Kiper gives 2011 draft a "C"

Kiper gives 2011 draft a "C"

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 01/16/2012 - 23:25
With the playoff action, changes that have already occurred on the Bears’ coaching staff and those that will be made soon, plus the search for a new G.M., Mel Kiper’s re-grading of the 2011 draft was almost lost in the shuffle. Kiper originally gave the Bears a “B” for their five picks, but after a year to evaluate, he dropped that grade to a “C,” which seems about right. Jerry Angelo’s last draft class could have lived up to its original grade had starting ORT Gabe Carimi not been lost for the season in Week Two. “Carimi could pan out at right tackle and had the job coming out of camp,” Kiper said. “There's no telling whether he'll be able to move to the left side.” It would be ideal if Carimi could handle the responsibility of protecting Jay Cutler’s blind side because J’Marcus Webb has yet to prove that he’s the right man for left tackle job. But if Carimi turns into an above-average starter on the right side for the next 10 years, he’ll be considered a solid late-first-round pick. Kiper isn’t ready to fully commit on second-round DT Stephen Paea, but gives him the benefit of the doubt, for now. “Paea is a player who should continue to develop under (defensive coordinator) Rod Marinelli,” Kiper said, “but he was a part-timer this season for an improved defensive line.” If you ask me, the Bears’ D-line was a disappointment this season, and Paea should have been able to make more of an impact, but he did show occasional flashes. Considering Carimi’s injury, it was third-round safety Chris Conte who was the Bears’ best value pick, given that he started nine games. “Conte was able to work his way on to the first team at safety,” Kiper said, “but that was a clear weakness for Chicago, and it accounts for the best production out of this class to this point. Some good need picks, but it's pretty fair to say the ceiling isn't high right now.”
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