By Adam Hoge-
(CBS) — The Emery Six.
Six players have been targeted by Bears general manager Phil Emery to select at No. 14 on Thursday night when the NFL Draft starts. Now the question is, will one of those six be available when the Bears are on the clock?
We don’t necessarily know who those six players are, but chances are at least five of them are defensive players, probably all six. Based on simple math, if we assume all six are defensive players, that means eight offensive players would have to be selected in the first 13 picks to guarantee one of Emery’s Six will be available.
But we also can assume that Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack are not one of Emery’s Six and will be selected in the top 13.
So the magic number tonight is six. The Bears should be hoping at least six offensive players go in the first 13 picks. That’s a reasonable number and one that should be reached, but it would still be in the Bears’ best interest to have more than six offensive players go in the top 13.
The Bears may have six players they’ll be happy to draft at No. 14, but they also have those players ranked in an order from 1-6 and, like any team, they’d like to draft closer to No. 1 than No 6 on their draft board. The chances the Bears can trade back and add more picks later in the draft will also be affected by how many of the Emery Six are still on the board at No. 14.
So, with that in mind, here are three developments to watch closely in the first 13 picks.
This class of quarterbacks has been highly polarizing. Some believe there should be an early run on quarterbacks, while others believe only one or two even belong in the first round.
Count me among the latter. I wouldn’t take a quarterback until No. 20, where I believe Derek Carr would be a good fit for the Arizona Cardinals.
I have no idea what Emery thinks about these quarterbacks, but I do know he has watched them closely. Why? Because he needs to know how many of them will be selected before his pick at No. 14.
The more, the better.
Emery said he expects two quarterbacks to come off the board in the first 13 picks, but he hopes three are selected. The players to watch are Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Carr. If you’re a Bears fans, you should be happy if any of those players are selected before the Bears go on the clock.
Other offensive weapons
It would be a huge surprise if Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and Greg Robinson aren’t drafted in the top 13, but other names to keep an eye on are Jake Matthews, Eric Ebron and even Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin.
Those last two names, in particular, are names to watch. If there is a surprise offensive player in Emery’s Six, I could see if being Ebron, the dynamic tight end who would create mismatches running the seam in any offense. The Bears need a No. 2 tight end, and if all of Emery’s defensive targets come off the board and Ebron is still sitting there, I could see that pick happening.
Of course, it would still be a surprise to see the Bears not address their defense in the first round, and it would help if Ebron is another offensive player who goes in the top 13.
Then there is Martin, who I don’t necessarily believe is a top-13 talent but who is a versatile offensive lineman who could be valued highly (Giants at No. 12?). If Martin goes in the top 13, the Bears will be sitting pretty.
What would Lovie do?
The Buccaneers are a very interesting team at No. 7. They need offense, but Lovie Smith is their head coach. Do you trust him to take an offensive playmaker over a three-technique like Aaron Donald?
Bears fans should be hoping the Bucs draft an offensive player, but it could go the other way.
To help you at home tonight, here’s a check list of 11 offensive players to watch in the top 13. The more who are taken before No. 14, the better for the Bears:
1. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
2. WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
3. OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
4. OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
5. TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
6. OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
7. OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame
8. QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
9. QB Blake Bortles, UCF
10. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
11. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
NFL Draft basics
Round 1: 7 p.m. CT Thursday
Rounds 2-3: 5:30 p.m. CT Friday
Rounds 4-7: 11 a.m. CT Saturday
Teams have 10 minutes to make each selection in the first round. In the second round, each team has seven minutes to make their pick. From the third round on, the clock is set at five minutes between each pick.
A total of 256 players will be selected in this year’s NFL Draft. Here’s the total picks by round:
Round 1: 32
Round 2: 32
Round 3: 36
Round 4: 40
Round 5: 36
Round 6: 39
Round 7: 41
Bears all-time 14th overall picks:
1964 – DT Dick Evey, Tennessee
1969 – OT Rufus Mayes, Ohio State
2003 – DE Michael Haynes, Penn State
2004 – DT Tommie Harris, Oklahoma
2008 – OT Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
2014 Bears Picks:
Round 1: No. 14 (No. 14 overall)
Round 2: No. 19 (No. 51 overall)
Round 3: No. 18 (No. 82 overall)
Round 4: No. 17 (No. 117 overall)
Round 5: No. 16 (No. 156 overall)
Round 6: No. 7 (No. 183 overall – acquired from Tampa Bay in trade for Gabe Carimi)
Round 6: No. 15 (No. 191 overall)
The Bears don’t have a seventh-round pick after trading it to Dallas last year for tight end Dante Rosario. It would have been the 14th pick in the seventh round (No. 229 overall).
When the 14th pick happens:
The 14th overall pick usually occurs between 8:30 p.m and 9 p.m. CT.
Only three of the Bears’ last 20 first-rounders have become Pro Bowlers with the Bears (Brian Urlacher, Tommie Harris and Kyle Long). The good news is that Long was selected just last season, so maybe Emery is on his way to reversing this trend.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.