkins and Ray McDonald in advance of this weekend’s draft.

Despite drafting Shea McClellin at No. 1 in 2012 and Jonathan Bostic at No. 2 and Khaseem Green at No. 4, the Bears needed to go into free agency for Sam Acho, Mason Foster and Pernell McPhee. Even allowing for the switch to a 3-4, this is a significant number of replacements for Bears players drafted in the first four rounds.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

But Pace is necessarily less interested than mistakes of 2014 than with improving the hit quotient for 2015.

“What I’m excited about and what we talk about is there’s a lot of opportunities still going forward,” Pace said.

Dubious do-over history

The Bears were forced to reach for offensive tackles when Jimbo Covert’s career was cut short because of back problems. The real trouble came when they reached in the 1991 first round for Stan Thomas. When Thomas proved to be a bust, the Bears were forced to use a second-round pick on Troy Auzenne 1992. When Auzenne failed to secure left tackle, the Bears used another No. 2 pick in 1994 for tackle Marcus Spears – another bust.

At wide receiver, the Bears used a No. 2 pick in 1987 for wide receiver Ron Morris. The Bears used a No. 1 the next year for Wendell Davis, which should have set them up nicely in the pre-free agency era, but both Davis and Morris were out of football with knee injuries by 1993, when the Bears used the No. 7 pick of the draft for wideout Curtis Conway.

[MORE: Kevin White excited for transition to Chicago, Bears]

The Bears selected safeties in 11 of the 13 drafts from 2002-2014, using picks as high as the second and third rounds. Despite selecting Brock Vereen last year and signing Ryan Mundy last offseason, the Bears made safety a priority in 2015 free agency, signing Antrel Rolle to start, and in the draft, using a fifth-round pick on Adrian Amos from Penn State.

Ideally, Amos helps stop that repeating pattern.

“Some safeties you don’t get to see enough isolated in ‘man’ coverage a lot,” Pace said. “But you do with him. We’re going to start him out at safety and have him there. In different packages he can have different roles but he’s a safety first for us.”

Power Rankings Roundup: Back down the Bears go

Power Rankings Roundup: Back down the Bears go

Well, it was fun while it lasted. 

After the Bears' fiasco in Miami, the Power(s)(Rankings) that be have cooled on Trubisky and Co. Squandering several chances to put away a probably-inferior team will do that. 

Here's what they're saying: 

NFL.com: #11, down 3 -- 
Football is often hard to explain. The Bears came into their Week 6 matchup in Miami flying high and having generated 18 sacks in their four prior games, putting them on pace to tie their own NFL record, set in 1984 (the year before they won the Super Bowl). Then Chicago was stonewalled by a mediocre Dolphins offensive line.

ESPN: #12, down 5 -- 
Chicago ranks in the top five in points allowed per game, opposing QBR, sacks and interceptions. Mitchell Trubisky has seen an uptick in production as well: He has thrown nine TD passes in his past two games, matching the total he threw in his first 15 career games.

Washington Post: #12, down 7 -- 
The Bears had every chance to establish themselves as the NFC’s third-best team and the primary challenger to the Rams and Saints. But they somehow found a way to lose Sunday at Miami thanks to RB Jordan Howard’s fumble at the 1-yard line, QB Mitchell Trubisky’s brutal interception in the end zone and the down-the-stretch breakdowns on their supposedly powerful defense.

USA Today: #12, down 4 -- 
Speaking of Osweiler, we can only assume Khalil Mack was taking pity on the man he once sacked five times in a single afternoon.

CBS Sports: #12, down 3 -- 
That was a bad look in losing on the road to Miami. The command of the division is gone.

Chicago Tribune: #13, down 6 -- 
Tough bounce-back spot with the Patriots coming to Soldier Field, but a long list of players is eager to atone after allowing a “W” to slip away against the Dolphins.

Sporting News: #15, down 7 -- 
Mitchell Trubisky came out firing after the bye, but not trusting Jordan Howard and the power running game enough in a positive game flow is inexplicable. Matt Nagy is going through growing pains, too.

Bleacher Report: #7 (!), N/A -- 
Despite a crushing 28-31 loss in overtime against a Dolphins team that fumbled in the end zone—giving Chicago another opportunity to win that they couldn't capitalize on—the Bears have proved to be a tough team so far this season.

Khalil Mack to undergo additional tests on right ankle this week

Khalil Mack to undergo additional tests on right ankle this week

My kingdom for a healthy right ankle. 

After Khalil Mack hurt his ankle during the Bears' 31-28 loss to Miami last Sunday, the team will reportedly send Mack for further testing: 

While we still don't know exactly what this entails, it's obviously not great news. Mack's been the leader of a defense that ranks as one of -- if not the -- NFL's best. He leads the team in sacks (5) -- for which he's also in the top-10 of all defensive players in the NFL-- and forced fumbles (4). 

And who just so happens to be coming to Soldier Field next Sunday? Tom Brady! Rob Gronkowski! A Patriots team that has succeeded for YEARS on exploiting bad linebacker matchups! Terrific.