In a recent scouting notebook, Bleacher Report NFL Draft guru Matt Miller reveals what he has heard what positions the Chicago Bears could be prioritizing, based people he’s spoken with at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
“Offensive tackle, cornerback, and tight end are pressing needs, according to scouts internally and those who study the Bears as pro scouts,” Miller writes in the Scouting Notebook he released on Thursday. Not that this should be a surprise to anyone. But it speaks volumes that internal scouts and those who have their eyes on the Bears from the pro scouting sides of things are hand-in-hand in agreeing on what positions this team needs to address.
The Bears need a tight end. That isn’t breaking news. It is a position I have referred to as a revolving door of disappointment quite recently. The tight end is to the offense now what safety was before Eddie Jackson (and before him, Adrian Amos) stepped in and delivered an excellent level of play. So long as tight end is the most important position in the Bears’ offense, fixing the spot will be a high priority.
Cornerback as a need is no shocker either, especially since Chicago is not even one week removed from cutting Prince Amukamara. Sure, the Bears still have Kyle Fuller holding it down on the other side of the field. But finding a complimentary cornerback to line up opposite of him becomes more important after parting ways with Amukamara, a three-year starter in Chicago’s defense. And yes, the Bears have internal options who could take a swing at things. Kevin Toliver II, Duke Shelley, Michael Joseph, and Tre Roberson are going to lay claim to that striating role during OTAs, minicamps, and training camp. But there’s no such thing as too much depth … and the Bears don’t have proven starting-caliber depth beyond Fuller and Buster Skrine. So with that in mind, cornerback becomes a priority position of need.
And then there’s offensive tackle, which comes as somewhat of a surprise. Not because the Bears couldn’t use a boost to their offensive line. But right tackle Bobby Massie is just a year removed from signing an extension, which makes it impossible to save cap space by moving him out f the picture. Then there is Charles Leno Jr., whose contract could be moved off the books, but for a minimal gain ($2.9 million) but at the cost of a daunting dead money hit ($7.4 million). Is the Bears’ search for tackle help a sign of buyers remorse? Or is it being viewed as a position to invest in now with the idea of parting with one of their tackles in the future when there is more cap space to be gained?
Coming to grips on the Bears’ offseason plans feels like an elusive task at times. But having an idea of what positions will be prioritized brings clarity to what is an otherwise cloudy situation.