For Bears, it looks like a defensive draft - FOX 32 News Chicago

For Bears, it looks like a defensive draft

Posted: Updated:
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

   LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery was so busy in free agency he didn't mind having a few extra weeks to prepare for the draft.
 
   Time's just about up.
 
   The three-day proceeding starts with the first round Thursday and the Bears, owners of the 14th pick, still need help on defense even after some big moves. So a little extra time to study the prospects suited Emery just fine.
 
   "I love it, honestly. I've heard reports of people complaining about it," he said. "I don't know what they're complaining about."
 
   The draft was pushed back about two weeks because of a scheduling conflict at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Emery said that allowed the Bears to have "less-rushed conversations" as they try to weigh short-term gains against long-term benefits.
 
   The defense ranked among the league's worst a year ago and was the biggest reason the Bears missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years at 8-8.
 
   The Bears have been busy addressing that, bringing in Jared Allen and parting with Julius Peppers in an effort to spark a defense that ranked 30th overall, last against the run, and tied Jacksonville with a league-low 31 sacks. They still need help on the line, at linebacker and in the secondary, particularly at safety.
 
   Chicago has one pick in each of the first five rounds (Nos. 14, 51, 82, 117 and 156) and two in the sixth round (183 and 191). With that in mind, here are five things to know about the draft.
 
   STILL ON THE DEFENSIVE: Emery said he has six candidates for the 14th pick assuming the Bears keep it, and there's a good chance he'll go with a defensive player even though he wasn't ruling out offense. Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Alabama free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert could be strong possibilities for Chicago.
 
   ROLL THE DICE: Emery showed in his first two drafts he's not afraid to take a chance on a first-round pick. He gambled on Shea McClellin in 2012 and did it again with Kyle Long last year. The results? He's batting .500 so far.
 
   Long was a hit at right guard even though he made just five starts in his lone season at Oregon.
 
   McClellin is a swing and miss so far and is moving from defensive end to linebacker. At least Emery hit it big in the second round in 2012 with receiver Alshon Jeffery, who broke out last season with 1,421 yards receiving.
 
   PASS ON QB?: Emery insisted he's comfortable with Jordan Palmer backing up Jay Cutler and that he's not in favor of grooming a quarterback drafted in the later rounds as a potential starter down the line.
 
   "That developmental theory doesn't hold a whole lot of water," he said.
 
   Starting with the 2006 class, Emery examined how quarterbacks drafted after the third round fared. He didn't find a long-term starter, let alone another Tom Brady. Mostly, it was a collection of third-stringers, many of whom did not last long in the league.
 
   "Most of the starters in this league come from the first and second round. So that's where you need to take a quarterback," he said.
 
   The idea of pairing a late-round QB with coach Marc Trestman doesn't seem to interest him.
 
   "I'm more intrigued with how Marc matches up with Jay and Jordan and Jerrod (Johnson)," he said.
 
   PLAYING IT SAFE-TY: Emery declared the starting safety spots "wide open" with the struggling Chris Conte back and Major Wright gone. They've brought in Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings and figure to add more help in the draft. The Bears have also scouted college cornerbacks with length with the idea of converting them to safeties, although that carries some risk.
 
   MAKING A MOVE: Emery said he's fielded calls from teams looking to move up to No. 14. He also indicated trading up is unlikely, saying such moves are "expensive."
 
   ------
 
   Online:
 
   AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP--NFL
 




Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow Us!

Share Your Sports Photos & Video

Submit Your Sports Photos
  • Chicago BearsBearsMore>>

  • Jay Cutler rallies Bears past 49ers in fourth

    Jay Cutler rallies Bears past 49ers in fourth

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-09-15 04:04:00 GMT
    Jay Cutler passed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns after much of Chicago's starting defense went down, and the Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-20 Sunday night to spoil their Levi's Stadium debut.
    Jay Cutler passed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns after much of Chicago's starting defense went down, and the Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-20 Sunday night to spoil their Levi's Stadium debut.
  • Bears look for win against 49ers in Levi's opener

    Bears look for win against 49ers in Levi's opener

    Sunday, September 14 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-09-14 23:05:00 GMT
    Colin Kaepernick's breakout performance against the Chicago Bears two years ago helped make him a star. He can only hope to be as dominant again while facing Chicago in his Levi's Stadium debut on Sunday.
    Colin Kaepernick's breakout performance against the Chicago Bears two years ago helped make him a star. He can only hope to be as dominant again while facing Chicago in his Levi's Stadium debut on Sunday.
  • Bears WR situation unsure going into 49ers game

    Bears WR situation unsure going into 49ers game

    Friday, September 12 2014 6:30 PM EDT2014-09-12 22:30:26 GMT
    The Chicago Bears' wide receiver situation is still unsure going into Sunday night's game at San Francisco.
    The Chicago Bears' wide receiver situation is still unsure going into Sunday night's game at San Francisco.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices