Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Chicago Bears [full archive here].
Season Recap – Chicago rebounded from a 7-9 record in 2009 by finishing with a 11-5 record and winning the division in 2010. Jay Cutler improved under Mike Martz and the Bears’ defense looked like their old selves. Chicago fell one win short of the Super Bowl after losing to Green Bay in the Conference Championship. The Bears won’t have it easy in 2011 while battling the defending Super Bowl champs and the emerging Detroit Lions within the division.
1. Left Tackle – Somehow Chicago found a way to win with one of the worst lines in the league. The Bears gave up a lead leaguing 56 sacks, as Jay Cutler took a beating all season. Cutler needs a blind side protector and there will be one available in the first round. Derek Sherrod would be a great selection.
2. Defensive Tackle – Tommie Harris lost his job and recently was released, leaving the Bears desperately searching for help in the inside. 2010 starter Anthony Adams is a free agent, which leaves only unproven players Anthony Adams, Tank Tyler, and Matt Toeaina on the roster. The Bears need to select a DT in the first two rounds.
3. Wide Receiver – The core of Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, and Earl Bennett proved ineffective last season. Jay Cutler needs a number one target, not a group of average players. Chicago should make a play for Sidney Rice or Braylon Edwards in free agency.
4. Outside Linebacker – Pisa Tinoisamoa, Rod Wilson, and Nick Roach are all free agents. Lance Briggs will turn 31 this season, meaning OLB is a need for Chicago. A young prospect should be selected in the middle rounds.
5. Center – Long time Bear, Olin Kreutz is a free agent and at 34 could be nearing the end. The Bears need to find a player who can anchor the inside and direct the O-line unit. If Mike Pauncey is available, the Bears wouldn’t hesitate to make him the pick in round one.