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Thursday, April 4, 2013

NFL Draft Preview: Chicago Bears

Wild on Sports
2013 NFL Draft Capsules:

Chicago Bears
 By Wild on Sports NFL Analyst Davis McGregor

On The Clock: Chicago Bears

Team Overview:

Coming off a 10-6 season the Daa Bears don’t have too much to complain about, or at least they shouldn’t. A record like that is usually something to be happy about but if the Bears want to repeat that success they have a lot of work ahead of them. Especially if they intend to keep injury prone Jay Cutler on the field all season.

Team Needs:
1. Linebacker
2. Offensive Line
3. Defensive Line

For the last decade Chicago’s defense has been anchored by Brian Urlacher. The linebacker was the face of this team, well until recently. Due to the age of Urlacher, he was not resigned this off season after he refused the deal offered to him by the Bears, a mere 1 year, $2 million contract. With him out of the picture a new linebacker is just what the Bears need. Well that and an offensive line.

For a team that has always prided itself at having an outstanding running game, the Bears offensive line is something to take pity on. The big men struggled keeping Cutler from taking shots all season and there’s no way he comes out alive from another season unless they upgrade on their front line.

Likely Fits:

Urlacher has some big shoes to fill and the Bears desperately need someone to cover the middle of their field. In this years draft they should look no further than Alec Ogletree to be that replacement. Ogletree was a standout on the Bulldogs stellar defense that almost carried them to the BCS National Championship. As a player that began as a safety and moved into the linebacker position, his pass coverage is far better than most. His speed remains his most impressive talent though. Watching him run down players from behind looks like something straight out of Animal Planet, with a lion hunting its food.

Playing on a college team with such a strong defense would help Ogletree’s transition to the big leagues. He doesn’t try to do too much, he knows that he doesnt need to cover for any other players on the field which allows him to concentrate on his assignments. Some players that did not have a strong supporting cast in college have the mentality that they need to cover for other players and this can carry into the NFL, which hurts their own performance. With all the talent the Bears have on defense it should be a simple move for Ogletree.

Alec Ogletree can do a whole lot for a team, he cant however block opposing linebackers and defensive lineman, this is why the Bears also need to look at an offensive lineman.

Changes they are a comin in Chicago. After missing the playoffs in 2012 head coach Lovie Smith was sent packing, only to open up the spot for Marc Trestman. Along with the new coach comes a new offensive style. And this ones a little crazy for the Bears. Trestman plans to implement a new read-option style offense for Cutler, only problem is they have don’t have the offensive line to run a traditional offense let alone an option offense. If he truly plans to move towards a west coast style, Trestman needs to bring in a big man from the draft this year.

Running an option is something that takes a lot of perfect coordination, and decision making through the whole team. Teaching this type of offense isn’t the easiest so bringing in a player used to the option is the best bet. Oregon’s Kyle Long has had the option offense seared into his brain by Chip Kelly, so you know he should be a shoo-in.

With players like Joeckel and Fisher on the board, Long won’t go too high so for all of Trestman’s option dreams to come true. He just needs to fall to pick number 50 and he is all theirs.

Combined with the addition of Jerome Bushrod and Matt Slauson the Bears will be back in business of pounding the ball up front, and now sweeping it out side on the quarterback keepers.

Age is also becoming a factor on the defensive line of the Chicago, star Julius Peppers just turned 33 and Isreal Idonije was just released for that reason. This defense is becoming archaic and the Bears front office needs to pump some new blood into it with this year’s draft.

Bjeorn Werner could just be the player the Bears need. He has an aggressive pass rash that can take over for Idonije, and still holds up well against the run. Werner was expected to go much earlier but after a pro day full of disappoint surprises his draft stock was knocked down more than Cutler last year.

A few teams are in need of a player with Werner’s skill set but with the plentiful number of defensive ends in this draft he should fall to the mid to late part of the first round. If the Bears can find a person in the free agency to handle the MLB spot drafting Werner would be a great pick. He proved himself on the field at Florida State and while his pro day was less than stellar, we all know it matters what a player can do on the field, not in a tryout. Tim Tebow was living proof of that for the Broncos just last year.

 Check out our other 2013 NFL Draft Team Capsules


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