The 2012 NFL Draft has come and gone and now its' time to break down each pick and examine the different picks that were made. With that said, I wanted to look at the different Bears draft picks and examine how these players will fit on their team on the roster.
Round 1: Shea McClellin: I feel Shea McClellin will become a terrific NFL player in the future, with that said, I'm not sure how Shea McClellin will fit into the Bears 4-3 defense. McClellin is a player that plays hard on every position and wants to get to the Quarterback each play. The main problem with McClellin is that he's only 6'3 and 260 lbs. which will make it difficult on him to make the transition to becoming a Defensive End in Lovie Smith's 4-3 defense.
If McClellin was taken by a team that plays a 3-4 defense, then he would have been an outstanding pick for that team. As for the Bears, I'm not sure how he'll adjust to becoming a Defensive End in this style of defense. If McClellin can display that he's capable of becoming a solid Defensive End in the future, then this was a great pick; if not, then McClellin would turn into a player that would only work in a 3-4 defense.
Grade: B (In the Bears system, he can be an A or a D draft pick)
Round 2: Alshon Jeffery: Jeffery has a ton of talent, potential, and the ability of becoming a great NFL Wide Receiver in the future. Alshon has idea Wide Receiver height (6'4"), but his weight has been questioned throughout the past few years (as low as 210 lbs. and as high as 240 lbs.) which has led some to become unsure of the type of player he would become in the future. Jeffery had a breakout Sophomore season (88 receptions, 1517 yards, and 9 touchdowns) for South Carolina but had a down Junior season (45 receptions, 614 yards, and 6 touchdowns) leading some to question what type of player he would be in the future: the sophomore or junior Alshon Jeffery.
One thing that many people don't realize is that during his junior year, Jeffery had to go through a Quarterback controversy which completely changed his junior season. As for his weight (the other problem people looked at), I feel Jeffery was never going to be the fastest wide-out (so weight's not his biggest concern), but with his hands and his leaping ability, I feel Jeffery has the potential of becoming a quality number two Wide Receiver with Brandon Marshall. Many people fee that Alshon Jeffery has the possibility of becoming similar to Marques Colston.
Round 3: Brandon Hardin: With the selection of Brandon Hardin, the Bears have now drafted a Safety in the third round of the previous three NFL Drafts (Major Wright, Chris Conte, and Hardin). Chicago now hope's that Hardin will be able to fit in with the other two Safeties and in a year or two become the starting Bears Safety. In 2011, Hardin missed the entire football season while playing at Oregon State with a shoulder injury but should be able to comeback and become a productive player this year. If Hardin is able to recover from his previous injuries and show that he can stay healthy, the Bears might have finally found the Safety they've been looking for since Mike Brown was healthy.
Round 4: Evan Rodriguez: The Bears needed another play-maker on their roster and Rodriguez should be able to become an additional option for Quarterback Jay Cutler to find down field. While playing at Temple, Rodriguez had a productive junior year (35 receptions and 479 yards) as it seems the Bears should be able to move him around the field and find a place for him on the offense. The one key problem with Rodriguez is that he's an undersized Tight End (6'1" and 242 lbs.) but should be able to line up at a number of places in the Bears offense (Fullback, Tight End, Wide Receiver) or become a key member on the Bears special teams.
Round 6: Isaiah Frey: The Bears needed to add more depth at the Cornerback position; whether it was as a starting or backup Cornerback, this needed to be upgraded. He had a solid career at Nevada, caped off by recording five interceptions and 16 deflections on the season. Frey has good size for a Cornerback (6'0"/190 lbs.) to go along with being an athletic and fast Cornerback, which should allow for him to him become a quality special teams player.
Round 7: Greg McCoy: Once again, the Bears needed to add more depth at the Cornerback position and in McCoy they were able to obtain this. While playing at TCU, McCoy was able to become both a solid Cornerback (2 Interceptions and 30 tackles) along with being a solid Special Teams player (winning the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year in 2011). Even though McCoy's a smaller Cornerback (5-10 / 181 lbs.), he has the capability of becoming a quality special teams player and will hopefully become a valued depth player in the future.
Recap: Chicago needed to address a few needs in the draft and I feel they were able to address a number of these holes during the draft. Chicago needed to add a pass rusher (McClellin), a Wide Receiver (Jeffery), secondary help (Hardin), to go along with adding additional special teams help (Rodriguez, Frey, and McCoy). As good as these players can be and will help the Bears both now and the future, I feel they forgot to address one key position: Left Tackle. Had the Bears addressed the Left Tackle position in the draft, I would have given the Bears an A, but because they once again didn't address this position, I feel the Bears final grade should be lowered and reflect this.
Final Draft Grade: B
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