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Chicago Bears six biggest needs entering 2013 NFL Draft

Could the Chicago Bears look for quarterback Jay Culter's eventual replacement in the draft?

Could the Chicago Bears look for quarterback Jay Cutler’s eventual replacement in the 2013 NFL Draft?

With free agency mostly behind us, it’s time to turn our attention to the 2013 NFL draft and start considering what teams could be looking for there. Rather than waste my time trying to project specific players to the Chicago Bears, who do not pick until the second half of the first round, I’m going to look instead at various positional needs they could look to address in the draft.

Furthermore, I am going to look at primary needs through two lenses. The first is immediate concerns, which deals only with the 2013 roster. What are the positions where the Chicago Bears need a guy who can step in and play right away? The second is more long-term concerns, looking down the road at what likely roster holes the Bears will have in the next couple years. This involves a little more guesswork, especially since the Bears have over 35 contracts set to expire after 2013. Still, there are some positions that clearly stand out as being areas of need in the next year or two.

Let’s stop wasting time and get right to it!

The Bears could hope to find a speedster similar to Johnny Knox in the middle rounds.

The Chicago Bears could hope to find a speedster similar to Johnny Knox in the middle rounds.

Immediate needs

General manager Phil Emery has worked hard in free agency to plug most of the team’s obvious roster holes with capable veterans, bringing in starters at left tackle, tight end, offensive guard, and linebacker. Consequently, Chicago could probably head into the 2013 season right now feeling pretty good about their starting lineup. There are, however, still two areas that could use a definite immediate upgrade.

They need a deep threat to complement their trio of receivers in Brandon Marshall, Earl Bennett, and Alshon Jeffery. With tight end Martellus Bennett and running back Matt Forte already in the fold, the prospect doesn’t need to see many targets, but having a speedster who can force the defense to respect the long ball would be extremely helpful. Look for the Bears to take a receiver somewhere in Rounds 4 or 5.

The offensive guard opposite the newly acquired Matt Slauson is also up for grabs. On the roster currently are Edwin Williams and James Brown, and Gabe Carimi may also compete for that spot. None of them exactly inspires confidence, though. There are rookies available in the first two rounds who would be a definite upgrade, and the Bears could pull the trigger on an early pick here with hopes of solidifying their offensive line.

Finding a long-term replacement for center Roberto Garza in the draft would be a boon for the Chicago Bears.

Finding a long-term replacement for center Roberto Garza in the draft would be a boon for the Chicago Bears.

Long-term needs

There are four positions where Chicago is likely going to need impact players ready to step up in the next one or two years.

Incumbent center Roberto Garza is already 34. This position could almost be considered an immediate need, since Garza is not exactly a premier player, but at least he is not terrible. The team would be fine with him starting in 2013, but he is not likely to last much longer than that. It would not be surprising to see the Bears pick a center anywhere in the fourth round or later.

Starting linebackers Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach were lost this offseason. Chicago managed to sign competent veterans in D.J. Williams and James Anderson, but they are both approaching 30 and on one-year deals. Lance Briggs, the other presumptive starter, is not getting any younger. It is possible the Bears will look to add a linebacker early to compete for playing time this year, but their likely need for two or three new starters in the next two years could mean they also look to draft an additional developmental player in the middle or late rounds.

The Bears might look for an eventual replacement for cornerback Charles Tillman.

The Chicago Bears might look for an eventual replacement for cornerback Charles Tillman.

Quarterback Jay Cutler is in the final year of his contract and may not prove to be the long-term answer the Bears are looking for. Even if Cutler does do well under the new coaching staff, having a solid backup at the game’s most important position is never a bad thing  A high pick here seems unlikely, especially considering how weak this year’s quarterback class is, but a mid- or late-round pick for a developmental player would not be surprising.

Chicago returns two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings this year, but Tillman is getting old, both of their contracts expire after 2013, and a roster can never have too many good cornerbacks. There have been rumors that Chicago might look for a cornerback earlier than people think, with hopes that he will serve as a good nickelback this year and be ready to be a full-time starter in another year or two. If they do not grab a player here early, do not be surprised to see them get one later in the draft.

Conclusion

The biggest problem staring Chicago in the face is that although they have six positions of need in the next three years, they only have five picks in the 2013 draft. The unfortunate consequence is that, barring a trade, at least one of these will have to be neglected.

So what positions do you think the Bears will look for in the early, middle, and late rounds? Let me know in the comments below.

486 comments
JVince 11
JVince 11

No Livefyre on the new article?

Prit
Prit

Anyone ever seen a Bugatti commercial? 

Prit
Prit

Where's all the slapnuts at? 

 ЯD
ЯD

These audio ads on our site are pissing me off. Ads online should never have sound unless you explicitly request it.

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 Other witnesses compared the scene the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and authorities said the plant made materials similar to that used to fuel the bomb that tore apart that city's Murrah Federal Building.

This is exactly the reason why I typically avoid reading stories about disasters like this. Idiots always have to draw unnecessary parallels, most of which end up being unfounded. I hate it. Just shut up, deal with the situation at hand, and stop trying to extrapolate to bigger things you probably know nothing about.

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Applicants sought for one-way trip to Martian Big Brother house. Must be willing to die off-planet and on-air.

"This mission to Mars can be the biggest media event in the world," said Paul Römer, inventor of Big Brother, in a statement. "Reality meets talent show with no ending and the whole world watching. Now there's a good pitch!"

Mars One is even taking this principle as far as allowing members of the general public to pick the first four colonists by popular vote, based on a candidate pool it deems physically and psychologically appropriate.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/18/one_way_mars_one_big_brother/

Buhlitz
Buhlitz

What kind of zoning do they have in Texas? A fertilizer plant next to a nursing home?

natesweet
natesweet moderator

Damn this world. There was a giant fertilizer explosion a couple years ago over seas too. Maybe its time to stop fucking around we things we don't have a complete and secure grasp on or to stop being so haphazard with the things we are trying to harness. Our cockiness as mere humans seems to be catching up with us around every corner. I just want a simple life, not all this madness.

 ЯD
ЯD

@Prit It's not even work time for most people in the CTZ yet. 

Prit
Prit

@Super Bowel I haven't even really seen an ad yet... Guess I shouldn't be complaining... 

Prit
Prit

@Super Bowel Crazy situation. Praying for the best for em, but yeah... You should know all the hysteria that's gonna follow. Especially since the Boston bombing happened earlier this week, even if one was accident and one was planned. 

AndrewLeT
AndrewLeT

@Super Bowelthe sheriff? made reference to the Murrah Federal Building and Iraq in his press conference.  

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@Super Bowel  It's not only disasters. My favorite from about a month ago, courtesy of CBS, NBC, etc.

Study:  Birds Evolved Shorter Wings To Avoid Cars

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My list of candidates would reach 2/3 of the way to the moon. Paul Römer would be #1.

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@Um... Well, no more fertilizer would mean lots of starvation.  That's easier to understand.

Buhlitz
Buhlitz

@Um... But we do have a complete grasp on it... 

This incident was obviously a fluke

Prit
Prit

@Preparation_A @Prit That's the legendary temper tantrum thrower Jay Cut yo ass.... He isn't a slapnut,.... He's greatest thing since sliced bread! 

 ЯD
ЯD

@Prit You probably have an ad blocker installed.

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ЯD

@Mr._Horse I am fully aware of that. But considering I put the ads on the site, it doesn't make much sense for me to block them. Ads don't bother me. But audio ones do.

 ЯD
ЯD

@Prit Maybe I am callous, but I refuse to join hysteria. Then again, I have the instincts of a first responder, having been a medic most of my adult life and hoping to go into trauma medicine, so when others are running away, I tend to be running toward. I used to piss off people in my unit because when the mortars started falling and they were running for their flak vests, I was filming them instead. I have some pretty cool pics from Iraq.

 ЯD
ЯD

@Mr._Horse Did they now? So birds have evolved demonstrably shorter wings in the past century? And the difference is statistically significant? Remarkable!

Prit
Prit

@Super Bowel @Prit I could see a commercial for one, but it'd have to be aired like you said, where people with few hundred thousand to drop, are at.... 

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ЯD

@Prit Advertising is more effective with the new money and the nearly rich. People who come from money, which is what products like that are targeted to, have their own channels (brokers, etc.).

Prit
Prit

I do... Forgot all about it... Works so well, you forget ya using it... 

Prit
Prit

@andylet445 @Prit @Mr._Horse @Super Bowel I'm just going by what you said, Whether you buy them or not it has had a direct impact on you. < How does it directly impact me? It doesn't unless I choose to accept their ad and buy their product... 

AndrewLeT
AndrewLeT

@Prit @andylet445 @Mr._Horse @Super Bowel it's not all about you.  there are billions of other people in this world.  just because geico has made a pig, a lizard, and a caveman make me think of them doesn't mean i will get insurance through them, but there are millions that have because of their ad campaigns and next time i look to quote out car insurance i probably will get a quote from them too

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@Mr._Horse Exactly. I am going to send a complaint up the channels and see if I can opt out of these audio ads, because they represent exactly what I don't like online. I think we should be able to have some influence over what ad inventory we carry.

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@Super Bowel 

I don't have a problem with ads on a site unless they're intrusive, like popups that block what I'm trying to see or videos that launch themselves and can't be muted.  

Prit
Prit

@andylet445 @Prit @Mr._Horse @Super Bowel So just because I know about it, but refuse to spend money on it, makes it a successful marketing campaign?  And because I know, say Mickey D's( don't eat their garbage) but because I know about it, it's directly impacting me? No... I can drive by there 50 times and never give it a second thought.  I could say their marketing was effective in the sense I do know who they are, but that's it. If you're marketing a product you want people to buy it. You're not gonna drop a few million in tv air time, just for people to "know" your product, but not spend with em. 

AndrewLeT
AndrewLeT

@Prit @Mr._Horse @Super Bowel Ads aren't about directly telling you what to buy.  its about creating a brand that you will remember.

Name the first fast food, car, and chip brands that come to your mind and those are the ones that had the most effective marketing on you.  Whether you buy them or not it has had a direct impact on you.

Prit
Prit

@Mr._Horse @Super Bowel Ads are pretty gay. If you need someone telling you, what you "need and want" then you need help. but I do understand where Rourke is coming from. If they gonna pay, to put their picture on ya page, might as well get that money... 

 ЯD
ЯD

@Mr._Horse And without ad revenue, the site goes away.

There are no ads I would call intrusive on this site. Intrusive ads don't even let you read the content without clicking a button, for example, or they cover your screen. The ones on this site are unobtrusively positioned. But occasionally, a set of ones that have sound come up.

Prit
Prit

@Super Bowel @Prit ... Yeah, guess that would be the actual photographers job.  Did yall have one following you around? 

 ЯD
ЯD

@Prit Not so much. If stuff was serious, I was fixing people up, not taking pictures.

Prit
Prit

@Super Bowel @Prit Please never join the hysteria... You can have a 200 IQ, but jump in a crowd full of hysteria, and ya IQ drops into the negatives...  

 ЯD
ЯD

@Mr._Horse I thought that was so I could play the orange game with them. That's so much fun. Seagulls are selfish as shit, but they also hate oranges, so if you throw a piece of orange into a flock of gulls, one of them will catch it but immediately drop it, so the next will swoop in and drop it in turn. This can go on for several minutes.

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@Super Bowel   Also seagulls have evolved wider throats to make eating stale Whopper remnants easier.