Chicago Bears: Chandler Jones
June, 3, 2013
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
The Chicago Bears' apparent decision to keep second-year fullback/tight end Evan Rodriguez despite two offseason arrests speaks volumes about the pressure the organization is under to protect its draft picks after former general manager Jerry Angelo got fired for his inability to identify collegiate talent.
Nam Y. Huh/AP PhotoEvan Rodriguez's blocking has been perhaps his most valuable asset.
The No. 1 reason the Bears hired general manager Phil Emery was to fix the team's approach to the draft after the final years of Angelo's watch produced far too many misses.
Rodriguez was the fourth-round pick in Emery's first draft class. To admit defeat this early on a relatively high draft choice would be crushing, even if Rodriguez has done little to justify his spot on the team, outside of his draft status.
Rodriguez's final numbers his rookie year: four catches for 21 yards in 12 games.
To be fair, the Bears' offense last year was dysfunctional, and Rodriguez was never given the opportunity to stretch the field in the passing game -- the role Emery envisioned -- so it was easy to wipe the slate clean and expect Rodriguez to have a larger impact in the new Marc Trestman offense.