Preps Talk

Evaluating the Bears' draft grades

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Evaluating the Bears' draft grades

As soon as every selection is made in a draft, its analyzed: according to the player, according to the need, according to the scheme, according to whatever there is to according to.

The trouble with critiques, however, is that they are based on projection in these cases, not real fact. You have the college performance database but now are valuing the same player in an entirely different level of his game.

Sort of like rating college recruiting classes. High school players will develop but not all at the same rate or to the same ultimate level as others. So there is a time factor; NFL teams dont grade players on freshman-year play, but draft grades actually are assigning a value to a player before his freshman NFL season.

Nevertheless, its always amusing (and sometimes bemusing) to see how Bears drafts are graded:

NBC Sports Rotoworlds Evan Silva rates the first Phil Emery draft a "B" based largely on the first four picks, particularly wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey at No. 2. "Only time will tell but this looks like GM Phil Emerys first win," Evan concludes.

Longtime Platteville chum John Czarnecki over at FOXSports isnt so sure about the win thing. Czar likes the key top four picks generally but drops the overall to a C- because they didnt address their offensive line needs.

The offensive-line thing bothers Mel Kiper out at ESPN.com, and NFCNorther Kevin Seifert comes in with a C with Mels comment cited: Im really surprised they had six picks and didnt get a single offensive lineman.

The View from the Moon doesnt remotely subscribe to the OL hand-wringing, so exception taken with Mel and Czar on that one.

And on the Bears draft grade? Easy. I am solidly with colleague Mike Florio over at ProFootballTalk.com, who awarded the same grade to every team.

76 Days to Kickoff: Eisenhower

76 Days to Kickoff: Eisenhower

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Eisenhower

Head coach: Sheamus Murphy

Assistant coaches: Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera, ST Coordinator Billy Viero, assistant Darren Bryant, assistant Charles Edwards, assistant Jesse Gonzalez, assistant Ryan Gorney, assistant Will Johnson, assistant Marty McNamara, assistant Tim McNamara, assistant Anthony Munoz, assistant TJ Murphy,  assistant Jeremy Rodrigues, assistant Dan Russell, assistant Terrence Streater and assistant Ron Zychowski

How they fared in 2018: 4-5 (2-4 South Suburban Red Conference). Eisenhower failed to qualify for the IHSA football playoff field. 

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Oak Forest

Sept. 6 vs St. Laurence

Sept. 13 vs Argo

Sept. 20 @ Reavis

Sept. 27 vs Shepard

Oct. 4 @ T.F. North

Oct. 11 @ Evergreen Park

Oct. 18 @ Oak Lawn

Oct. 25 vs Richards

Biggest storyline: It centers on new head coach Sheamus Murphy. Can he get the Cardinals back on the winning track?

Names to watch this season: QB Daniel McLaurin (Sr.), RB/LB Cristian Tellez (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Cardinals will need to replace 15 graduated starter from last season. 

EDGY's Early Take: The Cardinals’ now-former head coach Travis Moore decided to head to the college level. He became the defensive line coach at NIU. New head coach Sheamus Murphy, who built the Back of the Yards program from scratch, takes over and brings a ton of energy and excitement to the Island starting in 2019.

2019 NHL Draft Profile: RW Kaapo Kakko

2019 NHL Draft Profile: RW Kaapo Kakko

From June 10-20, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile one top prospect per day — 11 total — leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks prepare to pick third overall.

Kaapo Kakko

Position: Right wing
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 194 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report from The Draft Analyst's Steve Kournianos:

"Multi-tooled winger with size and coordination who incorporates his impressive puck skills with a desirable physical package that consistently exhausts opponents. Blessed with incredibly soft hands and tight-quarter quickness, Kakko is a reliable stickhandler who uses timing plays to either get open or create space for his linemates.”

NHL player comparable: Mikko Rantanen

Fit for Blackhawks:

Alright, let’s get this out of the way with: Kakko isn’t going to be on the board when the Blackhawks pick at No. 3. He’s expected to be taken second overall by the New York Rangers.

But, hypothetically, if he did slip, Kakko is probably one of two players in this draft class who could step onto an NHL roster today and make an immediate impact. He’s that good, and we saw it at the 2019 IIHF World Championship when he scored six goals to lead Finland to a gold medal. 

Kakko would give the Blackhawks a dynamic winger on the right side to go along with Patrick Kane, meaning they wouldn't have to worry about their top-six right wingers for many years to come. You shouldn't draft a winger this high unless he's as close to a sure-fire prospect as they come, and Kakko would qualify.

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