Bears take Fales, O'Donnell in sixth

The Chicago Bears selected San Jose St. quarterback David Fales and Miami punter Pat O'Donnell with the club's two sixth-round picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.

In his pre-draft press conference, Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery shot down the idea of selecting a developmental quarterback in this year's draft.

"That developmental theory doesn't hold a whole lot of water," Emery said. "There's entire classes of quarterbacks, since '06, I went back and looked at from Jay [Cutler] on — when people say developmental quarterbacks, OK, so who has gotten developed? There isn't a single quarterback after the third round since '06 that has been a long-term starter. So you're either developing thirds, and most of them have been wiped out of the league. So to get a quality quarterback, you've got to draft them high.

"Most of the starters in this league come from the first and second round. So that's where you need to take a quarterback. So when you talk about quarterback every year, they have to be somebody that you truly believe will beat out the second and third quarterback that you perceive on your roster. And if not, history shows that you shouldn't make that pick."

Today, Emery selected former San Jose State quarterback David Fales in the sixth round (183rd overall). So don't ever believe anything Emery says again.

Fales (6-2, 228) doesn't have ideal size or arm strength. Yet on film, he shows very good anticipation and accuracy. At the Senior Bowl, he got better as the week progressed and looked very good in the actual contest.

Fales was a two-year starter for the Spartans, completing 639 of 938 passes (68.2 percent) for 8,382 yards, 66 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He transferred to San Jose St. after two years at Monterey Peninsula College. For his complete career, Fales started all 45 games he played in, completing 65.96 percent of his passes for 12,727 yards, 101 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. He scored six times on the ground.

This offseason, Fales worked privately with current Bears backup quarterback Jordan Palmer, with whom he'll now be competing. The Bears sent quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh to visit Fales last week.

A few picks later, Chicago selected former Miami punter Pat O'Donnell (191st overall). He lettered three years for Cincinnati before transferring down south last year. His 42.38 yards per punt for the Bearcats is fourth best in school history.

Last season, O'Donnell received second-team All-American honors and was a unanimous All-ACC selection. He led the conference, ranked third in the nation and set the school's single-season record with 47.13 yards per punt. He had 23 punts of 50 yards or longer and 19 kicks downed inside the 20-yard line.

This was a quality selection for the Bears after the team released Adam Podlesh this offseason. O'Donnell becomes the first punter the team has drafted since taking Todd Sauerbrun in the second round in 1995.

Of note, O'Donnell had 24 bench-press reps at the scouting combine, which is five more than former first-round pick Shea McClellin. O'Donnell also forced a fumble against Pittsburgh last season.


Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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