Phil Emery sounded last weekend about right for an NFL GM after a draft: “Really feel good about the direction the draft took for us in terms of lining up with our plan and for it all coming together. We were really looking for good players at positions of need now and in the future and feel very comfortable and confident that we were able to accomplish that throughout the draft.”'
Emery and the Bears were looking at “positions of need now and in the future,” and how really good Emery and the organization should feel will begin playing out on Friday at Halas Hall. The Bears begin a three-day rookie minicamp, closed to the public but wide open for a rookie class selected not to be backups, but to make an impact in the 2014 season.
Call it “freshman orientation, NFL-style” but the Bears want to see what they have sooner rather than later.
Emery described the safety position as “wide open” in the days leading up to the draft. Minnesota safety Brock Vereen, was taken in the fourth round of the draft to make the position a little less wide open. Depth-chart decisions won’t be made based on the weekend’s work but life affords only one chance to make a first impression, and the Bears traded up into the fourth round for Vereen to be more than a backup and special-teams contributor.
The No. 2 running back position wasn’t ID’d as wide open. But the release of Michael Bush left a vacancy that Ka’Deem Carey was drafted to fill. Not in 2015. Now.
The interior defensive line was a shambles due to injury. Emery and the Bears drafted LSU’s Ego Ferguson and Arizona State’s Will Sutton in rounds two and three to address that issue both now and in the future.
And No. 1 pick Kyle Fuller was selected as nothing short of a starting nickel back to open the 2014 season and arguably a starting cornerback by the end of it.
“What’s going to be important is how our players come together and fit with one another and fit with our staff and take to instruction and bring our system together,” Emery said. “And through the OTAs and through the preseason and preseason games, and then we’ll have an idea where we’re at after that ball’s kicked off in that first game against Buffalo.”
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That all begins Friday for the biggest (eight picks) of Emery’s three draft classes.