It's impossible to judge an NFL draft the day after it has concluded. Today's college stud can be tomorrow's NFL washout. It takes three our four years to evaluate how successful an NFL draft was in helping a team Four years removed from the Bears' 2005 draft, it rates a steady D or F with the failure of Cedric Benson and Mark Bradley at the very top. There isn't a single player from that draft left on the roster. The 2006 draft doesn't look as good as it did in, say, January 2007 when the Bears were marching to Super Bowl XLI and had Danieal Manning starting as a rookie at free safety, Devin Hester setting records as a return man and Mark Anderson looking like the next coming of Richard Dent. We'll say that draft is worth a solid C right now but this coming season will tell a lot.
The point is to take the evaluation of what the Bears did this weekend (or what they did Sunday) with a grain of salt. It's far too early to tell what is going to happen. General manager Jerry Angelo went into the draft with the belief the Bears could get three starters. The Bears promote their draft picks. They carry preferred status.
"Realistically, that's tough,'' Angelo said when asked how many from the bunch could make the 53-man roster. "Six have a chance to make it. I feel every one of them has the ability to make it. Obviously, the competition's going to be a little big keener at some positions. But I don't think that would be unrealistic with this group.''
So, let's take a look at what they are saying about Angelo's draft around the league:
*** The Sporting News gives Angelo an A. They point out that this draft began with quarterback Jay Cutler. Does that mean Angelo has an A coming in 2010 also?
*** John Czarnecki at FoxSports.com gives the Bears a B-minus. He calls it a "total success" if Cutler leads the Bears to the playoffs. We'd suggest it's a total success if Cutler leads the Bears to some playoff victories. Kyle Orton has gotten them to the postseason.
*** Kevin Seifert at ESPN.com wonders if the daily double of linemen Jarron Gilbert and Henry Melton will turn out better than the player the Bears could have gotten at No. 49. Mohamed Massaquoi or Rashad Johnson anyone?
*** The only team with more picks than the Bears on Sunday was the Dallas Cowboys, which began the day with 12, three more than the Bears. ESPN's John Clayton believes the Bears did a much better job.
"Their picks were consistent and fit needs. Defensive ends Jarron Gilbert and Henry Melton have run the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds and will work with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli on the Bears' pass rush. Safety D.J. Moore had received a higher grade than his third-round selection. The Bears added wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias, who was rated in the round he was selected. Most of the Cowboys' picks were rated two or three rounds lower than their selections."
However, Clayton says New England had the best Day 2 of any team.
*** Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News pins a C on the Bears' draft but points out Angelo had the best third round.
"The Bears had the best third round of this draft. Gilbert and Iglesias were second-round values who slid into the third. The Bears got a late start - their first pick was 68th overall - but they finished strong."
*** Don Banks at SI.com compares Gilbert jumping out of a pool to Kyle Boller throwing the ball through goalposts from his knees before he was draft. Too bad there isn't a pool at the 50-yard line.
"I don't know what to make of this pool-jumping story that has apparently made Bears third-round pick Jarron Gilbert a bit of a YouTube sensation. The San Jose State defensive tackle made waves (sorry, couldn't resist) last summer when he was video-taped jumping out of the shallow end of a pool after being told that ex-Rams, Redskins and Bears safety Adam Archuleta had once performed the same feat. OK, I get it that it means Gilbert is one very strong dude. Granted. But does it ensure that he can really jack up the Bears' pass rush? I don't think so. No more than Kyle Boller being able to throw it through the goal posts from midfield on his knees made him a great quarterback in Baltimore when he was taken in the first round out of Cal in 2003."
*** Banks goes on to wonder if the Bears are gunning to finish near the basement every year in the SEC.
"What's up with Chicago's crush on Vandy? With the Bears picking Vanderbilt cornerback D.J. Moore in the fourth round (119th overall), Lovie Smith's team is turning into the Commodores-North. Moore will have as teammates in Chicago four other ex-Vandy players: quarterback Jay Cutler, offensive tackle Chris Williams, receiver Earl Bennett and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer. By one unofficial count, there are six other Vanderbilt products in the entire rest of the NFL -- or one more than in Chicago."
*** The National Football Post sees Gilbert and Moore as big successes for the Bears.
"We love what the Chicago Bears did. DT Jarron Gilbert is an ideal three-technique guy who can explode off the ball and penetrate into the backfield. Though CB D.J. Moore fell because of his lack of speed, he will likely end up developing into a starter for Chicago in the coming years."
*** Charles Robinson at Yahoo! Sports gives the Bears a B but doesn't believe that Juaquin Iglesias is going to solve the Bears' ongoing issues at wide receiver. Hey, there's always Johnny Knox and Derek Kinder.
*** Mark Maske at the Washington Post gave the Bears a C-plus. He says the price paid for Cutler might have been a little steep.
Time will tell what kind of grade the Bears deserve.