ESPN Chicago grades the draft
It's early, but here's a take on the Bears' picks in the 2012 NFL draft
Chicago Bears 2012 NFL Draft Report Card
Round: 1, Pick: 19 (Overall: 19)
Shea McClellin, DE, Boise State Phil Emery raved about McClellin's natural instincts, and functional athleticism, which should translate well as an NFL pass rusher. His physical attributes don't necessarily jump off the charts, but he plays better than workout testing would indicate. Drafting McClellin over Whitney Mercilus and Chandler Jones says a lot Chicago's belief in his ability opposite Julius Peppers. -- MW
Round: 2, Pick: 13 (Overall: 45)
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina: The Bears could have chosen LSU receiver Rueben Randle with this pick, but Jeffery -- even with concerns about his weight, and work ethic -- seems to project as the better prospect. Paired with Brandon Marshall, the Bears could start the season with the division's most physical duo of wideouts. At 6-3, 216 pounds, Jeffery possesses impressive strength and explosion and provides Cutler a dangerous threat in the red zone. Could turn out to be a steal. -- MW
Round: 3, Pick: 16 (Overall: 79)
Brandon Hardin, S, Oregon St. The issue with the Bears taking Hardin in the third round has little to do with ability, but everything to do with health. To be fair, Hardin is fully recovered from a shoulder fracture that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. However, the Bears already had a couple of injury risks on the roster at safety. Major Wright has yet to prove he can stay on the field, while Chris Conte finished the year on injured reserve due to a foot injury. If Hardin can stay off the injury report, he projects to be a solid strong safety who can deliver hard hits. Odds are Hardin would have been able to improve on his 2010 numbers at Oregon State (63 tackles, three forced fumbles) if not for the shoulder problem last summer. But we'll never know, which is what makes the Hardin pick somewhat risky. -- JD
Round: 4, Pick: 16 (Overall: 111)
Evan Rodriguez, TE, Temple From an ability perspective, Rodriguez grades out much higher. The "F" tight end role is the same position that Greg Olsen played in Chicago, and while Olsen entered the league with the reputation as a more polished receiver, Rodriguez can be counted on to block and contribute on special teams, in addition to stretching the field as a vertical threat. If Rodriguez is even close to Olsen in terms on production, the Bears got themselves a steal in the fourth round. However, all the off-the-field issues makes it impossible to give this pick a higher grade. Rodriguez must prove he's matured and moved beyond all the problems he encountered at West Virginia and Temple. -- JD
Round: 6, Pick: 14 (Overall: 184)
Isaiah Frey, CB, Nevada Bears GM Phil Emery talked about using picks from the fifth round on down to secure height-weight-speed guys who can eventually develop into contributors. Frey certainly fits that mold; at least in the weight and speed departments. At Nevada, Frey displayed strong cover skills in picking off five passes and breaking up 21 passes as a senior. But he doesn't appear to be very physical, which doesn't translate well in Chicago's scheme. More concerning is the fact physicality can't be coached into a player, which might be key for Frey since the Bears envision competing on special teams as a potential gunner..
Round: 7, Pick: 13 (Overall: 220)
Greg McCoy, CB, TCU The Bears can never have too many quality return men. McCoy was the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year last season after he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. He did start for two years at cornerback for TCU, but his best shot to make the team is on special teams. Even if McCoy fails to make the final 53-man roster, it's tough to fault the Bears for taking a potential playmaker in the final round. But given the extreme importance placed on special teams this offseason, it would be a mistake to assume McCoy has no shot to make the team.