Chicago Bears Draft Needs – Defense

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2) Inside Linebacker

The ILB position has been a big problem for me this year with the Bears accepting just mediocre, safe production from a couple of players that are playing out of position. Shea McClellin doesn’t attack the line of scrimmage, Christian Jones struggles in coverage, and Jonathan Anderson may be too small to hold up against the run. Backups LaRoy Reynolds and Lamin Barrow have flashed some talent but are too unproven to be relied on as contributors next season.

In DC Vic Fangio’s scheme with the 49ers the ILBs, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, were the team’s two biggest playmakers. They excelled in both attacking the line of scrimmage verse the run and in pass coverage against backs and tight ends. Granted both players were both top picks (1st & 3rd round) and playing the positions they were drafted to play, but their impact on Fangio’s defense was unmistakable. They weren’t there just to limit long runs, they were there to make impact plays.

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I can’t help thinking that Fangio wants to find some impact playmakers at the ILB position for the Bears next season. Christian Jones has the football instincts, Jonathan Anderson has the athletic ability, and Shea McClellin has the work ethic (all I could think of), but all players have multiple flaws. The Bears ILBs wouldn’t start for the majority of other teams in the NFL and they need a pretty dramatic upgrade at the position.

Inside linebackers are rarely picked in the first round, so I think the Bears may look for more talent at the position in rounds 2-4 and I’ve listed a few potential targets below.

1.) Reggie Ragland, Alabama – Round 1-2

2.) Scooby Wright, Arizona – Round 2

3.) Tyler Matakevich, Temple – Round 3

Next: Defensive Back