Bears draft needs

With just eight total draft picks this year, the Chicago Bears will need to make the most out of their limited draft capital and find quality players in the later rounds, something that, for the most part, GM Ryan Pace has actually done well at the past few years. For example, Eddie Jackson and David Montgomery. While I expect them to find a solution to the quarterback position via free agency, they should dedicate most of their remaining salary cap after that to draft prospects.

Now, if the Bears do go out and decide to get a long-term option at the quarterback position, it’s important that they get the lineman to protect whoever that may be. They should be solid at guard next season, with Bobbie Massie and James Daniels, but an offensive tackle is really where they need to improve.

The Bears could go a couple of different ways with the 20th overall pick in the first round. Likely the best available player here would be the athletic big man Christian Darrisaw from Virginia Tech, who would provide an immediate upgrade at that spot. By Upgrading the tackle position, it will make life much easier for not only whoever the Bears have playing quarterback, but also running back, David Montgomery. The other player, who is unlikely to slide as far as the Bears 20th overall pick, would be a pleasant draft day surprise is Rashawn Slater out of Northwestern. He would give the Bears a solid immediate starter and would help tremendously upfront. While not being the biggest or longest of offensive tackles, he should be a very durable player who can give this team plenty of quality starts and allow them to focus on improving other positions from there.

Assuming the offensive line is taken care of at this point in the draft, I expect the Bears to target a receiver with their second-round pick, yes, a receiver even with the news of Allen Robinson being franchise tagged. It’s looking more likely that Anthony Miller won’t be returning to the roster next season. Also, Javon Wims hasn’t taken the next step to be considered a real target at the position and Riley Ridley still hasn’t proved anything. This leaves Robinson and breakout star Darnell Mooney at the wide receiver position right now, making it clear the Bears will need some additional weapons on the outside next year. Terrace Marshall Jr. of LSU, if still on the board at this time, would be a great value pick and give the Bears immediate depth and someone who can come in and likely play in a number of snaps right away. The 6 foot 3, 201-pound receiver would likely slot right in at the number two receiver spot, opposite Allen Robinson, leaving Mooney in the slot and giving the offense ample amounts of weapons to use. Despite playing just seven games last season, Marshall managed to put up a solid stat-line of 48 catches, 731 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging about 15 yards per catch. In the Bears offensive system where they like to move players around, the versatile Marshall would be a great fit.