The Chicago Bears are heading into the NFL Draft with a laundry list of needs, and they’re hoping to make a big splash as they try to bolster the team that Matt Nagy and company will put on the field this season.
Currently the Bears own seven picks, including the eighth overall pick in the draft. They do not have a third round pick, but do have two picks in the fourth round of the selection process, which gets underway on Thursday evening.
As the Bears prepare to welcome new members to the team, a simple question is on the minds of many fans: what is the team’s biggest need?
Here are our top five needs for the Bears entering the draft:
The Bears have addressed the pass rusher situation several times in recent drafts, but with Leonard Floyd suffering a series of injuries and Jonathan Bullard not panning out the way the team wanted him to, the Bears will certainly be looking to get an impact pass rusher at some point in the draft.
It’s unlikely that they’ll get a shot at drafting North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb, but if they trade down in the first round, then it would be possible for them to nab someone else, such as Marcus Davenport out of UT-San Antonio.
The Bears are seemingly well set at right guard with Kyle Long in the mix, but with his health a constant question mark, the team is likely going to look at addressing that position early in the draft this year.
The smart money throughout the process has been on the team taking Notre Dame lineman Quenton Nelson, who worked with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand in South Bend. There’s no guarantee that he will be there at the number eight spot, and it’s unclear if Ryan Pace would be willing to trade up for the third consecutive draft to make sure that he gets his guy.
The Bears have spent a lot of money on wide receivers this offseason, but they could certainly look to improve in that area again as the draft gets underway.
Big names like Calvin Ridley have been sliding down some draft boards, so it’s unlikely that the Bears would pick him if they stay in the eighth spot. Other options could be available to them in the second round, including Maryland wideout DJ Moore or Texas A&M pass catcher Christian Kirk.
Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown could also be a player to watch out for, but they would likely have to hope that he falls unless they can trade back up into the third round.
The Bears could conceivably use the number eight pick on Mike McGlinchey, but this need likely won’t be addressed until later in the draft if they choose to pass on the Fighting Irish product.
Players like Connor Williams out of Texas and Orlando Brown out of Oklahoma would certainly fit the bill later on in the selection process, as could Louisville tackle Geron Christian.
The Bears will definitely be looking at outside linebacker help this season, but they could also look to the interior of their defense thanks to injury concerns with players like Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski.
Roquan Smith would be a no-brainer pick for the Bears if he’s available at pick number eight, or if they choose to go with an inside linebacker at another point in the draft, then players like Malik Jefferson and Tre’ Williams could intrigue Pace.
It seems unlikely that the Bears will even get a crack at a player like Derwin James, but odds are they are confident enough in Adrian Amos and Eddie Jackson to avoid taking a safety super early in the draft.
Texas product DeShon Elliott could be an intriguing player to watch on Day 2 of the draft, and Jessie Bates out of Wake Forest could be good as well, with blazing speed. He would need to work on his strength, however.