Grading an NFL team's draft is even more of an inexact science than the draft itself. The New England Patriots received mostly B's for their 2000 draft, but the two most important acquisitions weren't even considered: coach Bill Belichick from the New York Jets for their first-round pick (16th overall) and quarterback Tom Brady of Michigan in the sixth round (199th overall).
Brady, of course, has been the best player in the entire draft, with the Bears' Brian Urlacher (ninth overall) No. 2. Belichick has led the Patriots to five Super Bowls, with three championships. The Patriots' first-round pick ended up with the 49ers, who took eventual five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Julian Peterson. But it was well worth trading the pick for New England.
So with that in mind, here are some post-draft grades on the Bears' 2012 draft.
MEL KIPER, JR. ESPN: C+ (overall); C+ (needs); C (value)
''Shea McClellin is a good player and will help out the pass rush, but I didn't see him going quite this high. I just don't think he has quite the ceiling of a guy like Whitney Mercilus. But he at least fills a need. Alshon jeffery gives them another option at wide receiver, but needs to prove he can do more than bdeat defenders using size to get to passes. For one, he's not as big as he'd been listed for several years, and he must get better as a route-runner. Can he separate? it's still a question. Brando Hardin was a reach, though he'll stick. My big question is about needs. The Bears just don't have a lot of talent on the offensive line. Gabe Carimi will be back, but I'm really surprised they had six picks and didn't get a single offensive lineman. Even if it wasn't a big need, I'd want to get a young guy in there. The Bears also didn't get a defensive tackle, which I had as a need.''
(It should be noted that by Kiper's ratings, the Bears in effect ''drafted'' an offensive tackle by signing Troy's James Brown, whom Kiper had rated as the 54th best player in the draft, as an undrafted free agent.)
PETE PRISCO, CBSsports.com/nfldraft.com: C
Best pick: ''Third-round safety Brandon Hardin has played corner, so he has range. He missed the 2010 season with a shoulder injury, but is healthy now. Rangy safeties are in vogue now.''
Questionable move: ''I don't like the pick of receiver Alshon Jeffery in the second round. He is too much like Brandon Marshall and doesn't run well enough.''
Third-day gem: ''Isaiah Frey is a corner form Nevada who faced some good passing teams in college. He isn't a great man player, but might be a nice nickel corner.''
Analysis: ''They took Shea McClellin in the first round and he will play left end, although a lot of scouts saw him as a 3-4 outside rusher. I think he'll be fine as an end. I don't like the Jeffery pick and they didn't get a lot the rest of the way. I do like Hardin.''
JOHN CZARNECKI, Fox.com: C-
''Two of the first three picks were defenders. Boise State's Shea McClellin is a farm-tough linebacker who can rush the passer and also line up on the outside. Oregon State safety Brandon Hardin missed the entire 2011 season due to shoulder surgery, but the Bears say he'll be ready for rookie mini-camp. ... South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery is a big-body receiver with 4.48 speed. Jeffery, though, was better two years ago than he was last season, some believing he was protecting himself against injury for this draft. His high-school basketball team won four state titles, and he can jump out of the gym. ... Temple's Evan Rodriguez could emerge as a tight end/H-back player. They really didn't address their offensive line needs, however.''
VINNY IYER, The Sporting News: A-
These are the kind of complementary players to their veteran stars who can push them back into the postseason.
EVAN SILVA, rotoworld.com: B+
''The Bears made an aggressive move up for Jeffery, without conceding much (pick 150), and otherwise used their picks where slotted. While Jeffery's on-field potential can be debated, he adds an element to a receiver corps that can now be among the most potent in football. McClellin will be a disruptive ''Joker'' if Chicago's staff uses him right, and Hardin is an intriguing talent in the back end at 6-foo-3, 217 with 4.44 wheels. Rodriguez has some Aaron Hernandez to his game. Only time will tell, but it looks lie rookie GM Phil Emery's first win.''
CHRIS BURKE, si.com: C
''Can Shea McClellin develop into the pass-rusher Chicago needs? Will Alshon Jeffery stay in shape? Is Brandon Hardin healthy? The Bears took some risks early and nabbed a couple of borderline prospects late.''
TODD McSHAY, ESPN: No grade
Impact pick: DB Brandon Hardin (third) - ''He missed the entire 2011 season with a broken shoulder, but Hardin's 2010 tape shows he can be a sub-package defender who can match up with bigger wideouts in the slot and be a physical presence against the run. He can also be a big-time contributor on special teams, and I think he's hungry to get back on the field. Plus, in a division where the Bears have to face the likes of WR Calvin Johnson and Packers TE Jermichael Finley twice a year, it's not a bad idea to have a defensive back who can come over and fight for jump balls.''
Intriguing pick: WR Alshon Jeffery (second) - ''Jeffery lacks suddenness and will need be a great route-runner, but if he can commit to staying in shape, his elite downfield ball skills and ability to make plays in the red zone will be tremendous assets. The Bears invested a lot in Jeffery, and whether he works hard on and off the field to improve his game will determine the value Chicago gets from the pick.''