Five Players the Bears Will Regret Passing on in the 2013 NFL Draft
Some teams end up with more than others, and those general managers aren't typically employed for much longer. Unless they managed to select the best player in each round, the Bears will wish they made at least one different selection at some point.
This list is not to say I disliked the Bears' draft or any of the players they took. I'm already on record with how much I liked their draft.
There is no question the Bears left a number of talented players on the board. Some of those players could come back to haunt them for years within the division. Others are players who could have helped them as either potential starters or just for depth.
Whether it's players who could have helped the team or players who will be a nightmare to play against, here are five guys the Bears will wish they found a way to get on their roster.
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Many projected Floyd to be a top-five pick, but he plummeted down the draft board, and the Bears could be among the teams who will regret passing on him.
The concern about Floyd is the length of his arms, leading some to believe he'll struggle rushing the passer in the NFL. It seems more likely we'll look back and roll our eyes at that being the reason such a good prospect waited so long to hear his name called.
I don't know if Floyd will ever be a great pass-rusher. Scouts Inc. (subscription required) rated him as average in that department—but he was "exceptional" in run defense, quickness and toughness/motor.
The Bears wouldn't necessarily need Floyd to be a great pass-rusher.
If he could play the nose tackle and rotate at the 3-technique, he would provide them with one more weapon along a defensive line that already features star-caliber players in Julius Peppers and Henry Melton as well as 2012 first-round pick Shea McClellin.
Instead, Floyd is heading to Minnesota where he will get the chance to play between former Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen and defensive tackle Kevin Williams.
Floyd's short arms might prevent him from being a dominant pass-rusher, but they shouldn't prevent him from being an impact player that the Bears will have to deal with for years.
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Patterson is a project, but with the right coaching, he can become one of the scariest players in the league.
All you have to do is type his name into YouTube and you'll see what so many Vikings fans are excited about. The draw back, however, is lack of experience.
Patterson only played one year at Tennessee and had issues with route running and reading defenses. Scouts Inc. (subscription required) noted that he "is clearly coasting from time to time. Does not work hard enough in preparation and does not pay attention to detail."
Those are the kinds of things that can limit a receiver's impact. However, they're also similar flaws to what Randy Moss had, and it worked out alright for him.
This isn't as much about what he is or what he will be, but rather what he could be.
What Patterson needs is a coach who can put him in a position to make plays and a veteran to take him under their wing. I believe the Bears could have provided that with offensive guru Marc Trestman as the head coach and Brandon Marshall as the leader of the receivers.
I don't know what the Vikings will be able to get out of Patterson. They have a good wide receiver's coach in George Stewart, but their play calling is unimaginative.
Still, Patterson is a scary enough athlete that the Bears and every other team will have to account for him every time he is on the field. Even if Patterson doesn't pan out, it will be worth questioning if he could have in a different situation.
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The former Alabama defensive tackle is raw, and he suffered a late-season knee injury, but he showed great athleticism at Alabama's Pro Day.
He likely would've been a nose tackle for the Bears, but his athletic ability suggests he could shift to a 3-technique if necessary, despite weighing 325 pounds.
The Bears need to be tougher up the middle.
Although they were eighth in run defense, they were pushed around a bit by the better running teams. They played six games against top 10 rushing teams, giving up an average of 138 rushing yards per game. That number isn't terrible, but it could be better.
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One of the biggest questions the Bears have this offseason is with their depth at the wide receiver position. Wheaton would've helped in terms of depth and adding another dimension to their offense.
With Devin Hester seemingly limited to return duties, the Bears will enter next season with only three receivers with significant experience, two of which—Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett—have a history of injuries.
It's too early to say if Jeffery is injury prone or unlucky, but Bennett has played 16 games just once in his four-year career and has missed nine games over the last two seasons.
While rookie receivers don't typically make a huge impact, Wheaton exited Oregon State as the school's all-time leading receiver. The fact that he's been a starter for the last three years makes it more likely he'd be able to play right away.
He would also give the Bears a vertical threat, something their offense currently lacks.
Scouts Inc. (subscription required) refers to Wheaton as a "track star whose game is based on speed and ability to stretch the field vertically." This is an area where Jeffery may help if healthy this season, but it would be nice to have a backup plan.
Seventh rounder Marquess Wilson could make an impact this year, but he'll be just 21 years old—so it may take time for him to develop.
Wheaton went to the Steelers in the third round. Since 2009, they've drafted four wide receivers, three of which—Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown—have become impact players for them. That success rate suggests they know what they're doing at that position and Wheaton will be a good addition.
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Taylor has issues with durability, but would immediately be the third best cornerback on the Bears and could take a starting spot next year.
Kelvin Hayden was the nickel corner for most of last year, but his play warranted an upgrade. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), opponents had a passer rating of 93.2 when throwing in his direction. He was particularly bad in key losses to Minnesota and Green Bay in Weeks 14 and 15 when he allowed 10 of 14 passes to be completed for a touchdown.
Taylor was rated as "above average" in instincts/recognition and cover skills by Scouts Inc. (subscription required) and was "average" in ball skills and run support.
He was viewed by some as a possible first-round pick, but dropped because of health issues. He missed the 2009 season with a knee injury and four games in 2011 with a hamstring injury—but didn't miss another game in his collegiate career.
He's a player who could make an immediate impact and be a long-term starter with both Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings in the last year of their contracts.
If Jon Bostic doesn't play much this year and Hayden has a repeat of his 2012 season, the Bears will almost certainly regret passing on Taylor. Had they used their second-round pick on him, it would've been hard to argue with it.