Bears 2016 Draft Class - 3 years later, your thoughts?

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Bears 2016 Draft Class - 3 years later, your thoughts?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:42 pm

Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

WHAT I THOUGHT THEN: Really liked the pick, as Floyd was a dynamic pass-rushing presence, had an intriguing frame and leadership qualities the Bears needed. The trade up to get him had fans a bit riled, but fans are always riled about every damn thing.

WHAT I THINK NOW: I still believe Floyd is capable of 'breaking out,' but even if he doesn't statistically blossom, he's proven he is a reliable and useful player at the NFL level that is less of a leader and more of an excellent versatile piece of a larger puzzle. Underwhelming in some respects, certainly, but he's still very young and his best may be yet to come.

Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State

WHAT I THOUGHT THEN: Whitehair's fall into the second round was fortuitous for the Bears, as he was a 1st grade talent that in other drafts would've perhaps been taken in the top 15. The way things worked out he tumbled because of his position. Bears got an incredible value, even if it wasn't a position of need.

WHAT I THINK NOW: Whitehair's a stud. He's not a god-tier All Pro regular, but he's most certainly a fringe Pro Bowl substitute who gives you 16 starts and can play either C or G. If injuries treat the Bears fairly in 2019, he will hopefully emerge as a Pro Bowler at LG, where arguably he should play worlds better than at C.

Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida

WHAT I THOUGHT THEN: Bullard was celebrated internet-wide as a mega steal for the Bears, and as such we pinned fairly high hopes on Bullard to impress right out of the gate.

WHAT I THINK NOW: Bullard's been a disappointment, to say the least, regularly playing just good enough in preseason to keep his roster spot, but being of zero consequence in the regular season. He has flashes, but he's regularly outworked and outperformed for playing time by other more deserving linemen.

Nick Kwiatkoski, LB, West Virginia

WHAT I THOUGHT THEN: Kwiatkoski was heralded as a big impact guy, special teams prowess, tackling skills off the chart, good character. His name may not have stood out on some draftniks tongues, but his tape showed he could be a very good fit on this defense.

WHAT I THINK NOW: Kwiatkoski is serviceable when healthy, and has met expectations regarding his tackling ability and utility in multiple facets of defense and special teams. He does have slight durability concerns, but showed that he could be a decent starter, even if his ultimate role is a backup and special teams mainstay. His numbers aren't sexy, but they are befitting a player of his role.

Deon Bush, S, Miami

WHAT I THOUGHT THEN: Bush seemed like he could be a halfway decent starter in a few years after bringing some life into special teams with his knack for sniffing out the ball and dishing out big hits.

WHAT I THINK NOW: Bush has been steadily improving after some really unimpressive seasons, but he's not going to be long for the roster if he can't impress in preseason. Clinton-Dix was signed in part because Bush was nowhere near talented enough to replace Amos, and honestly Bush may be dismissed in the preseason cut-downs should others come out of nowhere to impress coaches during exhibition. He's simply not a game-changer, nor is he consistent, but Bush is nowhere near unskilled enough to call him a "bust."

Deiondre’ Hall, DB, Northern Iowa

WHAT I THOUGHT THEN: Hall had great size and a solid resume. Taken along with Bush to be a tandem of the future for Ryan Pace's defensive backs.

WHAT I THINK NOW: Hall's been mostly forgettable. He had a pick his first season, but in years since has scraped by along the bottom of the roster bubble. Like Bush, Hall has succeeded in factors such as work ethic, locker room culture, and non-statistical utility, but has failed to distinguish himself.

Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana

WHAT I THOUGHT THEN: Howard's selection brought a lot of excitement, particularly for a guy in such a late round. The guy was the blue-collar no-bullshit hustler that wins Chicagoans over pretty easily, and the franchise was ready for such a guy. Jeremy Langford was his only competition entering the season, and he had some red flags that made Howard's selection a crucial get.

WHAT I THINK NOW: Howard is obviously the star pick of this draft, and while he did have some issues becoming the swingback that Nagy favors, he showed throughout his entire Bears career that if you give him a competent offensive line and let him carry the ball a few dozen times a game, he'll wear opponents into dust. It sucks he's out in Philly, but the Bears had their reasons for moving on. In time we can recall Jordan Howard as one of the best the franchise has known in the 21st century.

Round 6, pick 185:
Deandre Houston-Carson, S, William & Mary

Round 7, pick 230:
Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan

I have no thoughts on either of these guys.

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Re: Bears 2016 Draft Class - 3 years later, your thoughts?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:26 pm

1-9 Leonard Floyd:
Then — hated the pick, hated the trade up for him.
Now — the guy is a pretty good player. Not a great player, not a game-changer, but pretty good.

2-56 Cody Whitehair:
Then — liked the pick but I felt he was drafted too early.
Now — he was pretty good as a C but I think he's got potential to be great at G.

3-72 Jonathan Bullard:
Then — liked the pick and thought the Bears got a steal in Round 3.
Now — think he's strictly a 3T, and a reserve at that, who hasn't shown any ability to anchor like the Bears need their interior guys to do. A disappointment.

I recall thinking, after Day 2 was done, that if Whitehair and Bullard had been drafted in each other's rounds I would've been really happy with the value. Shows ya what I know.

4-113 Nick Kwiatkoski:
Then — wasn't sure where he fit. Good size but lacked speed.
Now — not sure where he fits. Good size but lacks speed. Has been a plus special teams guy.

4-124 Deon Bush:
Then — hated the pick. Didn't see any value to his game.
Now — still don't think he's very good, but the Bears seem to like him so maybe I'm just an idiot.

4-127 Deiondre' Hall:
Then — loved the pick.
Now — got hurt a lot and then got suspended a game for substance abuse and I'd bet that, coupled with the bar fight he was a part of in 2017, got him traded to Philadelphia.

5-150 Jordan Howard:
Then — loved the pick as I was not a fan of Kadeem Carey or Jeremy Langford.
Now — think he was everything he could have been for the Bears. I wish him well when he's not playing them.

6-185 DeAndre Houston-Carson:
Then — only knew what I'd read from draft sites. Seemed like a decent small-school gamble.
Now — has been better than I thought. Not enough tools to start but a core special teams guy from a 6th rounder is absolutely fine.

7-230 Daniel Braverman:
Then — tiny slot guy who was given opportunities mosly because the Bears' receiving corps was so thin (Jeffery, 1st rounder White, and then a bunch of who?)
Now — three NFL practice squads, an AAF contract and a CFL team later...yeah, pretty much.
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Re: Bears 2016 Draft Class - 3 years later, your thoughts?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:13 pm

Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

Then: IIRC, I wanted DeForest Buckner, but he was gone by the time we picked. I wasn't sure who I wanted the Bears to take instead. I didn't think much of Floyd at the time. This was also the year after we drafted Kevin White. That pick will piss me off until the day I die so I wasn't too thrilled with another pick that I didn't like. It was around this time that I started questioning Pace. I'm sure I did the whole, "Here we go again. The Bears mess up another 1st round pick." thing again.

Now: Floyd really has disappointed me and especially last year. Mack is lined up opposite him. Goldman and Hicks provide an excellent interior line. Roquan was awesome last year. Why hasn't Floyd just gone off and gotten 10 sacks? He also doesn't stay healthy very well. Then of course we pick up his option year and pay him a ton of money. I don't get it. I don't think the Bears should've picked up that option. $15M / year could've gotten us a better value I think or we start working on extending our existing stars. I think a sack from Floyd means more than a sack from Mack because if Floyd does that enough the opposing offense is somehow going to have to account for both Mack and Floyd and they won't be able to do it. Especially with Roquan periodically blitzing from the middle.

Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State

Then: We needed to address OL so my frustration with Floyd didn't help by being bored, although very necessary, with an OL pick.

Now: This really worked out and Whitehair should be getting extended.

Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida

Then: I'm sure I was excited about this pick. OK I was wrong. I get meatball about drafting players from certain colleges: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, and LSU.

Now: Good thing we drafted Bilal Nichols who I think can be a Pro Bowler.

Kwiatkoski, Bush and Hall:

Then: I didn't know enough to have a good opinion one way or another. Although I do remember getting pissed that we hadn't taken a RB yet.

Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana

Then: We needed a new RB and we needed one bad. Forte was starting to decline. I was frustrated that we waited so long to draft somebody, but I was happy that we drafted a RB.

Now: Obviously this pick was amazing. It is sad that Howard didn't fit the mold of Nagy's offense. I hated to see him go. Hated it. However I understand why and I'm really excited about Montgomery and what Run DMC can bring.


Then: I didn't know enough to have a good opinion.
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Re: Bears 2016 Draft Class - 3 years later, your thoughts?

Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:29 am

In general, Hated the first round selection of Floyd, because I saw him as more of an athlete than a football player, who made his name against lesser competition. He isn't a bad player, but more of a guy I'd take a chance on in the back 1/3 of the first round, not freaking trade up for him in the top 10. I really wanted Jack Conklin, but he went early. Honestly thought we were jumping up to get Hargreaves when the trade was announced, then was a little shocked to see Floyd.

The rest of the draft was a great speculative draft by Pace. He knows how to pull gems out of the dirt, and if we had had better (or different) coaching, we might have seen a few more develop.
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Re: Bears 2016 Draft Class - 3 years later, your thoughts?

Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:24 pm


Then - I hated it at the time it was made. I thought he was a bad fit for this defense. I worried that he would struggle to play at a suitable NFL weight, that he would struggle to stay healthy, and that he would struggle to get off blocks. I loved his athletic ability and versatility, but I didn't see "instant impact" when I watched him. I thought he was a fancy version of Christian Jones. I was pining for DeForest Buckner and Ronnie Stanley, but they went before Floyd. After that I was hoping for Tunsil (even with the issues) or a trade down for Jalyon Smith or even Floyd himself. But, it seems as though the Giants would have taken Floyd at 10, so I understand why they made the pick. I just didn't agree with it.

Now - I wasn't completely wrong, but he's grown on me due to his work ethic. He's got mounds of talent, but it just hasn't all come together. That could be due to his difficulty staying healthy. I'm hoping he shows up in a big way this year.


Then - I was still mad at the Floyd pick, so I was pretty sour on the Whitehair pick as well. I thought "cool, the Bears just drafted Christian Jones and Charles Leno again". Still I had Whitehair graded as a late first round pick at the time, so I thought it was a good value. I hated that it meant the end for Slausen. I really hated it when they put him at center when Grasu got hurt (I thought Larsen should have played there). But overall I thought it was a pretty good pick.

Now - He's proven to be an excellent pick and I'm extremely happy that he's finally going to play at the position he was drafted to play.


Then - I thought it was a good value, but a bad fit. I didn't like all the pre-draft reports that Bullard would rather play 3T in a 4-3. Again, my opinion was that they had drafted yet another guy similar to what they already had (This time it was McPhee and Houston, who were very similar in terms of size/weight/speed). I thought Bullard was a sub-package guy who would be miscast in the Bears 3-4 defense.

Now - I was right. He's got a good first step, but the defense just doesn't suit him. Maybe he can realize his potential under Pagano's version of the 3-4, but I'm not convinced. He needs to play DT in a 4-3.


Then - I hadn't heard much about him leading up to the draft other than he was WV's best defensive player. I liked that they added a guy who seemed to be a solid ST player and that they added depth to the ILB group... but had no idea who he was.

Now - He has very much outplayed his draft slot and he's quietly become one of my favorite unsung guys on the defense. Excellent run defender. He'd start for a lot of teams in the NFL. I'd love for him to stick around and take over for Trevathan.


Then - I loved the idea of an athletic safety that could hit. I did think he was taken a little too high though.

Now - I do believe Bush is a fringe starter with an opportunity to be more, and thought he was finally going to get his shot when Amos left. He hasn't hurt the Bears when he's on the field, and can play nickle/dime/slot CB.


Then - Hall was my favorite pick of the draft and hoped he'd be able to make the transition from part time WR and part time DB to full time corner. I honestly thought he was a poor mans Rogers-Cromartie and would be the starting corner opposite Fuller for a long time.

Now - Well, none of that happened. He was ok, but never made the jump.


Then - I loved the pick...I had him mocked in R2 to...the Eagles. His game against Iowa was one of my favorite college games of his to watch. I expected him to start day 1.

Now - Even if he wasn't a day 1 starter (because Fox is/was a stubborn ass), he was great while he was here. I was sorry to see him go. He gave the Bears excellent production for a 5th round pick.


Then - I liked him as a corner...thought he had great length and good speed for an outside guy (he played mostly corner at W&M).

Now - He's been a solid contributor and has developed into one of the Bears better ST guys, but probably isn't long for the roster.


Then - I had pretty high hopes he'd develop into the consistent slot player that the Bears desperately needed.

Now - He didn't.

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