The Chicago Bears have an excellent opportunity to kickstart their rebuild with two top-ten picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. Ryan Poles, who has done a good job turning around the Bears' roster in two offseasons, will have to nail these picks to make sure Chicago goes back to the playoffs after a three-year hiatus.
Now that the draft order and their picks have been finalized, it's time to look ahead and think about what positions they need to target in the draft.
This one is a no-brainer. The Bears have the no. 1 overall pick thanks to the Carolina Panthers, and have to use that on a quarterback, most likely USC's Caleb Williams.
GM Poles elected not to take a QB in the 2023 NFL Draft and instead traded back, but that would be a mistake this time around since Justin Fields hasn't done enough to secure his starting QB job. Plus, the Bears have a chance to recoup significant draft value if they trade him, and considering that it wasn't this front office that drafted Fields, it's likely that his time in Chicago is done.
The severity of this need depends on what happens with Jaylon Johnson. He was one of the best cornerbacks in the league last season but it's not clear whether the Bears will be able to give him the contract he wants. If the Bears can't re-sign or use a franchise tag on him, he will likely be traded. This would undoubtedly create a huge hole in the secondary.
Even if he sticks around, it wouldn't hurt the Bears to add more depth in the later rounds of the draft.
3- Wide Receiver
The Bears have a star primary received in DJ Moore, but the rest of the receiving corps leaves plenty to be desired.
Darnell Mooney is going to be a free agent and seems likely to leave. Tyler Scott hasn't proven himself to be the WR2 going forward. Another high-level receiver on the opposite side of Moore could take the Bears offense to the next level.
This is probably the most obvious need in the offensive line. Current starter Lucas Patrick was among the worst centers in the league according to Pro Football Focus. He is better suited as a backup but the Bears don't have a starter-caliber middleman on the roster.
Finding a center in the draft can be a challenge as players take some time adjusting to the role in the NFL. But it's certainly worth taking a flyer in the later rounds.
5- Edge rusher
You can never have too many pass rushers on your roster in the modern NFL. The Bears added Montez Sweat at the trade deadline but they could certainly use more depth.
The Bears severely lacked defensive playmaking as they struggled to get sacks all season. Yannick Ngakoue didn't have the season Chicago was hoping for and he is likely out the door. Getting young pass rushers to be deployed against the QB in addition to Sweat would do wonders for the Bears' defense.