Chicago Bears 1st Round Options: 2013 NFL Draft

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Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears jumped out of the gate to a 7-1 start and were being seen as Super Bowl contenders. Then injuries came and plagued them and they only went 3-5 down the stretch, missing the playoffs. Jay Cutler suffered a concussion in a loss to the Texans and some key defenders got injured. protecting Jay Cutler better this season has to be the Bears main priority. They signed Jermon Bushrod, but he wasn’t an elite level tackle while in New Orleans with those great guards on the line with him. The Bears also need to draft a replacement for Brian Urlacher. Alshon Jeffery should take over the #2 WR role this year, but they could still use some more weapons for Cutler.

Sep 8, 2012; Winston Salem, NC, USA North Carolina Tar Heels guard Jonathan Cooper (64) plays in the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB

Jonathan Cooper – The Bears have to protect Jay Cutler better this year. They signed Jermon Bushrod in the offseason expecting him to be their starting LT and bringing in Cooper would be another huge step in making that line respectable. Cooper is an extremely athletic guard who can move as well left as he can right. With a team that likes to get the ball in Matt Fortes hands in a number of ways, including the passing game, a guard who can get upfield with him is necessary. Cooper gets to the 2nd level as well as any guard in recent memory. He isn’t as strong as Chance Warmack and can tend to get pushed back by bigger, stronger DTs.

September 29, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Rashad Greene (80) is congratulated by offensive linesman Menelik Watson (71) after they scored a touchdown against the South Florida Bulls during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Menelik Watson – Even though the Bears signed Jermon Bushrod, I don’t think an offensive tackle is out of the question here. Watson can come in and play right tackle from day 1. He is still raw, but is an amazing athlete and an explosive player. Watson is also an insurance policy in case newly signed Bushrod doesn’t play as well as hoped. Watson has an explosive first step and good quickness and mobility. Is flexible and has a powerful punch against defenders. Gets to the 2nd level very well. Is still raw with limited playing experience and because of this his footwork still needs some work.