Chicago Bears‘ general manager Phil Emery is no short of surprises. That much was proven when Emery hired Canadian Football League head coach Marc Trestman to replace Lovie Smith as the Chicago Bears’ head coach. Emery managed to surprise us once again with the Bears’ first round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Even though linebackers Manti Te’o and Alec Ogletree, and tight end Tyler Eifert were all on the board when the Bears were on the clock, Emery opted to draft former Oregon offensive guard Kyle Long. Long was expected to be a second round draft pick which is why many were surprised when the Bears’ used the 20th overall selection to take the son of hall of famer Howie Long and the brother of St Louis Rams’ defensive end Chris Long.
For Emery, Long was the player that the team had targeted with their first round selection.
“He’s the type of athlete and player that we have targeted,” said Emery, who thought Long was the best offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl. “[He’s a] fast, tough [and] dynamic athlete — a productive athlete. … We see a player who is going to contribute right away.” -Phil Emery, Chicago Sun Times
Typically when a general manager drops the line of “he’s the type of athlete and player that we have targeted,” it is viewed as cliché because general managers couldn’t say anything else. However, considering the wide array of options the Bears had with the 20th overall selection it is fair to suggest that Long actually is the player that the Bears targeted with their first round selection.
That would also be the reason why Emery did not trade down with the 20th overall selection in the first round.
“We had some people call us, but nothing that would take us off that pick,” Emery said. “Kyle was the player that we targeted. We’ve targeted him for the last couple of weeks. He had to be gone for us to move back.” -Phil Emery, Chicago Sun Times
Interesting enough, Long was widely expected to be drafted in the second round. Meaning the Bears likely would have been able to trade their 20th overall selection for additional draft picks–including a third round selection–and still would have been able to draft Long in the second round. Emery, though, was the one that was in the Bears’ draft room so it is likely he knew something that the public didn’t know and that is why he opted not to trade down and instead, draft Long with the Bears’ 20th overall selection.
The Bears now enter Friday’s portion of the draft with the 50th overall selection (18th in the second round) and no third round selection. Former Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te’o is still available and if he is when the Bears are on the clock, then there is a good chance he will be the Bears’ second round selection.