Chicago Bears Draft Needs – Offense

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It’s not quite draft season yet, but with the Bears playing better of late I can’t help thinking about the Bears near future. The 2015 draft may be considered a disappointment by some with first round pick Kevin White not playing at all, but the Bears have gotten significant contributions from almost every other draft pick so in all it should be viewed as a success. The Bears draft picks in rounds 2-5 (Godman, Grasu, Langford, Amos) have all started multiple games and have made positive contributions for the most part.

Despite the Bears big win over the Packers and somewhat surprising 5-6 record at this point, they still have a ton of needs on both sides of the ball. There are less needs than there were coming into the 2015 season, so I guess that is the best one can hope for in the first year of the Pace/Fox era. At this point last year the Bears had holes at almost every position on the field, but the new leadership has at least improved the secondary, defensive line, outside linebackers, and dare i say quarterback.

Those positions aren’t solidified enough that I would be surprised if the Bears used a top pick on any of them, but they aren’t as glaring of a need as they were at this time last year. It would have been impossible for any GM/HC combo to completely close the massive talent gap between the Bears and the top teams in the NFC, but the gap is smaller than it used to be and arguably by a significant margin. That alone is a win for the Bears new leadership.

I’ll break down the three biggest positions of need for the Bears on offense below with some potential draft targets at each position. The defensive positions of need will be posted soon and my draft coverage will be starting in depth once the CFB bowl season starts, so this is just the beginning of extensive Bears draft coverage on BGO.

Bears Draft Needs – Offense

1.) Left Tackle

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Kyle Long has been as good as expected on the right side and Charles Leno Jr has been surprisingly competent the last few weeks on the left, but that is all the Bears have right now at the position. It’s just not enough depth-wise for next season.

The Bears do have former starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod under contract for two more seasons, but his back problems make it unlikely he will be anything more than a sporadic contributor moving forward. Bushrod is scheduled to make $17.4M over the next two years which will probably lead to his release unless he is able to make a significant recovery from his back injury.

The Bears also have tackle Nick Becton on the active roster and Jason Weaver, Tayo Fabuluje, and Martin Wallace on the injured reserved/suspended/practice squad, but it’s way too early to tell if any of those tackles will be ready to help soon.

The Bears will most likely be picking somewhere near the middle of the first round, which may be too late to grab one of the elite left tackles in the draft, but this is a strong draft class for tackles. I’ve just started getting deep into my draft prep for this year, but so far there are 5-7 tackle prospects with first round potential.

Assuming again that the Bears pick somewhere in the middle of the first round, here are three potential first-round targets:

1.) Jack Conklin, Michigan St – 1st Round

2.) Taylor Decker, Ohio St – 1st Round

3.) Spencer Drango, Baylor – 1st-2nd Round

Next: Wide Receiver