Positional needs: QB, WR, OT, Secondary
QB: The Jay Cutler era looks over in the Windy City, and although Matt Barkley has played well thus far, it would be smart to invest a high draft pick in a quarterback. Bears running back Jordan Howard has impressed with his impressive vision and ability to find the open lane, an impressive interior offensive line and a solid tight end, in Zach Miller, can help alleviate the pressure off a rookie quarterback’s shoulder. The Bears will take a minimal cap hit if they release Jay Cutler, which looks more and more likely by the day, so it is time to look for the quarterback of the future, and possibly add another veteran quarterback to add some competition with Matt Barkley.
Potential FA targets: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley
Potential draft targets: Mitch Trubisky, Deshone Kizer, Deshaun Watson
WR: It is tough to say whether Alshon Jeffery will return after this year. It is highly unlikely they will franchise tag him again, since it would be quite a high cap number. His four game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy will hurt his free agency value, and his character is a concern, to say the least. According to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, Jeffery may not be viewed as a John Fox kind of player, and that ultimately, moving on from the talented, albeit troubled and oft-injured, wide receiver would be best for both parties. If they do decide to move on from him, there will be more pressure on the 2015 7th overall pick Kevin White, who has landed on IR two straight years now. If the Bears do decide to draft a quarterback with their top pick, they need to improve the wide receiving group.
Potential FA targets: Alshon Jeffery, Pierre Garcon, Terrelle Pryor
Potential draft targets: Corey Davis, Dede Westbrook, Amara Darboh
OT: The interior offensive line is all set, with Kyle Long–Cody Whitehair–Josh Sitton fortifying the inside, they need to focus on upgrading the tackle positions, especially right tackle, where Bobbie Massie has become a liability in both pass protection and run blocking. Left tackle Charles Leno Jr has done a good job pass blocking, but has been brutal in run blocking, as his run blocking ranks 64th out of a qualified 77 tackles. Right tackle is the number one priority on the offensive line, but both tackles should be addressed.
Potential draft targets: Adam Bisnowaty, Avery Gennesy, Taylor Moton
Secondary: The Bears’ front seven is slowly, yet surely, coming along. When Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, Leonard Floyd and Pernell McPhee are all on the field together, it has the potential to be one of the most physical and disrupting front sevens in the league. The secondary is a bit shaky however, particularly the corner backs. Undrafted rookie Cre’Von LeBlanc has been a revelation for the group, and safety Adrian Amos has had a good year, but they could use more talent on the back end. Expect the Bears to add a starting caliber cornerback and another safety to start next to Amos.
Potential draft targets: Gareon Conley, Cameron Sutton, Justin Evans