Chicago Bears: Five most critical needs heading into 2021 NFL Draft

Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears
Bobby Massie #70, Germain Ifedi #74 and Sam Mustipher #67 of the Chicago Bears warm up before a game against the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

3. Offensive Line

While quarterback and wide receiver are easily the most pressing needs for the Chicago Bears at the moment, their offensive line has to be addressed as well, particularly, the tackle position. Bobby Massie is fresh off an injury-riddled season that caused him to miss eight games last year and Charles Leno struggled mightily on the left side. After the announcement of the new minimum $180 million salary cap, the Bears are projected to be significantly over that number so Leno and Massie could be cut candidates this offseason.

Offensive tackle is another position that is pretty deep this year, which is good news for the Bears. In fact, there are so many good options at the position, some first-round talents might be available for the Bears with their second-round pick at 52nd overall. I could see names like Dillon Radunz, Alex Leatherwood, or Liam Eichenberg still being on the board simply due to the depth of the 2021 tackle class.

4. Secondary

The Chicago Bears obviously have talent in their secondary but there are a couple of spots they could look to upgrade in the 2021 NFL Draft. Tashaun Gipson is now a free agent and may be in line for a bigger payday than the Bears can offer him after a solid 2020 season. On the opposite end of that, Buster Skrine struggled quite a bit in the slot and is a likely cut candidate to help with the team’s cap situation. If Gipson isn’t brought back and Skrine is indeed let go, then safety and nickel become pretty significant needs for Chicago.

Assuming the other positions take precedence, the middle to late-round picks are where we are most likely to see the Bears address the secondary. Chicago values versatility when it comes to the safety position so guys like Cincinnati’s James Wiggins and Texas’ Caden Sterns could be fits to help fill the Gipson void.

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As far as nickel is concerned, Shaun Wade is a guy who just screams Bears to me. He is fresh off of a rough season where he played out of position on the boundary, which has hurt his draft stock quite a bit. That’s good news for the Bears, however, as they could presumably get him in the third round or so, where they can then move him back to his more natural position inside.