Sep 9, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Henry Melton (69) celebrates a sack of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) during the second at Soldier Field. The Bears won 41-21. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Chicago Bears Can Celebrate Henry Melton Joining Dallas

Henry Melton ended his Chicago Bears career as most expected:  by joining his old coach with the Dallas Cowboys.  Here is why the move actually helps his old team.

Addition makes defensive end and safety top Dallas Cowboys draft priorities

If this were happening a year ago it would be a depressed atmosphere among Bears fans at the news that Melton joined the Cowboys.  A year ago he was a Pro Bowler coming off a six-sack campaign.  What a difference 12 months can make.  This time around Melton was coming off a torn ACL that knocked him out of for 13 games last season.  On top of that he has a rather dubious arrest for assault hanging over him as well.  Yet, despite it all the Dallas Cowboys accomplished a big goal, which was improving their defensive line at the tackle position.  The departure of Jason Hatcher really left that area in a bad way.  Provided his knee is sound, Melton should return to form under the tutelage of his old defensive coach Rod Marinelli, now defensive coordinator for the Cowboys.  One other thing the signing does is it alters the landscape for them heading into the NFL draft.  Nearly every expert believed Dallas had to take a defensive tackle in the first round.  By adding Melton that need no longer applies.  A legitimate argument now exists that the Cowboys have bigger issues to resolve at defensive end and safety.  The exits of DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer has left the end position dangerously thin, making a player like Kony Ealy of Missouri very enticing with the 16th pick. Or they could look to add a needed playmaker on the back end as well, perhaps by picking Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama or Calvin Pryor of Louisville.  The point is defensive tackle has dropped down the priority list for Dallas, and it could serve the Chicago Bears draft plan very well.

Phil Emery could get Timmy Jernigan and Aaron Donald after trade back

One of the primary hopes for a high number of Bears fans is that GM Phil Emery follows through on his previous hints and looks to trade back from the 14th selection to later in the first round and get extra picks.  The problem is they still have unresolved issues of their own at defensive tackle, and projections hint that the two best options available, Timmy Jernigan of Florida State and Aaron Donald of Pittsburgh will both be there.  If they were to move back even a few spaces, say to #18 for example, it greatly diminished their chances of getting either player because the Cowboys sat at #16 eager for a defensive tackle as well.  Suddenly with this Melton signing, Emery has watched his odds of landing Donald or Jernigan after a trade back go up considerably.  After all, nearly every team from picks #15 to #23 run a 3-4 defensive scheme, which Jernigan and Donald aren’t considered ideal fits for.  Dallas was the only real obstacle on the board.  Henry Melton has changed that.  Now the Bears can feel a little more confident about gaining some extra picks and still getting a quality player that fills a big need on their defense.

Sometimes losing a player creates a bigger gain down the road.  The Chicago Bears could learn that in May.

Tags: Aaron Donald Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys Henry Melton Phil Emery Timmy Jernigan

  • Goodshepherd Americanbullies


    • Erik Lambert

      I think so too.

  • David A Maupin

    Didn’t want him back any way. Good luck Dallas. Probably over paid for him too.

    • Erik Lambert

      One-year deal. Rumors are around $4 million.

      • Sean O’Connell

        First year, 5 million. Next 2, 8 and 9 respectively. Not overpaid, but the Bears were better off.

        • Erik Lambert

          Agreed. He’s at his best under Marinelli. We need guys that are at their best under Tucker.

  • John Vassar

    Good ideas Erik. Still think CB at 14 and then Ferguson/Quarles in the second. No matter how Emery plays it he almost can’t miss.

    • Erik Lambert

      Thank you, John. Several GMs would love to be in that position. All depends on how he sees the board and what he feels he can get. What would you say if he traded back and got Kyle Fuller at #26 or #30?

  • Draftmane

    Ha Ha Clinton Dix Or Anthony Barr ,I forgot about J.Rat & Hatcher already!

    • Erik Lambert

      Thank you for proving my point. Both sound logical.

  • John Vassar

    I’d trade down with SF and take Fuller at 30. But I would want SF higher round two pick for it. Lock up a DT there and then best available with the other pick.

    • Erik Lambert

      If you asked for the higher two you probably at best could get their late third with it and that’s it. On the other hand I believe if they sacrificed a few spots and took the late second and late third, they probably could squeeze in a fourth rounder as well.

      • Sean O’Connell

        No way. The Niners would have to pony up AT LEAST a 2nd round pick to move all the way up to 14. The Bears aren’t dropping 16 spots just for a late 3rd rounder. Had it been for somewhere around 18, then I could see an early-mid 3rd, but not late 3rd for a 16 spot drop.

        • Erik Lambert

          You misunderstood, Sean. I said if the Bears asked for the higher 2nd round pick from San Francisco, the only pick they could demand after that is their lower 3rd round pick on top of it. On other hand I believe if they asked for the later 2nd and later 3rd they could probably squeeze a 4th or 5th in there as well.

  • brian basile

    This is awesome news…with amt of cap space available this is best we could of hoped for….Now resign Spencer for cheap, forget about a 1st round NT and get what we really have been lacking on this D for a LONG time, a difference maker at safety like Pryor…May even be able to trade back a few spots and get a pick we can maneuver with in later rounds to move up a couple of spots…!st round Pryor, 2nd round Murphy, move up in 3rd to get Cyril Richardson and we are cooking…..Add Daniel McCullers in 4th, Bret Smith QB in 5th and Storm Johnson in 6th, John Brown in 7th….

    • Erik Lambert

      If I were you I’d target Dakota Dozier in the third instead of Richardson. That kid will be a much better all-around guard because he’s good at run and pass blocking.

  • jorge marquez

    That would be awsome to trade back to #18 or so and pick up jernigan and have possibly two second round picks. that would be ideal. with those two picks DA Bears could pick up Jimmie Ward S from Notre Dame and also CB bradley Roby, CB, of Ohio State. the arrow would be pointing up for sure on the defense DAAA Bears

    • Erik Lambert

      It will depend on who they trade back with if they want another second round pick. That might mean talking with Cleveland or San Francisco. It’s certainly a risky move but one I would endorse. I guarantee they’ll have at least one quality defensive tackle waiting for them at either spot, maybe even a good corner too. This team needs the picks.

    • Dakota

      Jimmie Ward is from Northern Illinois

  • franklingray

    And what if Dallas ALSO drafts a DT? I wouldn’t put all my eggs into Melton’s basket, that is for sure.

    • franklingray

      I am pretty sure though that Chicago will trade down because I don’t think Chicago is all that impressed with the DT coming out this year and I think they also want to save cap space. I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded the first round for two second rounds. Second rounds are cheap compared to a 14th pick.