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Thursday, November 14, 2013
Bears' rookie class ranks No. 4

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- ESPN NFL Draft Analyst Todd McShay released his list of the top five rookie classes for 2013, and the Chicago Bears received recognition here, making No. 4 Insider on the list.

McShay writes that "all six of the Bears' 2013 draft picks are currently on the roster and making some kind of contribution, including three full-time starters, which is highly impressive." In all, four of the club's six picks are starting in rookie offensive linemen Kyle Long and Jordan Mills and linebackers Jonathan Bostic and Khaseem Greene, who is coming off his second career start as the fill-in for Lance Briggs.

Going back to 2012, I remember calling Phil Emery's selection of defensive end Shea McClellin a "single," while writing that the general manager should be swinging for the fences. I'll stand by that assessment of McClellin until he consistently plays the way he did (three sacks) in the team's Nov. 4 victory at Green Bay. After all, that class which includes three players no longer on the team, goes down as Emery's first at-bat, and there's nothing wrong with not hitting a home run with the first-round pick, when you smack a grand slam with second-round selection Alshon Jeffery, who is on pace for a 1,300-yard season in his second year.

As for the 2013 draft class, Emery produced a strong haul, and the class' significant contributions in its first year bode well for the future. With so many expiring contracts on the the team's aging defense, it appears Emery will have his work cut out for him again in putting together the 2014 class.