Should the Bears' First-Round Pick Be OLB, ILB or Offensive Line?

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2013

LAKE FOREST, IL - JANUARY 17:  General manager Phil Emery of the Chicago Bears explains his choice of Marc Trestman to be the new head coach of the Bears at Halas Hall on January 17, 2013 in Lake Forest, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Free agency is done, and the Chicago Bears have left themselves in an excellent position to take whatever falls to them.

They still have issues in several areas, including at least one they addressed in free agency.

You guys always have to listen to every draftnick, analysts and dude with a microphone spout off on who your favorite team should draft.

Now it's your turn.

I'll lay out the case for the three positions I feel are most likely going to be the team's targets and then you guys get to vote on which you feel is most likely.

You can always add options in the comments as well.

The Case for Offensive Line

Adding Jermon Bushrod to left tackle is an instant upgrade for the line, and the domino effect only helped more—whether J'Marcus Webb or Gabe Carimi move to right tackle or guard, it's an improvement. 

There remains some work to be done, though, especially with the departure of Lance Louis. While Matt Slauson will fill in for Louis, he's really a step back.

So as far as needs go, this continues to be one, but it is down from a DEFCON 1  more to a DEFCON 3.

The question facing the Bears at No. 20 is whether or not a worthwhile guard or right tackle is there and if the talent level is worth the move.

There are some solid tackles and guards available later, and it's unlikely the top guards will be on the board when they pick.

If Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper are there, do you take them? Is Justin Pugh worth a mid-1st?

Or is the lure of an edge-rusher or middle linebacker too attractive?

The Case for a New Urlacher aka Middle linebacker

Is D.J. Williams enough? Ask yourself that question first and we'll go from there.

If the answer is no, then the team has more work to do.

The Bears will probably only get one shot at getting a top-end middle linebacker in the draft. There may be some worthwhile developmental prospects later, but the Bears need a guy who can step in early.

Now the question is whether Kevin Minter, Manti Te'o, Alec Ogletree or Arthur Brown are worth the No. 20 overall pick. Heck, there are plenty of analysts who won't even include Brown and Ogletree as inside backers.

Who knows how teams have them ranked?

The fact is that we really don't know whether the Bears see them (or someone else) as a player who can be moved. Do we even want to draft someone we need to move (again)?

Te'o—fake girl aside—and Minter are both smart football players who can excel at the cerebral aspect of the game, which is what Brian Urlacher brought to the table.

The question is: Can they physically hold up in the middle?

The Case for Outside Linebacker

Let's assume that D.J. Williams is the answer or there are enough questions with Te'o and Minter.

We know Lance Briggs still has something left in the tank, but the other side could use an upgrade.

There are a ton of players who could be around—we've already mentioned Brown and Ogletree, but you can add guys like Jarvis Jones and Kaseem Greene to the list.

The Bears defense has been potent for years, but it doesn't remain that way by standing still. Adding new talent is key, and this is a draft with some nice pass-rushing talent.

From a value standpoint, it certainly seems as if there will be several players who are going to be available who can have a tremendous impact for the Bears right away.

My Take

This is a tough one, honestly—probably the closest one of these I have done for an NFCN team.

The Bears are in a great position this month—they can really take the best guy available at a position of need and be in great shape going into Round 2.

It comes down to how you feel about Williams, I think. Is he a guy who made some mistakes and can rebound his career in Chicago, or is he a place-holder?

I say they can hold off a year and get an outside linebacker this year instead. If they grab a guy like Ogletree, then they can hedge their bets and shift him over to inside linebacker if Williams implodes.

What say you? Vote and add your comments down below.


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