Heading into the offseason, it seemed certain that the Bears would be spending pick #19 on a wide receiver. After pulling off a big trade to get Brandon Marshall and some of their other free agent moves, that’s far from a slam dunk. The draft is just weeks away and after a relatively successful free agency period, it’s time to turn the focus to the draft. Here’s the big question that we need to answer – Which position should the Bears target with their first round pick?
New GM Phil Emery has done a decent job adding a BIG difference maker in Marshall, strong backups at RB and QB and boosted the depth of the defensive backfield and special teams with some back of the roster veterans. But there are still plenty of holes up and down the Bears roster. Let’s look at some possibilities of positions that could still use a boost.
The Bears missed out on their chance to land Mario Williams and Plan B Jeremy Mincey re-signed with the Jags. They signed Izzy Idonije, but he showed last season that he’s not a full time pass rusher and is most effective in a rotation. There will likely be some strong candidates around when the Bears select at #19.
Peanut Tillman isn’t getting any younger. Sure, he’s coming off a Pro Bowl campaign in 2011, but depth opposite and behind him is iffy at best. like Tim Jennings, but he’s not special. Neither are the other backups they just signed in Kelvin Hayden and Jonathan Wilhite. A corner that can start opposite Peanut who could eventually succeed him would be really nice.
Your two stud linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs are on the wrong side of 30. Nick Roach is alright, but he won’t make you forget Urlacher any time soon. The Bears desperately need to add some youth to the linebacking corp. The guys they have behind the starters are anonymous at best.
They have drafted one in each of the last 7 drafts. Why stop the streak? If they could find another Mike Brown, Lovie’s defense would work a heck of a lot better. I like what I’ve seen out of Chris Conte and Major Wright, but they could still use a boost in this area.
The Bears let Anthony Adams go and Amobi Okoye just signed with Tampa, so there will be some holes to fill in the interior defensive line. Henry Melton took a nice step forward last season but he and Stephen Paea and Matt Toeina will need some help on the inside.
If you believe Lovie Smith and Phil Emery, the Bears offensive line will improve from within. The addition of Gabe Carimi, coming off an almost redshirt season and the loss of nut-job Mike Martz will increase Jay Cutler’s life expectancy. Not everyone is convinced. Is J’Marcus Webb the left tackle for a Super Bowl contender? The top OT’s will be off the board, but there are some late round picks that could make some sense for the Bears.
Even after the addition of Brandon Marshall, there are many who think the Bears should add more help for Jay Cutler. Michael Floyd will be gone by #19 but there will be others who could be difference makers available like Steph Hill, Alshon Jeffery or Kendall Wright.
Mike Martz like to put another offensive tackle with a jersey # in the 80′s at tight end, so he sent Greg Olsen packing. Now the Bears seek another threat in the passing game and in the red zone. Kellen Davis is resigned, but they could use some help in this area. How about Coby Fleener out of Standford at #19?
Back up your votes with some comments. Let’s hear which specific players you want to see them target.