Rotoworld: Analyzing Bears' NFL Draft needs

Rotoworld: Analyzing Bears' NFL Draft needs

Rotoworld Senior Football Editor Evan Silva (@EvanSilvaand NFL Draft expert Josh Norris (@JoshNorrisare breaking down every team's biggest needs and providing a full seven-round mock draft. Check out their latest on the Bears in the story below and for a breakdown on every other team, head over to

No. 1 Team Need: Defensive Back

Silva's Analysis

The Bears have multiple needs in the secondary, where 33-year-old Antrel Rolle is on his last legs and Chicago played musical chairs at slot corner last season. The Bears did re-sign successful reclamation project LCB Tracy Porter, but he has an ugly injury history and will be on the wrong side of 30 when the season starts. RCB Kyle Fuller is talented but inconsistent. In DC Vic Fangio's scheme, strong safeties tend to be wood-laying tone setters and cornerbacks have to be able to play man.

No. 2 Team Need: Running Back

Silva's Analysis

2015 fourth-round pick Jeremy Langford mixed some productive games into his rookie year, but emerged with an anemic 3.63 yards-per-carry average and eight dropped passes, most among NFL running backs. Even if the Bears believe Langford can become their lead runner, they need an upgrade on replacement-level reserves Ka'Deem Carey and Jacquizz Rodgers. Running the ball efficiently and voluminously is always prioritized in John Fox offenses. The Bears' offseason pursuit of C.J. Anderson strongly indicates another back will be added.

No. 3 Team Need: Tight End

Silva's Analysis

Even after an active free-agency period, the Bears remain one of the NFL's neediest teams. Other positions considered here were left tackle, quarterback and defensive line. Chicago has only David Fales and Matt Blanchard behind Jay Cutler, who is entering a make-or-break year under a regime that didn't bring him into the organization and aggressively tried to trade him one offseason ago. Additionally, pass rush is an area most teams could afford to upgrade, and Chicago is no different. Most apparent is the Bears' internal feeling that tight end is a need following their failed pursuit of Saints restricted free agent Josh Hill. Current starter Zach Miller is entering his age-32 season and has been injured for most of his career. In Rob HouslerKhari Lee and Gannon Sinclair, the depth chart is rounded out by borderline NFL-level players.

[ROTOWORLD: Complete NFL News

Norris' Mock Draft

Round 1 (11): T Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame - The Bears upgraded right tackle (and right guard) with Bobby Massie moving in and Kyle Long moving over. I liked Charles Leno coming out of school… as a backup tackle or utility offensive lineman. Not to start. Stanley offers pass protecting prowess, using his length and footwork to mirror his opposition. These prospects are selected early to win in the passing game. Stanley is far from a liability in the running game.

Round 2 (41): CB Artie Burns, Miami - A pure “tools” corner, but one that I bet a number of coaches will want to work with. When it all is put together, Burns flashes high level play. He has the length many teams covet.

Round 3 (72): TE Austin Hooper, Stanford - Matt Waldman’s top tight end in the class. I can’t go there, but Hooper possesses a lot of inline ability. He is comfortable working in the short and intermediate areas of the field, down the seam and has the body control to adjust to difficult catches.

Round 4 (106): RB Alex Collins, Arkansas - Collins is one of the better backs at picking up yards blocked for him, running with determination in the hopes of beating first contact or falling forward. He can also pass protect. Don’t expect a dynamic runner here.

Round 4 (127): DL Joel Heath, Michigan State - A defensive lineman who fits best in an odd man front, or outside to inside style. The Bears need depth along their defensive line, and Heath would fit their scheme.

Round 5 (150): S Kavon Frazier, CMU - Frazier can really close from a strong safety spot. Sometimes his angles aren’t great, but he wants to be a hammer and make plays near the line of scrimmage.

Round 6 (185): QB Brandon Allen, Arkansas - Allen could be selected earlier than this, but third-day quarterback rankings will vary wildly from team to team. Allen really showed the ability to handle the passing game inside of structure as a senior.

Round 6 (206): WR K.J. Maye, Minnesota - Jamison Crowder after taxes. Maye is best in the slot.

Round 7 (230): G Ted Karras, Illinois - Depth at the guard position. Karras did not look out of place at the East-West Shrine Game.

Bears Current Offensive Depth Chart

QB: Jay Cutler

RB: Jeremy Langford

WR: Alshon Jeffery

WR: Kevin White

WR: Eddie Royal

TE: Zach Miller

LT: Charles Leno

LG: Matt Slauson

C: Hroniss Grasu

RG: Kyle Long

RT: Bobby Massie

Bears Current Defensive Depth Chart

LE: Akiem Hicks

RE: Mitch Unrein

NT: Eddie Goldman

ILB: Danny Trevathan

ILB: Jerrell Freeman

OLB: Pernell McPhee

OLB: Willie Young

LCB: Tracy Porter

RCB: Kyle Fuller

FS: Adrian Amos

SS: Antrel Rolle


Bears ’18 offseason dramatically different from ’17 but with difficult money-management issues looming


Bears ’18 offseason dramatically different from ’17 but with difficult money-management issues looming

About this time a year ago the Bears were setting up for the annual NFL beauty pageant in Indianapolis, sitting with the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft and with myriad roster decisions to address with both that draft and free agency. Because of the Bears’ lofty draft position, even more scrutiny and attention swirled around the college prospects (Deshaun Watson, Jamal Adams, Solomon Thomas, not enough on Mitch Trubisky as it turned out, a testimonial to GM Ryan Pace’s ability to keep a secret).

But what was developing in free agency was arguably of even greater significance in what was then the short term, at least for John Fox, as it turned out. And the changed landscape this year bodes considerably better for Pace and the Bears. At least in one important respect.

First, a perspective from last year’s pre-Combine period...

Because of the unsettled quarterback situation – the Bears were working toward Mike Glennon and cutting Jay Cutler two weeks later – and concerns about a possible lame-duck situation for Fox, free agents and their agents were willing to look at the Bears but only if the Bears would pony up excessive guaranteed dollars. The worry any time a coach is heading into a tipping-point year is that if things go badly, the coach and staff are gone, and the resulting changes will alter the job situation of that particular veteran player.

So the likes of cornerbacks A.J. Bouye or Stephon Gilmore opted for less total money from Jacksonville and New England, respectively, because the Bears weren’t offering higher guarantees to compensate for the uncertainty.

(One of the reasons then-President/CEO Michael McCaskey stated to this reporter for firing Mike Ditka after the 1992 season was a concern over the negative pall Ditka cast over playing for the Bears as the NFL prepared for the 1993 start of free agency. A quarter-century later, Pace didn’t fire Fox because of free agents’ aversion to Fox, but the overall wasn’t making Pace’s job any easier.)

Would Alshon Jeffery have stayed if...

On a slightly different tack: Would Alshon Jeffery have given the Bears a more receptive look had the quarterback position been addressed sooner in the Fox/Pace tenure? Jeffery took less from the Eagles in a one-year prove-it deal, not because Philadelphia was so much warmer than Chicago, but in large part because of where the offensive arrow was pointing in Chicago with Fox, Dowell Loggains and an unsettled quarterback situation.

Not insignificantly in the Jeffery case: Jeffery had four choices – Bears, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Philadelphia. The Colts weren’t sure about Andrew Luck, coming off shoulder surgery and ultimately missing all of ’17. The Vikings were resting then on brittle Sam Bradford, whose knee broke down early, and Case Keenum wasn’t CASE KEENUM at that point. The Bears with Loggains and Glennon? Jeffery didn’t go with Philadelphia, Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz only for the money, which did come anyway.

The Bears have “fixed” all of those issues in the year that’s played out since Jeffery signed with the Eagles almost concurrent with the Bears moving on from Cutler. None of that matters now in the least with Jeffery, Bouye, Gilmore or any other options that demanded too much guaranteed money or spurned the Bears back then, but it does matter going into the run-up to free agency over the next couple weeks.

Why this in fact matters more than the draft is that, while sound organizations are grounded in quality drafting, the reality is that in virtually every offseason, more starters for that season are acquired via free agency than the draft. Last year’s draft centerpiece was Trubisky, though he wasn’t supposed to start last season. But free agents Glennon, Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper, Quintin Demps and Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright were.

The money pit

Longtime Bears and NFL personnel chief Bill Tobin once remarked back in the beginning of free agency, “Just because you pay a guy $2 million doesn’t make him a $2-million player.” That still applies, adjusted for inflation. And that could make this free agency dicey for the Bears.

Because price isn’t always determined solely on quality; it’s a matter of supply and demand. And while the Bears are among those with the greatest estimated space under the projected cap of $178 million, the others way up on the list include Cleveland, Indianapolis, the Jets, Houston and Tampa Bay – all teams with five or fewer wins in ’17 and expected to be the most aggressive in using free agency to fix gaping holes. The Bears have a lot of money to spend, but so do a whole lot of others.

Meaning: A lot of dollars will be chasing a select few players, which will make some of them overpaid, not unlike Glennon was last offseason (how many apparently better options were there?) or a couple of others, who will be paid like $2 million players even if they aren’t, adjusted for inflation.

The result is another offseason of brinksmanship for Pace, this time in need of better results than his first three free agencies if the outcome for his second head coach is to be better than it was for his first.

Report: Bears could be a potential landing spot for Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry


Report: Bears could be a potential landing spot for Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry

The Bears are looking for an upgrade at wide receiver this offseason, and there may be one available.

The Dolphins used the franchise tag on wide receiver Jarvis Landry on Tuesday, in a move that many believe signals the team's desire to deal him instead of losing him in free agency for nothing.

Landry put up excellent numbers last season, catching 112 passes for 987 yards and nine touchdowns. He led the league in catches and was fourth in touchdown receptions but was just 17th in yards. His yards per reception ranked 108th of 139 qualifying players.

Still, it's no secret he'd be an upgrade for the Bears at wide receiver. Though they'll get Cam Meredith and Kevin White back from injury, the corps largely struggled and didn't give rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky much help.

Luckily, they may be interested in Landry, per's Ian Rapoport.

"There are a couple teams that we should keep an eye on as far as a potential Jarvis Landry landing spot......the Chicago Bears are looking for receviers," he said.

Rapoport also mentioned the Titans, Panthers and Saints as options for Landry. The franchise tag will pay Landry about $16 million before he becomes a free agent in 2019 (or has the franchise tag used on him again).