Poor drafts in Chicago exposed on cutdown day

The Chicago Bears have not drafted well in recent years.

It’s a primary reason why the club was a huge player in free agency, signing defensive end Julius Peppers, running back Chester Taylor and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna to contracts in excess of $55 million guaranteed.

The point was driven home further when general manager Jerry Angelo admitted his mistakes by releasing his top two picks from 2009 – defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert and wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias. Both players barely saw the field as rookies.

Both were third-round draft picks but it needs to be pointed out that the Bears held a second-round draft pick, electing to trade down with Seattle to then select Gilbert 68th overall and then defensive lineman Henry Melton in the fourth round. Iglesias was the 99th overall selection.

The Bears also pulled the plug on guard/center Josh Beekman, a fourth-round draft pick in 2007. That means the team has four players from its nine-man draft class of 2007 on the roster. The numbers are the same for 2009. The team drafted nine players last year and only four will be on the 53-man roster to begin the season.

Depth is quickly an issue for teams that do not draft well and the Bears have struggled in that regard. At least they’re no longer handing out roster spots to draft picks, a problem that happened in the past. When a team makes a mistake, it’s only compounded by sticking with players who cannot contribute.

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