Post 527 – NFL Draft Needs: Chicago Bears

The Bears are without their first round pick, the nineteenth, trading it to the Raiders in the Khalil Mack deal. The Bears were 8-8 after making the playoffs in 2018. Inconsistencies at quarterback, along with average-at-best line play brought them back a few places. They are in a “win now” mode and heads would roll if they don’t. 

Chicago has six picks in the draft: no first, two seconds, no third, a fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh. The first and third round picks go to the Raiders in the Khalil Mack trade, while receiving an extra second in the same deal. Their pick in the fourth round is compensatory.   

I list the needs below, including major, for depth, and areas they are unlikely to look at. I may add categories for a particular situation. 

Major Needs (No Particular Order): 

Running Back: They use a tandem of Tarik Cohen on passing downs and David Montgomery on running downs. Both are good at what they do, but there is no “wow” factor in either of them. A good, all-around back may be considered if he is available. Also on the roster is Ryan Nall. If a running back is the best available when their turn comes, I might take him. 

Wide Receiver: Allen Robinson had a big year with 98 receptions for 1,147 yards. Anthony Miller caught 52, but more help is needed now that Taylor Gabriel was a salary cap casualty and suffered two concussions last year. Cordarrelle Patterson underwhelmed, while Javon Wims and Riley Ridley may develop, with Ridley a fourth-round pick. Also on the roster are Thomas Ives, Reggie Davis, and Alex Wesley. Without a first-round pick, they can easily use one of their second-round picks on improving this unit. 

Tight End: The Bears added a declining Jimmy Graham from the Packers in free agency and hope he can still catch passes. Incumbent Trey Burton had a bad year and missed half the season. This looks like a quantity over quality, as the Bears have ten tight ends on the roster, including Ben Braunecker, JP Holtz, Demetrius Harris, and Adam Shaheen, a disappointing second-round pick from 2017. Others on the roster are Jesper Horsted and Dax Raymond – both rookie free agents last year. This is a position of need and it should be addressed, even with the acquisition of Graham.  

Offensive Line: This unit had trouble in both pass protection and establishing the run. Charles Leno and Bobby Massie are the tackles and neither had good years. Signed in free agency to compete here or at guard is Germain Ifredi from Seattle.  James Daniels and Cody Whitehair are the left guard and center, respectively, with both able to play either position. Right guard is a question mark with Kyle Long retiring. Currently in contention are Rashaad Coward and Alex Bars, a free agent rookie last year. Corey Levin is a backup at guard. The reserve tackle is Newark West Side alum Dino Boyd. Ted Larsen and Paterson Catholic alum TJ Clemmings are unsigned. This is a unit that needs an upgrade and I see one or two linemen being picked. 

Cornerback: Kyle Fuller holds down one corner, but the other has not been determined with Prince Amukamara being a cap casualty. They signed Artie Burns from Pittsburgh as a free agent as one possibility, but not a given. Buster Skrine is the nickel corner. Reserves include Kevin Tolliver, Duke Shelley, Stephen Denmark, Michael Joseph, Xavier Crawford, and Tre Roberson. One of their two picks in the second round can go towards improving the situation.

Safety: Eddie Jackson is the top guy. His partner will be different since Haha Clinton-Dixon departed for Dallas in free agency. Deon Bush is the current frontrunner and free agent signing Jordan Lucas is behind him. The other reserves are DeAndre Houston-Carson and Kentrell Brice, while Sherrick McManus is unsigned. This is another position that may be addressed in the second round. 


Quarterback: This is an interesting scenario with Mitch Trubisky as the incumbent and Nick Foles coming in a trade. The Bears traded up for Trubisky in 2017 and they could have stood pat with him, Patrick Mahomes, or Deshaun Watson available. He has been inconsistent and this will be a put-up-or-shut-up year for him and the first instance of poor play will have fans calling for Foles. Also on the roster is Tyler Bray. I don’t expect them to pick anyone with Foles on board, but that may change next year if Trubisky doesn’t cut it. 

Defensive Line: This is a good unit with a starting three of Akiem Hicks at left end, Eddie Goldman at nose tackle, and Bilal Nichols at right end. Roy Robertson-Harris and Brent Urban get their time in the rotation. Abdullah Anderson backs up at nose tackle. Urban and Robertson-Harris are on expiring contracts, which may prompt them to pick somebody. 

Outside Linebacker: Khalil Mack and free agent signing Robert Quinn will form a very good duo rushing the passer. A third guy is not there, should one be injured. Isaiah Irving and Barkevious Mingo, another free agent who signed, are behind them. Also competing are James Vaughters and Devante Bond. Aaron Lynch is unsigned. Not a big need, except for depth, but a pass rusher is always in demand. 

Inside Linebacker: This is a good tandem of Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith, but the depth is depleted with Nick Kwiatkowski leaving for Vegas and Kevin Pierre-Louis for Washington in free agency. Joel Iyiegbuniwe was a fourth-round pick in 2018 and has been a top special teams player. Josh Woods is also on the roster. A depth pick is possible. 

*Information from various sources, including Pro-Football Reference, Sportac, and ESPN. 

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