Chicago Bears Pre-Draft Roster Review

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Dec 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Chicago won 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line

94 McBride, Turk DE 6-2 278 27 7 Tennessee
99 McClellin, Shea DE 6-3 260 23 2 Boise St.
67 Moore, Kyle DE 6-6 263 26 5 USC
95 Ozougwu, Cheta DE 6-2 255 24 2 Rice
90 Peppers, Julius DE 6-7 287 33 12 North Carolina
91 Whiteside, Aston DE 6-2 255 23 1 Abilene Christian
98 Wootton, Corey DE 6-6 270 25 4 Northwestern
93 Collins, Nate DT 6-2 296 25 4 Virginia
75 Fluellen, Andre DT 6-2 302 28 6 Florida State
69 Melton, Henry DT 6-3 295 26 5 Texas
92 Paea, Stephen DT 6-1 300 24 3 Oregon State

The Bears have some anchor players along the defensive line with Pro Bowl players Peppers and Melton. Stephen Paea started coming into his own at DT as did DE Corey Wooton while Shea McClellin showed flashes of potential as a situational pass rusher.  With Izzy Idonije still unsigned, the Bears could use a versatile DE or DT that could move around and play in the rotation.  I’d be surprised if the Bears didn’t take a flyer on a defensive lineman at some point in the draft.

Linebackers

50 Anderson, James LB 6-2 235 29 8 Virginia Tech
55 Briggs, Lance LB 6-1 244 32 11 Arizona
52 Costanzo, Blake LB 6-1 235 29 7 Lafayette
57 DeCicco, Dom LB 6-4 230 24 2 Pittsburgh
53 Franklin, Jerry LB 6-1 245 25 1 Arkansas
97 Thomas, J.T. LB 6-1 236 24 3 West Virginia
59 Trahan, Patrick LB 6-2 236 26 2 Mississippi
58 Williams, D.J. LB 6-1 242 30 10 Miami (Fla.)
96 Wilson, Lawrence LB 6-1 229 25 1 Connecticut

Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach are gone, so this is another position in for an overhaul. While the Bears added James Anderson and DJ Williams, they need to get younger at the position.  They have some flexibility and the pressure is off to have to take a LB in round 1, but if Alec Ogletree is around in Round 1, that will make Phil Emery think about pulling the trigger.  I’ve seen a mock draft where Arthur Brown falls to the Bears in Round 2.  That would be a no-brainer.

Cornerback

38 Bowman, Zack CB 6-1 193 28 6 Nebraska
31 Frey, Isaiah CB 6-0 190 23 1 Nevada
24 Hayden, Kelvin CB 6-0 195 29 9 Illinois
26 Jennings, Tim CB 5-8 185 29 8 Georgia
39 Lewis, LeQuan CB 5-11 190 24 1 Arizona State
27 McManis, Sherrick CB 6-1 193 25 4 Northwestern
33 Tillman, Charles CB 6-2 198 32 11 Louisiana-Lafayette

January 25, 2013; Ko Olina, HI, USA; Make-A-Wish foundation child Aidan O

You wouldn’t think that a position that boasts a pair of starting Pro Bowlers needs to be addressed in the draft but with Charles Tillman getting up their in age and Tim Jennings a one-hit wonder until proven otherwise, the Bears might be able to select a corner and start grooming Tillman’s replacement. In today’s pass-happy NFL, you can never have too many cornerbacks.

Safety

47 Conte, Chris S 6-2 203 24 3 California
35 Hardin, Brandon S 6-3 217 23 2 Oregon State
46 Nelson, Tom S 5-11 200 26 3 Illinois State
44 Quarles, Cyhl S 6-3 212 24 1 Wake Forest
20 Steltz, Craig S 6-1 210 26 6 LSU
37 Walters, Anthony S 6-1 207 24 3 Delaware
21 Wright, Major S 5-11 204 24 4 Florida
36 Zbikowski, Tom S 5-11 200 27 6 Notre Dame

I think the run of safeties being selected by the Bears in 8 consecutive drafts might be coming to an end.  Chris Conte and Major Wright were solid last season and the addition of Tom Zbikowski and redshirt freshman Bradon Hardin to the mix will make this group pretty well stacked.

I’m not going to bother much with the specialists because they’re pretty well set, but I’ll touch on Devin Hester as a special teamer.  Just to note, I think the Bears would be foolish not to consider using Hester as a sweetener in a trade.  Maybe you find someone who will have an interest and take a chance on him.

What do you think?  Which position has the most holes that need to be addressed?  Which group is solid and would be surprising if the Bears selected?  Let’s hear your comments.

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