It is no secret that the Bears have been a very bad team this season, and it is pretty obvious that personnel changes need to happen. There is always a need for depth at every position, but some positions need it more than others. These are the Bears biggest holes that they need to fill through free agency and the NFL draft:
Mitchell Trubisky has shown flashes of potential, but Trubisky is not getting anywhere with the current receivers he has. Kendall Wright and Josh Bellamy are decent third and fourth options, but they are absolutely not supposed to a quarterback’s best target.
Some potential targets in free agency could be Sammy Watkins, Jordan Matthews, or Jarvis Landry. Even if it is just one of these options, they would fit great next to Josh Bellamy and Cam Meredith (when he returns from injury).
No free agent is a guarantee, however. The opportunity will be there multiple times to take a wideout in the NFL Draft. If Chicago decided to take one in the top ten, the clear selection would be Calvin Ridley out of Alabama. If they waited until the second round, Courtland Sutton could still be there, but the receiver from SMU could be taken in the late first round before the Bears would pick. Ohio State receiver Parris Campbell could also make sense in the early second.
Don’t be surprised if they pulled the trigger and drafted a second or third wideout in the later rounds. Some players such as David Stills, Anthony Miller, James Washington, and Allen Lazard would make a lot of sense in the later rounds.
The Bears defense is young and showed some potential this season. That being said, the biggest need on that the defense is definitely the secondary. Adrian Amos is a stud. Kyle Fuller is solid. Prince Amukamara and Eddie Jackson can play their roles in the secondary effectively. However, Chicago could really use an upgrade there.
Unlike receivers, targeting a defensive back in free agency would be more unlikely. Building up the secondary through the draft would be a much more likely scenario. If available, Minkah Fitzpatrick, the safety/cornerback out of Alabama would be the highest on the Bears’ draft board. But if he were selected before Chicago got the opportunity to pick, the safety Derwin James from Florida State would be the other big first-round option.
Justin Reid, the do it all safety from Stanford, is a second-round talent they could pull the trigger on. Another option would be a second defensive back out of the talented Alabama secondary, Ronnie Harris. It is very likely that the Bears will select a defensive back in either the first or second round.
There is still talent all over the board, a couple of names that would be good fits in the middle and late rounds are by the likes of Damon Webb, Marcus Allen, and Van Smith.
The Bears have a great young quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky, but Trubisky is only going to go as far as his offensive line takes him. The left side of the line is very good, but the right side, right tackle specifically, needs an upgrade. Bobby Massie just isn’t getting the job done and by cutting him, they could save $5.6 million on the salary cap.
There are some options Chicago could take a look at in free agency, but just like the secondary, the draft is probably the best option. However, Garry Gilliam from the Texans and Byron Bell from Dallas would be the best unrestricted free agents.
In the draft, the Bears will probably look to target a tackle in the middle rounds. A couple names that will likely be available that should interest Chicago are Michael Deiter out of Wisconsin, Isaiah Wynn, the do-it-all lineman from Georgia, and a rising sleeper from a smaller college called Western Georgia, Desmond Harrison.
The Bears have a lot of opportunities to upgrade the team this offseason but we can only hope that the front office and Ryan Pace make the right decisions.