I was talking to a friend the other day about Game of Thrones. I told him that, as is the case most of the time, the books are better than the show and that he should consider reading them. He looked at me like I’d just suggested that he do the Iditarod with a team of schnauzers in his bare feet and said, “Dude, they’re about 900 pages long.”
Sometimes I feel like that’s what modern life is all about. Progress isn’t about doing things better as much as it is about doing them faster. Instant gratification is never instant enough.
We’re wrapping up, the mock draft I’ve been participating in and the Bears picks are in the books. To review, I took linebacker C.J. Mosley in the first round and Deone Bucannon in the second. The Bears have their safety, albeit an imperfect one, but they desperately need a defensive tackle that can start . That means I either pick one in the third round or they burn me in effigy all over Chicago.
Here’s what my board looked like:
Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State
Daquan Jones, DT, Penn State
A. J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Brandon Thomas, OG, Clemson
Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson
Trai Turner, OG, LSU
Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
I think you see the problem. The first four are, once again, offensive players (I love McCarron). Jones will be a good defensive tackle but he’s strictly a two gap nose guard that can’t rush the passer and wouldn’t fit the Bears defense. Then more offense until we get to Breeland, the best cornerback available. There wasn’t another defensive tackle that I thought would fit the Bears for another 10 spots down my list (Shamar Stephen).
What could I do? I took Breeland.
Once again, Breeland is a good value here. He’s a jack of all trades cornerback who does everything reasonably well. He’s a tad short for my tastes but his versatility would fit in with the new Bears defensive philosophy, he’d provide much needed depth at the position and he’ll be ready to replace an aging Charles Tillman when the time comes to do so. Tillman was injured for a good part of last year even when he played. The odds are good Breeland would see some time on the field this year and provide immediate help.
I don’t regret the pick. But I was left to take the best fourth round defensive tackle available. Unlike the third round, there were several that I knew would fit and would be worth the pick (Stephen, Kelcy Quarles, Will Sutton and maybe Zach Kerr in that order). And, indeed, Stephen fell to me, once again providing good value for the pick.
But you find your starters in the first three rounds and without a an early defensive tackle, the consequences were obvious.
The problem is that as the Bears general manager I have to draft for the long haul. You can’t really judge a class until 3-5 years after the picks and if Breeland and Mosely become good starters with just one of those first three picks making a Pro Bowl, people would say that my draft was a pretty good one.
But no one waits that long. My draft gets a C- from Mel Kiper, Todd McShay gives it a D and it gets a “You suck” from the Belgian judge, all on national TV. And everyone will be at least a little bit irritated that they had to wait until the last day of the draft to get the grades.
Such, I guess, is the way of life.