Rarely does a 10-win team fire its head coach. The Bears did just that in January. So they’ve got more talent than most teams with new coaches. Which means they’ve got fewer needs. But they still have some. And our assessment of the needs that should be addressed with their five 2013 draft picks appears below.
Linebacker: Nick Roach is gone, and he’s not coming back. Brian Urlacher is gone, and he’s likely not coming back. Lance Briggs turns 33 later this year. The position most identified with the franchise has taken a hit, and one-year deals with veterans on the downhill of their careers won’t provide the long-term fix the Bears need.
Offensive line: Thanks to free agency, the most glaring weakness on the roster is less conspicuous. But depth is needed, and youth would be preferred.
Quarterback: Jay Cutler enters the final year of his contract, with no clear indication that the quarterback acquired by a different G.M. and different head coach will be the long-term answer. It won’t hurt to add a young quarterback later in the draft.
Tight end: Despite the addition of Marcellus Bennett via free agency, the Bears would benefit from a young, versatile, pass-catching tight end. Reports recently have emerged linking the Bears to Stanford tight end Zach Ertz.
Defensive end: Julius Peppers is 33, he was signed by the prior regime, and he’s making a lot of money. While last year’s first-round selection was used on Shea McClellin, more help will be needed to develop a long-term replacement for Peppers.