With free agency in the rear view mirror it is time to turn our focus to the NFL Draft, specifically team draft needs. In this article we look at the Chicago Bears draft needs for 2016 as we move towards the April 28th 1st round from Chicago. The Chicago Bears haven’t won the NFC North, or even made the playoffs, since 2010. They’ve come close only to be pipped at the post, but with just 11 wins in the last 2 years things have been going backwards rather than forwards for the Bears. Turning that around starts with getting the draft right and filling some of the gaps left by free agency. So where might they be looking to go when Roger Goodell calls their name on draft day?
With Jermon Bushrod moving on and Charles Leno Jr being average at best in his left tackle starts last season the Bears could use help in protecting Jay Cutler. They signed Bobby Massie in free agency but that is likely to allow Kyle Long to move back to right guard rather than fill the left tackle spot.
While the Bears added Danny Trevathan during free agency they lack a second starting calibre linebacker to play alongside him. This is a rarity for Chicago, who have historically had excellent inside linebackers, and it has really hampered their defense over the last few years. Picking at 11 there are several linebacker prospects who could catch the eye of General Manager Ryan Pace. Miles Jack is likely to be off the board but Reggie Ragland or Darron Lee could prove a useful component for the Bears defense for years to come.
While last year’s signing of Pernell McPhee helped, the Bears pass rush remains one of the worst in the league. Their 35 team sacks were good for just 22nd and that has to improve, particularly when facing Aaron Rodgers twice a year. Joey Bosa is almost certainly going to be off the board before they get a chance to draft but Georgia’s Leonard Floyd and Clemson’s Shaq Lawson are both good options to come in and make an immediate impact at outside linebacker for Chicago and help them get pressure on opposing quarterbacks from week 1.