Tuesday, March 01, 2005

From the Left Coast

Greetings from Palm Springs. It’s going to be close to 80 tomorrow and I have my in-laws to baby sit. In other words, there is a heaven and it’s not Iowa.

So, Muhsin Muhammad is a Chicago Bear and David Terrell is not. Cap implications aside (and that’s hard to do in today’s NFL), this is a fantabulous move. While David wasn’t exactly Sosa-esqe, he was a lousy player who was a big distraction. And he cost his team on the field. Good riddance.

Welcome, Mushin. A word or two of warning. Chicago grows quarterbacks like Fargo grows rap bands. Good luck finding someone to get you the ball.

David joins the long line of Bear first round draft busts since the end of the Ditka era. If you look at the list since Dave Wannstedt’s first year in Chicago, the Bears have made 12 picks in the first round and traded away another. Here they are:

Year Round Pick Player
2004 1 14 Tommie Harris DT
2003 1 14 Michael Haynes DE
1 22 Rex Grossman QB
2002 1 29 Marc Colombo T
2001 1 8 David Terrell WR
2000 1 9 Brian Urlacher LB
1999 1 12 Cade McNown QB
1998 1 5 Curtis Enis RB
1997 No Pick – Traded for Rick Mirer
1996 1 13 Walt Harris DB
1995 1 21 Rashaan Salaam RB
1994 1 11 John Thierry DE
1993 1 7 Curtis Conway WR

I count 1 really good pick, that being the guy the Bears didn’t want and buried out of position until an injury occurred – Brian Urlacher. Beyond that, there’s 1 decent pick (Harris), 3 marginals (Conway, Thierry, Salaam), 5 pure busts (Columbo, Terrell, McNown, Enis, Mirer), and 3 unknowns (Harris, Haynes, Grossman).

It’s for this reason that the Bears keep spending money on free agents like Adewale Ogunleye, Muhammad, and John Tait: They haven’t been able to draft well. Drafting well allows a team to keep a core of players together longer as draftees don’t affect the cap heavily for several years.

While this is a good move for 2005, I’m not sure it’s a great move for beyond. Then again, a good draft in 2005 would be a big help.

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