Monday Morning Draft Grades — Reviewing Day 1’s Haul In-Depth

| April 29th, 2024

Quick Disclaimer: I hate Draft Grades.

These flimsy ‘grades’ are built far too quickly and rely entirely on the grader’s (my) priors, ultimately boiling down to questions like these:

  • Did I like the players Ryan Poles drafted before we entered draft week?
  • Do I agree with Poles’ teambuilding philosophy or do I want to hold it against him?
  • Do I think Poles ‘over-drafted’ any of the players he selected? Or did he ‘steal’ a few of his players instead?

These questions leave far too much room for subjectivity and ask the grader to make too many judgement calls, often resulting in guesses and good vibes that include some context while leaving out others. Take for instance the grades handed out to Ryan Pace’s 2019 Draft, arguably the worst Bears draft in recent memory — would it surprise you that a draft without a 1st or 2nd round pick still received multiple ‘A’s and quite a few ‘B’s? What does any of that mean?

Maybe it’s my engineering background, but I want to measure Ryan Poles’ latest draft against something a bit more firm — I want to assess the ‘value’ he got out of the 2024 draft, and I believe that requires a new set of questions to measure Poles against:

  • Do Ryan Poles’ 2024 selections make sense within the Bears’ current contention timeframe?
  • Which positions did Ryan Poles target? How difficult is replacing/upgrading each selection’s position outside of the draft?
  • Does each chosen player fill a role within Chicago’s big picture? If so, how important is that role?
  • How much success does each chosen player need to achieve to justify their selection?
  • Finally, what do I think of the player?

With our criteria set, I think we can properly assess Poles’ 2024 Draft Class. Let’s dive right in with…

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