The 2017 NFL Draft has top talent at a few positions, and they just happen to coincide with Chicago’s needs.
The Bears definitely need the following positions more than ILB:
- 5T Defensive End
- Free Safety
- Offensive Tackle
Other than Offensive Tackle, each of the positions above has a premiere player available. Jonathan Allen and Solomon Thomas are comparable 5T DE talents. Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker are top-notch Safeties. Take your pick of the three QB leaders (i.e. Deshaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky, DeShone Kizer), and you’re likely to nab a player more critical to the Bears’ future success. Even Marson Lattimore, who shouldn’t be drafted early by the Bears, would make more sense than another ILB in the first round.
The Bears also arguably need the following positions more than ILB:
- Outside Linebacker
- Wide Receiver
It was very clear last year Leonard Floyd was the only explosive OLB on the roster. In order for the 3-4 to truly succeed, the OLBs need to bend the edge and make the QB nervous. Adding someone like T. J. Watt – definitely not with the #3 pick – would make more sense than Reuben Foster.
The Chicago Bears upgraded at WR this offseason when they signed Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright, but what do they really have? Kevin White likely gets one more year to prove his bionic legs can live up to first round pick expectations. Wright is on a one-year contract. Cam Meredith is on the last year of his contract. Even Wheaton’s contract is front loaded so he can be dumped after 2017 if he doesn’t produce. The WR cupboard could be bare following the 2017 season. It might make sense to pick one more insurance WR.
The Bears simply can’t use a coveted draft pick on an inside linebacker.