Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
No. 1 Team Need: Safety
The 49ers poured a lot of resources into safeties when new Bears DC Vic Fangio was San Francisco's defensive coordinator, using first-round picks on FS Eric Reid and slot CB/FS Jimmie Ward, as well as signing SS Antoine Bethea to a lucrative later-career deal. They used the franchise tag on Dashon Goldson in 2012, and signed SS Donte Whitner away from Buffalo in 2011. Fangio's defenses generally emphasize sure tackling at safety, as opposed to elite cover skills. The Bears believe they shored up one spot by signing 32-year-old Antrel Rolle, but there is a glaring hole at the other position. Rolle will likely play free safety in Chicago.
No. 2 Team Need: Offensive line
Under new coach John Fox, the Bears have openly spoken of mitigating Jay Cutler's impact on games by implementing a run-based offense that removes responsibility from their erratic quarterback's plate and prevents Cutler from going "rogue" within the offensive structure. They need better run blocking up front, particularly at right tackle. RG Kyle Long is Chicago's only plus starter on the offensive line. Jermon Bushrod is no better than a league-average left tackle, while LG Matt Slauson is returning from a torn pectoral. 32-year-old C Will Montgomery is a short-term stopgap on a one-year deal. RT Jordan Mills must be replaced.
No. 3 Team Need: Defensive line
More arguable needs include quarterback, wideout, linebacker, cornerback and running back with Matt Forte approaching age 30. D-Line stands out as the biggest need with troubled LE Ray McDonald, aging NT Jeremiah Ratliff and ineffective RE Jarvis Jenkins penciled in as the starters. Purely from a position standpoint, right end is this line's primary weakness. Fangio's right end in San Francisco -- borderline HOFer Justin Smith -- had the ability to both tie up blockers and be independently disruptive. That combination is obviously not easy to find.
Norris’ Mock Draft:
Round 1 (7): WR Amari Cooper, Alabama - I keep hearing from Bears fans the team will take the Best Player Available. In most cases, I prefer Best Grade Available because need is factored in consciously or subconsciously. However, the Bears have so many needs BPA actually applies. Technically, Cooper might not be a true need, but a talent like his would be tough to pass up here. He is so good at creating separation and sustaining it, then picking up yards after the catch.
Round 2 (39): T Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M - With new decision makers in place, the Bears have time to build the roster. That is why selecting Ogbuehi works. He can redshirt his rookie year if needed and take over as a starting tackle on either side in 2016. Ogbuehi is a personal favorite but does need to work on his punch and landing spots, rather than keeping his hands at his waist before his extension.
Round 3 (71): S Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern - If Campbell played at a different program, I truly believe he would be listed higher by many. Campbell is an aggressive strong safety who attacks downhill and has been reliable in space (from what I have seen). He fits the type of safety Evan requested.
Round 4 (106): DL Christian Covington, Rice - Another prospect coming off injury. Covington underwent knee surgery in November but flashed ability from multiple alignments. His game against Texas A&M a few years ago was quite impressive. At the very least, Covington would offer depth at multiple spots.
Round 5 (142): OL Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech - A personal favorite. I have Shaq Mason rated very highly (No. 65), but his pass protection ability is a complete projection. He did improve there during Senior Bowl week. Mason is a total mauler in the running game and consistently finishes defenders. Teams are looking at Mason as a guard and as a center.
Round 6 (183): RB Terrell Watson, Azusa Pacific - Watson recorded a 4.55 forty and 1.57 10 yard split at 6’1/236 lbs, along with other very good testing numbers. That is “wut” worthy. The team does not have a back like him on the roster, and John Fox had a history of bigger backs in previous destinations.
Bears Current Offensive Depth Chart
QB: Jay Cutler
RB: Matt Forte
WR: Alshon Jeffery
WR: Eddie Royal
WR: Marquess Wilson
LT: Jermon Bushrod
LG: Matt Slauson
RG: Kyle Long
RT: Jordan Mills
Bears Current Defensive Depth Chart
LE: Ray McDonald
RE: Jarvis Jenkins
NT: Jeremiah Ratliff
OLB: Pernell McPhee
OLB: LaMarr Houston
ILB: Mason Foster
ILB: Jon Bostic
CB: Kyle Fuller
CB: Tim Jennings
FS: Antrel Rolle
SS: Ryan Mundy