ORCHARD PARK, NY - FILE: Brandon Marshall #19 of the Miami Dolphins stands on the field during the NFL season opener against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. The Dolphins won 15-10. Brandon Marshall of the Miami Dolphins was stabbed April 22, 2011 and his wife, Michi Nogami-Marshall, 26, was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Free agency has gotten underway and the Bears have been busy, mainly adding depth but also getting some solid talent across the board, especially on special teams. While the dream duo of Mario Williams and Julius Peppers is dead and the second favorite Jeremy Mincey stiffed the team for his old home in Jacksonville, there is still much to love about the Bears work. Of course, the best move, the Cadillac of the whole thing, is none other than the trade for Brandon Marshall. His off-field issues aside, it took care of the Bears' single biggest need and offers an instant upgrade. But what is the best part about it? The flexibility it gives the Bears moving forward.There was little to no doubt that the Bears were going to be aiming for a receiver at number 19 in the draft come April, but that all changes now. With Marshall in the fold it opens up the possibilities for the Bears in the draft. They can do almost anything they want at this point.
The Bears can't take any position or player out of the pool for their first pick; maybe their biggest need is DE now, having missed out on the above mentioned guys, and the draft isn't super deep with elite pass-rushing talent for 4-3 teams so they can perhaps get pretty good value at 19, without really reaching.
They could also go cornerback, offensive line or linebacker. Like I said, the possibilities are endless!
They could even go WR again. They won't be forced to reach for a player like Stephen Hill, who has questions, but if Michael Floyd is there, there is no doubt they should pounce, because he would most likely be the best player available, but even if it's Kendall Wright, they at least have to think about it; they already have a big-body game-changer in the fold so there is no reason to force yourself to take another one or "settle" for another small, speedy guy.
Personally, I think they should take the BPA at 19. Frankly, no position should be off the table except, perhaps, running back, but there aren't a whole lot of those guys with first round grades as it is so that wouldn't be likely any way.
I would say that the Bears should still draft a WR at some point in April, but I'm on board now with Nick Toon in the second or third, more than ever, he would be the best guy for the Bears with everything else that has gone on.
Just look at the prospect ranks according to CBSsports.com. Just some of the guys who could be available and would be right in line with the 19th pick are Stanford lineman David DeCastro (guard) and Jonathan Martin (tackle), Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus, Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick, WR Wright, Boston College LB Luke Kuechly, and Alabama LB/DE Courtney Upshaw. Any of those guys would be welcomed in a Bears uni wouldn't they?
The jury should still be out on Phil Emery and I must emphasize the SHOULD, because I know he's already being lauded and he definitely deserves praise, but by far the best thing he has done so far is fill the teams needs so that come the words "The Chicago Bears are on the clock" the team can do anything and leave with the best player on the big board.