By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
The Chicago Bears have spent the last five to six years rebuilding, and it appears that they may have found the right coaching staff to take back the NFC North. But they have to make a splash in the 2018 NFL Draft with one pick in Rounds 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7, none in the 3rd and two in Round 4. Depending on trades, a third-round pick could surface. However, they could lose the 7th round pick from the Dontrelle Inman trade back in October.
The biggest offseason needs for the Bears are Wide Receiver, Right Tackle, Defensive End and Cornerback.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top five prospects at each positional need.
By releasing Markus Wheaton they would save $5 million in cap space. Kevin White is in the final year of his rookie contract and hopefully can breakout in 2018 with zero injuries. Below are the top five wide receivers options.
- Calvin Ridley, Alabama
- Deon Cain, Clemson
- James Washington, Oklahoma State
- Christian Kirk, Texas A & M
- Courtland Sutton, SMU
In order for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to succeed, he needs time in the pocket to get the ball out and that means staying off his back. The Bears have to address the protection needs up front on the offensive line. Bobbie Massie has struggled as well as Josh Sitton. Some help in the guard and tackle position would be stellar.
- Quenton Nelson OG, Notre Dame
- Will Hernandez OG, UTEP
- Mike McGlinchey OT, Notre Dame
- Orlando Brown OT, Oklahoma
- Billy Price OG, Ohio State
Hopefully, the Bears will retain cornerback Kyle Fuller, after he redefined himself last season as the aggressive CB he was destined to be. But he needs a strong partner to defend the redzone and a quick, sticky defender would seal the deal. Below are the top five prospects.
- Denzel Ward, Ohio State
- Mike Hughes, UCF
- Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
- Josh Jackson, Iowa
- Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Finally, to make the defense complete, the Bears can use an edge-rusher that can set the edge, pressure the QB and force the containment of ball carriers upfield. Pernell McPhee is still on the bubble as to whether or not he can be effective in the front. Below are the top five prospects.
- Bradley Chubb, NC State
- Marcus Davenport, UTSA
- Arden Key, LSU
- Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
- Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
There you have it! General manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy have a lot of work to do in the next few months with the NFL Combine and Pro Days. But knowing Pace, he is going to get the playmakers the Bears need in free agency and the NFL Draft, including the steals other teams ignore.
Talk Bears with Wanda on Twitter @WandaW63