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Maxx Crosby
AP
Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: Bears

by Josh Norris

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is Rotoworld's Senior NFL Editor, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) is Rotoworld's lead Draft Analyst. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in April’s draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Notable Pre-Draft Additions: CB Buster Skrine, WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, RB Mike Davis, WR Marvin Hall.

Starting Offense

QB: Mitchell Trubisky
RB: Tarik Cohen
WR1: Allen Robinson
WR2: Taylor Gabriel
SLWR: Anthony Miller
TE: Trey Burton
LT: Charles Leno
LG: James Daniels
C: Cody Whitehair
RG: Kyle Long
RT: Bobby Massie

Starting Defense

RE: Roy Robertson-Harris
LE: Akiem Hicks
NT: Eddie Goldman
ILB: Danny Trevathan
ILB: Roquan Smith
ROLB: Leonard Floyd
LOLB: Khalil Mack
LCB: Kyle Fuller
RCB: Prince Amukamara
SCB: Buster Skrine
FS: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
SS: Eddie Jackson

Team Needs

Silva's Analysis

Secondary: Clinton-Dix and Skrine are talent downgrades from predecessors Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan, while Amukamara reaches the wrong side of 30 in June, and Jackson’s contract must soon be addressed. The Bears are dangerously thin behind their first-team corners and safeties. They’re also likely to employ more man-coverage concepts under new DC Chuck Pagano.

Edge Rusher: Even as Mack is entrenched as a perennial DPOY candidate, 2016 top-10 pick Floyd has been frustratingly inconsistent, and Chicago has limited depth behind them. Floyd’s guaranteed money runs out after 2019, so GM Ryan Pace may want to add competition or get out in front of finding Floyd’s eventual replacement. Quietly, last year’s Bears finished an underwhelming 19th in QB hit rate (15.6%).

Wide Receiver: The Bears don’t have the NFL’s most-talented roster, but it’s among the most complete and short on needs. They could afford to upgrade on Gabriel at No. 2 receiver, targeting less of a niche player and more of a dangerous field stretcher. At running back, Davis’ track record is limited as Jordan Howard’s potential replacement. Pace’s roster could use a depth infusion on the defensive line.

 

Bears 2019 Draft Picks

Norris' Options

3 (87). EDGE Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan - This might seem early to some, but finding edge rushers outside of the second round is very difficult. Crosby has uncommon movements. He’s fluid to work the edge but also gets skinny when attacking the inside line. He posted an athletic profile in the 88th percentile, and finding a consistent presence opposite Mack would take this defense up another notch. Plus, Ryan Pace has not been scared to draft from non-powerhouse programs.

4 (126). S Saquan Hampton, Rutgers - Buster Skrine seems locked into the roster longer than Clinton-Dix, if only because the latter is on a one-year deal. We know Eddie Jackson is fantastic in the back half. Hampton is dynamite moving forward, playing big and even has snaps lining up opposite slot options.

5 (162). RB Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska - A personal favorite. There’s some Michael Turner to Ozigbo’s game. Enough long speed to maximize alleys for big plays, but he really shines with patience behind the line and winning on contact to create on his own. Plus, he showed some comfort in the passing game.

7 (222). WR Justin Sumpter, Kennesaw State - A small school option. Sumpter’s highlights are unreal, as in goal-line situations he tends to float and make great acrobatic catches.

7 (238). iOL Alex Bars, Notre Dame - Bars tore a knee ligament prior to last season, so this might be talent on an injury discount. Bars often can be seen pushing defenders backward after pulling from his initial spot.

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .