Monday, May 9, 2011

NFL Draft Team Grades-Chicago Bears

The Bears damn near made the Super Bowl last season, so this season is all about adding potential pieces to get them past the Packers. Good luck with that. The BEars had a very small draft class this season, but sometimes, it's all about what you do with those few picks that matters. Let's take a look...

Round 1, Pick 29
Gabe Carimi, OT

Now that, my friends, is what I am talking about! This pick is a home run! Pure score with this guy who potentially can come in and start from minute one. I'd be shocked if he isn't. He could possibly slide inside to guard, but I think he'd be better suited to start out on the right side next season at tackle. Huge addition, and he fits the mindset of the Bears organization. Winning!
Grade: A+

Round 2, Pick 21 (From Indianapolis, Washington)
Stephen Paea, DT
Oregon State

Back to back home runs with this pick in the late second round. Paea gives the Bears huge value here, and is the immediate replacement for freshly released Tommie Harris. Paea is a high motor guy, and is severely disruptive. Perfect fit for the Tampa-2 that the Bears run, and could be a star in this town playing in front of Brian Urlacher.
Grade: A+

Round 3, Pick 29
Chris Conte, Safety

Conte is fairly new to the safety position, having only played there for one season. In 2009, Conte was a "Rover", a hybrid Safety/LB. Conte, in his lone season at Safety, had 72 tackles, but only picked off 1 pass all season. He also only defended 3 passes, so don't expect a big play guy here. This pick seemed like it should have been made later. At this point, if you are looking for a starter, you're prabobly not getting it with this guy. Here's the kicker...he graded out as a priority free agent, which is a long way off from the 3rd round. Seriously bad reach here.
Grade: F

Round 5, Pick 29
Nathan Enderle, QB

Enderle has some ability. He positively looks the part physically at 6-4, 240. He is a big, strong armed, pocket passer. The problem with Enderle is that he completely slid backwards in 2010 from where he had developed to in 2009. Enderle passed for 22 TDs but also tossed 16 picks in 2010. Compare that to 22/9 in 2009. No increase in TD production, but 7 more picks. His efficiency rating also dropped by over 30 points. That's a huge hit. He did pass for over 3200 yards last season, so, as I said, the ability is there. The problem was that Idaho probably asked too much of him, as he was their only real weapon on offense, and the team regressed around him last season. I give the BEars credit, as Enderle graded out to exactly where the BEars picked him, so good job.
Grade: C+

Round 6, Pick 30
James Thomas, LB
West Virginia

Honestly, a fairly average player. He was second on the team with 73 tackles, and had 7 TFLs last season, which was good for 4th. He doesn't do anything overly special, and will probably be given a chance to become a special teams guy, and may get a chance to compete for a backup job. Graded out at priority free agent, so another reach, even in the 6th round.
Grade: D

Possible Surprise Player

Possible Flop

Sure To Be a Star
Carimia, Paea

Sure To Be a Flop
Conte, Thomas

Final Team GPA
The last 3 picks brought the grade down. If Enderle gets over his regression of 2010, he could develop into a long term option. If he can't, then this grade drops in 3 to 5 years. This was a small class for the Bears, so you would have thought that they would have sought more value in the lower rounds. Intriguing, for all the wrong reasons.

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