A new chapter begins in Chicago Bears' history when first-year general manager Ryan Pace oversees the club's 2015 NFL Draft which starts on Thursday. For every general manager, the draft is the most important building block towards becoming a perennial playoff contender. Organizations that hit on the bulk of their draft picks tend to sustain success. Franchises with poor draft records often cycle through front office members and coaches at a rapid rate.
Here is the final in a series of three recaps of how the Bears fared under former general manager Phil Emery.
Total picks: 8
Left on the roster: 8
First round: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech -- 16 games played (14 starts), 73 tackles, four interceptions and three forced fumbles. Fuller resembles a future Pro Bowler. Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 2 at San Francisco. Fuller finished first among rookies in interceptions (four) and forced fumbles (three). Fuller also led the Bears in pass-break-ups with nine.
Second round: Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU -- 16 games played, 27 tackles, two sacks and three pass-break-ups. Ferguson finished fourth amongst rookie defensive tackles in sacks (two). At 6-foot-2, 315 pounds, Ferguson has the build to play nose tackle in a 3-4 front. He gained valuable experience as a rookie.
Third round: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State -- 15 games played (five starts), 25 tackles, and 2.5 tackles-for-loss. Sutton also gained valuable experience in 2014, but at six feet tall, where does he play in a 3-4? Sutton resembles a three-technique in a 4-3 defensive alignment and he may face an uphill climb to earn a roster spot.
Fourth round: Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona -- 14 games played, 158 rushing yards, five receptions for 57 yards. Carey rushed for a season-high 72 yards on 14 carries against Green Bay in Week 4. He was used sparingly after that. The Bears should draft another running back this year, but Carey has a good shot to make the team. Chicago needs to protect themselves at tailback with Matt Forte's contact set to expire next spring.
Fourth round: Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota -- 16 games played (five starts), 38 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. Vereen made eight tackles on special teams last year and is a bright player. His size ((5-11, 199 pounds) is a concern as the new defensive coaches prefer more physical, run-stopping safeties.
Sixth round: David Fales, QB, San Jose State -- Fales did not play in 2014 and spent much of the season on the practice squad. The Bears drafted Fales because they viewed him as a future backup.
Sixth round: Pat O'Donnell, P, Miami -- 16 games played, 43.8 average, 37.7 net average. The Bears found their punter of the future.
Seventh round: Charles Leno, OT, Boise State -- Six games played (one start). Leno got his feet wet making one start against the Minnesota Vikings on November 16. He is expected to compete for a roster spot in 2015.