The Chicago Bears began the 2020 offseason with several pressing needs. The most obvious was at quarterback, where at the very least competition was needed. The trade for Nick Foles accomplished that mission. Tight end ranked next, and the decision to sign Jimmy Graham in free agency was at least a swing at fixing the problem. But what about right guard?
The retirement of Kyle Long created a void that can't, realistically, be filled by Rashaad Coward, who replaced Long in the lineup last season after the former first-round pick was sent to injured reserve in October. Coward was adequate (at best) but doesn't project as a long-term answer.
Chicago signed former Seahawks first-round pick Germain Ifedi to compete for the job, but his up-and-down tenure in Seattle makes him far from a lock to line up with the Bears' first-team by the time September rolls around. Still, he's probably the clubhouse favorite considering only Alex Bars, a second-year player who was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame last season, is a viable alternative.
This doesn't exactly bode well for Chicago, especially considering the emphasis Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy placed on re-establishing the run game in 2020. If the interior offensive line has holes, the running game won't stand a chance.
According to a recent ranking of every team's biggest need after the first wave of free agency, guard is at the top of the Bears' list.
This is arguably the only significant question mark on Chicago's offense aside from the quarterback position. The Bears potentially addressed that, however, by trading for Nick Foles. While Foles won't be handed the starting job, he'll have a chance to snatch it away from incumbent Mitchell Trubisky.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the 2020 NFL Draft doesn't offer many must-have options at the position, either. The top interior lineman, Michigan's Cesar Ruiz, will be long gone by the time Chicago picks at No. 43 overall. That leaves players like LSU's Lloyd Cushenberry III, Ohio State's Jonah Jackson and Temple's Matt Hennessey as potential second-round options, but none of them offer an upside greater than what Ifedi is capable of.
Still, the Bears can't assume their work is done along the offensive line. Whether they target a second-tier free agent or a Day-3 prospect, another guard or two will likely be added by the time training camp rolls around.