By: Peter Bobrinskoy
It’s currently 12:47 AM on a Thursday night. I just got back from being at my friend’s apartment where we watched the entire first round of the NFL draft and I want somebody to punch me in the face. I want someone to punch me for two reasons. The first reason is because I just wasted 2 and ½ hours of my time watching a live event where I knew 9 of the players called and was completely bored out of mind. Comedian Bill Burr compared watching the NFL Draft to being at a graduation where you don’t know anybody in the senior class. The second reason is because I have now come to the realization that I hate Ryan Pace more than anything. I wrote a blog a month ago warning Ryan Pace about free agency and how he needs to stay away from it. That he needs to receive compensation picks and build entirely through the draft, collecting as many draft picks as possible. Instead Ryan Pace has done the exact opposite. He couldn’t help himself and signed Jerrell Freeman, Akiem Hicks, Bobby Massie, Ted Larsen, Omar Bolden, Manny Ramirez, and Danny Trevathan. I mean why did the Bears fire Phil Emery if they were just going to hire the exact same person after? Ryan Pace is making the exact same mistakes Phil Emery made. Phil Emery never put all of his chips into the NFL draft. Rookie contracts, under the new collective bargaining agreement are much cheaper than veteran free agents, therefore having way more value. The best teams in the NFL collect as many draft picks as possible. The three ways of receiving more draft picks? Receiving compensation picks by staying away from free agency, trading players for draft picks, and trading down in the draft. Ryan Pace has done none of those things. He thinks he is, when he trades Martellus Bennett and Brandon Marshall for draft assets. The worst GMs think that moving up in the draft is more important than having more draft picks. He traded Brandon Marshall and a 7th round pick to the Jets in exchange for a 5th round pick. Why the hell did get give the Jets that 7th round pick? Same with the Patriots. Why did he give Martellus Bennet and a 6th round pick for a 4th round pick. Gaining more picks is more valuable than moving up in the draft. That is why Bill Belicheck is so much better at the NFL draft than anybody else. He moves back as much as possible so he can gain more picks. He’s not thinking about giving up multiple assets in order to gain just one asset.
I was really crossing my fingers earlier today, hoping there was a chance the Bears were going to pull a “Bill Belicheck” and trade down in the draft and receive more draft picks. But here we were with the 11th pick in the draft today and instead of pulling a “Bill Belicheck”, Ryan Pace decided to pull a “Phil Emery”. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on the clock with the 9th pick and according to Ian Rapaport, were planning on taking Vernon Hargreaves, a cornerback out of Florida. Ryan Pace, scared that the Giants with the 10th pick were going to take Leonard Floyd after, decided to give the Bucs a fourth round pick so the Bears could move up two spots and be assured they would get Leonard Floyd. Now I am not a college football scout, I have never seen Leonard Floyd play football before, and for all I know this guy could become a future pro bowler someday. But this trade is a symbol for why the Bears have sucked the last 25 years. This trade is a symbol that the Bears do not value having as many draft picks as possible. Two picks later the Bucs drafted Vernon Hargreaves, the player they wanted all along. The Bears literally just gave the Buccaneers a fourth round for waiting and getting the exact same player they wanted. Other teams have thrived off of the Bears stupidity for years. The Bears like to sign splashy free agents, move up in the draft, an be an exciting team that likes to be aggressive with their roster moves. I don’t care if the Bears only gave away a 7th round pick to move up. They moved in the wrong direction. More picks, not less.
There are two types of teams in the NFL. The smart ones that understand how valuable it is to stockpile picks, and the desperate and greedy ones, which don’t. The former get that having as many players on rookie contracts as possible is a good thing; the latter still mistakenly think that the quarterback trumps all. Look at the Rams and Eagles who traded up and thought like Phil Emery. The other day I was reading the Chicago Tribune and reporter Brad Biggs was answering a fan’s question when he said, “Why did Ryan Pace sign free agents as opposed to building through the draft?” And Brad Biggs defended Ryan Pace saying that the Bears had way too many holes to fix. That having 9 draft picks in this draft would not be enough to fix all the problems. What Brad Biggs does not understand is that if the Bears didn’t make stupid decisions last year like signing Eddie Royal, Pernell McPhee, and Antrel Rolle in free agency. They would have gained potentially three compensation picks and would have had 12 draft picks to play with this year and to help rebuild this team. Biggs then went on to say that roster building is a healthy balance. No it is not. Roster building should 100% be through the NFL draft. The Packers, Seahawks, and Ravens have proven that. Read this next sentence and read it good. The Bears will never be consistently better than the Packers as long as the Packers have 11 draft picks every year while the Bears have 7.