Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery is, in a word, cryptic. Emery is an enigma; especially when it comes to the NFL Draft. And, on Thursday, he did nothing with his press conference except to insure that none of us have any clue what is going on in his head.
His “briefing” lasted 45 minutes, during which he touched on almost every subject involved in the draft process, nearly blurting out the team’s top prospect. He discussed thoughts on developmental quarterbacks and drafting quarterbacks, calling it the one position the Bears won’t target. Which of course leads me to believe they will indeed take a quarterback.
I think I’ve entered the Phil Emery loop of time and space …
The Bears’ GM is certainly not afraid to chat with the media, as made evident by his classic marathon press conferences. And maybe he did key us in on some interesting information that might lead us toward who or where the Bears might focus on next Thursday.
Emery started by informing the media that they have limited their board to six players for the 14th pick. Now, those six players could literally be anyone, from prospects like Aaron Donald and HaHa Clinton-Dix all the way to players like Keith McGill or top rated punting prospect Kirby Van Der Kamp. We can only speculate (my top six: Donald, Clinton-Dix, Pryor, Gilbert, Mosley, and Jernigan).
Emery went on to say they could possibly be looking at future needs with the 14th pick. The Bears have obvious needs now, but with the prospects on the board at No. 14 they might look to grab a more immediate impact-type player at a position that might not be an immediate need. It all depends who is on the board, and if players like Aaron Donald or HaHa Clinton-Dix are gone, Emery might also reach at a position.
It’s funny to see a general manager openly discussing thoughts on positions and certain prospects, like Aaron Donald. Emery basically laughed at the thought of Donald falling to 14 for the Bears. He was particularly outspoken about quarterbacks, saying taking one outside of the first round for “developmental purposes” is never a good idea.
Emery then went into how he looks at drafting prospects, and this year specifically, during which he said, “bigger is better.” Emery likes prospects with size and strength, even if that prospect is less experienced or rawer than other prospects. And he won’t pass up a chance to draft an athlete he labels as “dynamic” (see Shea McClellin).
The one interesting point that I think is crucial to drafting at a certain spot is looking at who and what positions were drafted there. I’ve done this for years. Take the mid first round; line up the picks and you’ll find a majority of defensive tackles and ends as well as guards go here more often than not.
Draft trends usually transfer over from year to year. Take cornerbacks for example; unless there’s a CB with top five talent the first, CBs will almost always go from the 10th pick on.
Bears have needs at safety and defensive tackle, but at this point I could see them going literally anywhere position-wise with this pick. Emery might be the hardest GM in the league to read, and his track record of first round picks doesn’t offer much help. I wouldn’t rule out any prospect until the Bears announce their pick next week.
In terms of trading up or down, it sounds like Emery is content at 14 but is fielding calls. If the Bears want a prospect like Pryor, they could possibly trade down and still land him. But Emery seems to like the potential options available at 14 and will most likely not be trading down. I also don’t believe the Bears have any need to trade up, so we can most likely rule that out.