Anybody who follows the Chicago Bears knows that the upcoming 2014 NFL draft will be defensively driven. So if they do go offense, which position will it be?
#5 – Tackle – Jermon Bushrod is into his 30s
There is no question the Bears did the right thing when they went out and spent some money to bring in left tackle Jermon Bushrod. Though not a beast like the very best in the league he is a two-time Pro Bowler and is a steady, reliable blocker. That being said he’s also getting into his 30s. Right tackle Jordan Mills is coming off a season-ending injury too. Adding some young depth can’t hurt.
#4 – Center – Robert Garza deal doesn’t solve long-term
It wasn’t that hard of a decision for Chicago to retain Roberto Garza. He had a very solid 2013 season and was the unquestioned leader of the offensive line, a unit that rated in the top ten in most categories. That doesn’t hide the fact he’s 35 on a one-year deal. The team will have to address the position sooner or later. A mid to late round pick has proven to yield fruit for offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer in the past.
#3 – Tight End – Little depth behind Martellus Bennett
Another quality free agent pickup last season. The Chicago Bears knew they need something more out of the tight end position and Martellus Bennett provided. Not only a good receiver all year long, he was also a solid blocker. The big issue for the team is the depth behind him. Dante Rosario is the only name on the roster of note and he’s more of a special teams addition. They really could use another quality talent who can impact the offensive side of the ball and perhaps sub in for Bennett if he gets hurt.
#2 – Quarterback – Josh McCown exit could leave big hole
The good news is that GM Phil Emery worked quickly to lock up Jay Cutler as the starter for the next three or more seasons. That ensures stability at the key position. The bad news is Cutler has a history of missing games every season, meaning it will be extremely important for the Bears to have a quality backup in place. Josh McCown was that last season, posting career-best numbers. In fact it was so good that he could be leaving in free agency for another team who might give him a starting job. That will leave the Bears very thin at quarterback, and compelled to add depth in the 2014 NFL draft.
#1 – Running Back – Matt Forte and Michael Bush aging
Ironically, one of the most productive positions for the Chicago Bears in 2013 could use attention in May. Matt Forte had his best season as a pro a year ago, turning in 1,933 total yards and 12 touchdowns. He was the best offensive player on the field. Unfortunately, he also turns 29 this year. That is a dangerous age for running backs. On top of that, backup Michael Bush is 30 and could get cut due to his heavy salary cap hit. Given how much the Bears offense relies on versatile running backs, it could be most important for them to invest some youth into the position before the draft ends.