NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 7 Needs
1. OT - 4.0
2. OC - 3.0
3. DT - 3.0
4. P - 3.0
5. RB - 2.0
6. LB - 2.0
7. DE - 2.0
Position by Position Breakdown
Quarterback - Cutler has caught a lot of flack from fans and other NFL players, but in Chicago they are happy with him. Hanie and COllins are both free agents, and the former is the only of the pair to likely return. They might use a mid/late round pick on a developmental No. 3, but it's not a big need if they keep Hanie. NEED: 1.0
Running Back - They plan on dumping Taylor after a non-descript year in Chicago. If that happens, then the chances of Garrett Wolfe's return increase. Forte had a nice rebound year, but they'll likely look to add depth in the draft. NEED: 2.0
Fullback - This position practically doesn't exist in the Martz offense. NEED: 0.0
Wide Receiver - They like their trio of Knox, Hester, and Bennett as all three had nice years. Aromashodu isn't expected back, and they'd probably like to add a fourth guy to the mix to develop for the future. NEED: 1.5
Tight End - Clark is a free agent, and he probably won't return. Olsen might be trade bait this off-season since he's not a great fit in their offense. But they'll only move him if they get a premium offer. IF that happens, then they'll likely add a replacement in the middle part of the draft. But in the mean time guys like Manumaleuna and Kellen Davis fulfill the requirements that Martz asks from this position, which is mainly to block. NEED: 1.5
Offensive Tackle - Omiyale struggled at left tackle, and is more valuable as a swing tackle and backup than starter. Webb struggled in his full year on the right side. Ideally, they can add someone that can solidify the left side, but a guy that can play either side will be preferred in case they have to shuffle around their line again. NEED: 4.0
Offensive Guard - Williams found a home at left guard, and Garza is solid on the other side. They'll likely add depth and insurance in the draft, but they do envision Louis making some contributions here down the road. NEED: 1.0
Center - Kreutz is a free agent and will be 34 this year and isn't quite the same player he was years ago, so the time may be right to move in a new direction. If that's the case, that will likely come via an early draft pick. Garza gives them some insurance here. NEED: 3.0
Defensive Tackle - Adams is a free agent that they want back. Harris had a better 2010 than 2009, but they will consider cutting him if he doesn't take a pay cut. If that happens, then they have a nice rotational options with Harrison and Toeiana to fill the void, but none inspire a ton of confidence to be that top playmaker. So they'd probably look to address this in the draft or free agency with a notable pickup. NEED: 3.0
Defensive End - Idonije and Peppers were a solid pair. But they'd like to add another guy into the mix, although Wootton is a decent developmental option. But adding a situational speed rusher on the edge makes sense. NEED: 2.0
Linebacker - Tinoisamoa and Roach are both free agents, with the former likely returning. But he's just a role player, and adding a guy that can solidify the starting spot makes sense. But that likely won't come until the middle rounds if at all. They don't really have any solid heir apparents to Urlacher in the middle. Hillenmeyer is solid immediate depth, but he's 30, when Urlacher is going to be 33. They need to start planning for the future since Urlacher also only has two more years left on his deal. NEED: 2.0
Cornerback - Bowman looked promising after a strong 2009 season, but fell back by the wayside last year with Tim Jennings and D.J. Moore passing him on the depth chart. That likely means they'll probably add another corner into the mix to compete and add depth, but it's not a high priority since between the competition of Bowman, Moore, and Jennings they should get a competent starter opposite Tillman. NEED: 1.5
Safety - Manning had a nice year, but hasn't been consistent from year to year. But he should be back as a free agent. Harris is a nice solid piece, and they like the future of Major Wright, which means their need here is minimal as long as Manning returns. NEED: 1.0
Kicker - Gould has had better years in the past, but he's still a solid kicker and this is not a need. NEED: 0.0
Punter - Maynard's contract is up and the 38 year old is expected to retire. His skills have declined over the years, and expect the Bears to move in a new direction with a younger option next year. NEED: 3.0
The year's upcoming draft and the college game can be discussed here.
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