The 2013 NFL Draft is officially over. The Chicago Bears drafted six players during the three-day draft period and signed 10 players who went undrafted on Saturday night.
Lets take a look at what these 16 players bring to the table for the Bears.
Round One, No. 20: Kyle Long, G, Oregon
As the best offensive linemen came off the board in the first round the Bears made a decision to take a chance on a very athletic player in Kyle Long. Many analysts had Long going no earlier than the middle of the second round, but the Bears were working with only five picks at the time and liked what they saw in Long. The 6’6″ Long played just one season of Division I football with Oregon starting four games. Prior to that he spent time playing baseball at FSU, where he got a DUI and dealt with drug problems. But he switched his focus to football and really changed his life. Bears GM Phil Emery saw a guy who has tons of potential despite a troubled past.
“We see a player that is going to contribute right away,” Emery said via Chicagobears.com. “His Senior Bowl was excellent. I thought he was the best O-lineman on field.” Expect Long to compete for the left guard spot with Matt Slauson in training camp.
Round Two, No. 50: Jon Bostic, LB, Florida
With Lance Briggs entering likely his final couple seasons with the Bears and D.J. Williams and James Anderson signed to one-year deals the Bears needed to add some potential starters at linebacker in this draft. They might have found a gem in MLB Jon Bostic. Bostic was a three year starter at UF, who can play all three linebacker positions which was a big reason the Bears added him in the second round. He is said to be a vocal leader, who is solid against the run. He will be given a chance to contribute right away. He will compete with D.J. Williams for the starting middle linebacker spot. He ran a 4.61 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, so that proves how athletic Bostic is.
Round Four, No. 117: Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers
The Bears selected another linebacker in the fourth round in Khaseem Greene. Greene, a former safety turned linebacker was voted the Big East defensive player of the year the last two seasons. He started all 13 games in 2010 at safety before switching to weakside linebacker in 2011. The 24-year-old recorded 277 tackles, 26.5 tackles-for-loss, 9.5 sacks, two interceptions and eight forced fumbles in his final two seasons starting at weakside linebacker.
“It’s definitely Linebacker U and if you want to be a young linebacker or be a veteran linebacker or go down in history as one of the greats, I don’t see a better place to be,” Greene said via Chicagobears.com.
He should have a chance to battle for the strongside linebacker job with James Anderson. He could be groomed into Lance Briggs’ eventual replacement.
Round Five, No. 163: Jordan Mills, T, Louisiana Tech
The Bears decided to swap fifth round picks with the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday. They moved down 10 spots and received a seventh round selection (No. 236) in the process. Tackle Jordan Mills was selected by the Bears with the No. 163 selection. He is a guy I had them possibly drafting in the sixth round in the Bears Backer mock draft. The 6’5″ Mills appeared in seven games making five starts at left guard during his freshman campaign. He made the transition to right tackle in 2010. He started his final 25 games at right tackle earning All-WAC first-team honors in his final collegiate season. Just like the Bears’ first three picks, Mills is an athletic player who projects to be a starter in due time.
“I will go sit and learn behind [Jermon] Bushrod and everybody else and soak up all the knowledge I can,” Mills said via Chicagobears.com.
Round Six, No. 188: Cornelius Washington, DE, Georgia
The Bears could have found a steal in the sixth round with Cornelius Washington. The 6’4″ Washington was expected to go earlier in the draft than the sixth round. He started 25 games recording 76 tackles, 10.5 sacks in his four years at Georgia. He played both outside linebacker and defensive end. He had just a half sack in 2012, but added 17 quarterback hurries. In his junior season he added five sacks. He ran an impressive 4.53 at the NFL Combine and was said to be a “workout warrior.” He isn’t a guy who will start anytime soon, but if he can become part of the rotation he should get his chance to get after quarterbacks. He might strictly be a pass rusher, but he could turn into a nice piece for this Bears’ defense.
Round Seven, No. 236: Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
The Bears selected wide receiver Marquess Wilson with their last pick. He walked out on the Washington State team nine games into the 2012 season after he said he was verbally abused by head coach Mike Leach. The soon to be 21-year-old started 27 games in three seasons reeling in 189 catches for a school-record 3,207 yards and 23 touchdowns. During his sophomore season he caught 82 passes for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns, which all were career highs for him. He is a tall lengthy receiver who needs to improve his hands and develop into a better blocker. He could earn a shot on the team, but will likely be put on the practice squad. He needs to mature a bit, but definitely has plenty of upside.
These 10 players signed contracts with the Bears after the draft: Montana St. DT Zach Minter, LSU RB Michael Ford, LSU C P.J. Lonergan, N.C. State CB C.J. Wilson, Georgia Southern DT Brent Russell, Oklahoma CB Demontre Hurst, Oklahoma P Tress Way, Rutgers WR Mark Harrison, Memphis WR Marcus Rucker and Iowa St. WR Josh Lenz.
Despite not drafting a quarterback, the Bears have decided to give St. Xavier QB Jimmy Coy a tryout.
Overall, I think the Bears did a pretty solid job at adding potential at positions lacking depth. They added two very athletic linebackers in Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene, who both could easily be starters by the 2014 season. They selected guard Kyle Long earlier than expected, but he is a player who has tons of athleticism and should turn into a starter moving forward. He will likely be moved to tackle as his career progresses.
Tackle Jordan Mills gives the Bears more competition at the tackle position that lacked such that the past couple of seasons. The Bears’ offensive line has more competition this season than in any previous year that I can remember. Don’t be surprised if Mills and Long could are starting at some point this season. Defensive end Cornelius Washington is a pass rusher who could be used similarly to Mark Anderson during the 2006 season. He has tremendous talent, but he needs to be more consistent at getting to quarterbacks. Wide receiver Marquess Wilson is a developmental player at this point, but he could earn a shot to impress this training camp due to the lack of depth behind the current starters.
Cornerback C.J. Wilson from North Carolina State was signed after the draft by the Bears. The 5’11″, 187 lb Wilson ran a 4.3 40-yard dash at his pro day. He recorded 107 tackles, four interceptions (three returned for touchdowns) in 29 career starts at NC State. Academic violations forced him to miss four games in 2012. He could be given shot considering all of the current Bears cornerbacks are free agents after the season.
Jake Perper is the founder and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Chicago Bears.