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Chicago Bears Team Needs: Draft Wrap Up


Mal McCauley
Chicago did an excellent job of filling their defensive needs and adding some depth at running back and wide receiver. Although the Bears achieved their mission, there are still some areas that need additional attention in the free agent market. | Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Bears had specific position targets heading into the 2016 NFL Draft. It was clear that the Bears intent was to get players that help build the defense to what it once was and to draft players that compliment defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme. Chicago did an excellent job of filling their defensive needs and adding some depth at running back and wide receiver. Although the Bears achieved their mission, there are still some areas that need additional attention in the free agent market.

 

Quarterback

The biggest concern following the draft was the fact Chicago didn’t take any quarterbacks. This 2016 draft features a very weak class of quarterbacks but one would think that a QB would have at least been a priority. The Bears have addressed this need for now by signing free agent quarterback Brian Hoyer. Although Hoyer is a nice addition for the Bears, he is simply a band aid for what the Bears really need; a quarterback of the future. There are plenty of diamonds in the rough available in free agency and the Bears coaching stuff needs to take a look at what is out there and bring someone in with potential, one that can learn and adapt. Next year may be the same type of quarterback class, it is time for the Bears to start working on this now because Cutler’s window of opportunity could slam shut fast.

 

Tight End

Letting go of Martellus Bennett is still going to affect the Bears as they head into 2016. Yes, Zach Miller had some shining moments last year but he is injury prone. Right now the tight end depth chart is filled with average veterans that should be able to get the job done, but in this league, a strong blocking tight end with good hands is what is needed to succeed, the Bears lack consistency in that area. Bringing in a young tight end should be a top priority moving into training camp. The Bears are a team with solid wide receivers and balancing this offense with a tight end, someone Cutler can depend on, is key for his continued confidence and success that sprouted in 2015.

 

Kick Return Specialist

Since Devin Hester was sent packing to Atlanta in 2014, the Bears return game has been less than stellar. The Bears have traditionally a team that lives off of special teams and this is an area where the Bears can have the edge over their NFC North foes.  A 4th string wide receiver just isn't going to cut it here anymore, the Bears need to hit the stats and dig through rookie free agents, it's time to breathe new life into this lifeline Chicago has depended on for so long. 

Mal McCauley is a NFC North writer for Pro Football Spot. 


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I agree with you on the Bears getting a tight end. Special Teams needs a good kick returner. No one can replace Devin Hester --as it turned out, he wouldn't have made a big difference in 2014.  I thought the Bears had a good draft.  The Bears did have a decent kick returner in the later part of the season, but his name escapes me.

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Interesting listing QB as the number one need. Cutler's time is limited and he hasn't been as great as Chicago hoped, but I'm not sure if free agency has a viable long-term answer either. They'll have to wait to draft one in the future. They definitely need a tight end though after losing Bennett.

Sent from my iPhone using the Pro Football Spot App

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The QB situation is bizarre coming out of college; I agree they will probably need to wait for the next draft or the one after that. 

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Fox was a good hire for them. They won't make the playoffs this year, but should keep improving under him.

It'll be interesting to see if Kevin White pans out. Need a long term solution at QB though. Wouldn't shock me if this is cutler's last year with them.

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Biggest needs the team has is on the offensive front . LT and Center come to question, as does the RT position. He RT (Massie) is one drink away from jail. OC H.Grasu is so small and under strength DefensiveTackle's run right over him. The other need I see is the CB position our CB s from this years draft  was somewhat short. The best of the lot went un-drafted CB Kevin Robinson from Oklahoma St. He is only 5'10. He's a good one, a keeper.

     This team did well in the off season with players coming back from injuries. Pass rushers Young and Houston should really show themselves this coming season. Couple that with more speed overall should bring in a different attitude set.

Age is still evident at the CB position and Kicker. I see better competition at all the positions I've mentioned. The Punter position. Another major area I see the team has in improved upon is the Special teams game the players are stronger and more experienced I believe.

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On 5/9/2016 at 8:40 AM, Mal McCauley said:

The QB situation is bizarre coming out of college; I agree they will probably need to wait for the next draft or the one after that. 

Depends on how the fare this year. If they bomb it, Watson could be a great option next year.

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This team is on the change.  There will be a lot of new faces this season. Cutler is a big story.  He's got to have a good year in order for him to stay, if he is under contract. I think next year is his last year under contract.

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It will be interesting to see how the Bears match up with my Patriots when they share practices during training camp.  I believe the Bears needed to strengthen their defense and have successfully done that, but where are the desperately needed answers for the offense?

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I think the offense will be in good shape, remember, last year all the starting receivers were injured at one time or another, most of the time, Cutler had no one to throw to. Now he has Alshon Jeffrey, Kevin White, Eddie Royal, Marquess Wilson. The question mark will be trying to move on without Martellus Bennett, the RB's will be fine, O-line has been upgraded and Cutler has done well under Fox.   I think the Bears will surprise some people.

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I am interested to see how Kevin White performs this season. There is a lot of pressure on him to perform after being injured last season.

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I think that as long as the Bears can establish a good run game in the aftermath of Forte leaving they should be able to cover up the lack of a TE in the passing game. Get defenses to crowd the box and throw to guys out wide in one-on-one. Not a perfect solution but I think it's doubtful they get a solution at TE this far in the offseason.

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On 5/25/2016 at 3:57 PM, Will Fairfax said:

I am interested to see how Kevin White performs this season. There is a lot of pressure on him to perform after being injured last season.

I believe Kevin White will make the passing game a lot easier with Alshon Jeffrey, but I don't know what the Bears running game is going to do.

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