2012 was a big disappointment for the Chicago Bears and in the end, their failure cost head coach Lovie Smith his job. Collectively, the Bears are over the hill: Their once-great defense fell off sharply last year and the offense isn’t intimidating anyone. That said, the Bears are only a few pieces away from returning to contention. As it stands right now, before free agency has fully played out; these are the Bears’ 2013 draft needs. Keep in mind that these needs can and will change, based on free agency and trades, as we get closer to April.
This is kind of a no-brainer. In 2012, the Bears’ offensive line allowed 44 sacks; good for eighth worst in the league. Outside of Gabe Carimi at right tackle, Chicago could upgrade every position along the offensive line. If the Bears hope to make it back to the playoffs in 2013, they will have to do a better job of protecting Jay Cutler.
When Brian Urlacher went down with an injury last season, the Bears defense was noticeably worse in his absence. Even with Urlacher returning this season, he’s on the wrong side of 30 and definitely isn’t the player he was a few years ago. Outside of Urlacher, Chicago has no depth at middle linebacker and can benefit from bringing a player in to learn from him and prepare to take over the starting role in a year or two.
Tight End and Wide Receiver
Quick, name one pass catcher on the Bears’ roster not named Brandon Marshall. It’s hard, isn’t it? Chicago desperately needs to add a legitimate No. 2 receiving target for Cutler, whether it ends up being a tight end or wide receiver. This year’s draft class is stacked with pass-catching tight ends that could make an impact from day one for the Bears.
Henry Melton, Israel Idonije, Amobi Okoye and Nate Collins are all set to become free agents. regardless of who the Bears are able to retain, they need to add depth and get younger along the defensive front if they hope to continue their recent dominance.