With the NFL draft upon us, Phil Emery is faced with his first draft as new Bears general manager.
With a playoff-contending team and a roster of veteran players who want to win now, Emery has a tricky decision to make about who he wants to draft in Round 1: a “ready now” player who will help the Bears immediately in 2012, or a player who may not start right away but has the talent to be a factor in future years.
In speaking with the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs, Emery revealed the Bears are currently working from a list of seven players as they consider possibilities for the 19th overall pick in the first round Thursday.
With Bears needing help on both the defensive and offensive lines, along with needs at wide receiver and cornerback, here’s a list of who the “Emery 7” may be, in no particular order:
Probable Emery 7
- Defensive end who had only 1 big year with the Fighting Illini last season, registering 15 sacks.
- Would complement Julius Peppers well.
- A starter for the past two seasons protecting Andrew Luck’s blind side.
- Would be a big plus for Jay Cutler’s protection.
- Measures in at 6’5”-3/4, 312 lbs.
Michael Floyd-WR-Notre Dame
- Most projections have Floyd gone by the time the Bears select at #19. However, if Floyd is available, it would be difficult to pass on him.
- The chance to pair him with Brandon Marshall upgrades Bears offense drastically.
- A big end at almost 6’6” with very good rush speed.
- A raw talent with a big upside.
- Creates a dangerous pairing with Peppers.
Stephon Gilmore-CB-South Carolina
- Second-rated cornerback after LSU CB Morris Claiborne.
- Gilmore has size, 6’0-1/2, speed (4.4 40-yard dash), and a durability, having started every game at cornerback (40).
- A need position for Bears.
Quinton Coples-DE-North Carolina
- Combination of size, speed and athleticism.
- Coples measures in at 6’6”, 284 lbs.
- Should he drop to Bears #19 pick, Emery would be hard-pressed to pass on this talented defensive end.
- Another top prospect that may drop to the Bears, Reiff is the #2 tackle in most NFL circles.
- Started every game his last two years at Iowa and known for his tough demeanor.
- Would immediately improve offensive line and pass protection for Cutler.
- Close to 6’6” and 315 Lbs.
Sleepers for Emery 7
- Very strong and durable defensive tackle.
- Would make an immediate impact on Bears front four, especially against the run.
Stephen Hill-WR-Georgia Tech
- Number 3 ranked receiver in draft.
- Hill is a dynamic combination of height, speed, and weight, measuring in combine at 6’4”, 215 lbs and a best 40-yard time of 4.36.
- Will be an intriguing choice for Emery if still on the board at #19.
There are going to be multiple options for the new Bears GM to choose from, and his reputation with the Kansas City Chiefs is that he excels at the draft and at evaluating college players.
The clock is on for Phil Emery.