Phil Emery has been transparent in his desire to trade down from 20 in the NFL Draft, and I think he may succeed in doing that. There are a handful of teams that pick after the Bears that have expressed a desire to move up. If the Bears drop back they could end up with three picks in the 30-75 range, and potentially come away with three players that will make an immediate impact.
If you haven't seen T.J.'s outstanding back to back trade scenario articles then shame on you. Go ahead and check them out, I'll wait...
CHICAGO BEARS TEAM NEEDS - Center/Guard, Cornerback, Linebacker, Defensive Tackle
Center/Guard - Even though I believe Phil Emery could pass on the offensive line again, I'd really like to see an interior line prospect drafted. Roberto Garza would be serviceable for another year at center if the talent around him was better, and it might be, but he's clearly on the downside of his career. I've never been high on Edwin Williams, and Taylor Boggs is a complete unknown.
New Bear guard Matt Slauson has 48 starts in 48 professional games during his three year New York Jets career. Most of, if not all of his starts were on the left side. James Brown and Gabe Carimi are still relatively untested as NFL guards, and expecting big things from the other guards on the roster is just wishful thinking.
I say the Bears need a C/G, because the top center prospects have all played some guard in college, and could do so as professionals. Wisconsin's Travis Frederick, Cal's Brian Schwenke, and Alabama's Barrett Jones, are three guys that could fall in that 2-3 round range. Kentucky All American guard Larry Warford could be a 2nd round possibility as well, as could G/T Kyle Long from Oregon.
I didn't even mention the two top guard prospects because I believe they'll both be gone before the Bears select.
Cornerback - While I like the play of Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, neither is signed beyond 2013. The Bears have to find some insurance in the draft just in case. I'm also not thrilled with Kelvin Hayden being the primary nickle back this season. I do see some upside with last years 6th rounder Isaiah Frey, who spent '12 on the practice squad, but some depth is needed.
Phil Emery likes the depth at the top of the corner back big board, so grabbing a guy makes sense. I've seen Washington Husky Desmond Trufant mocked in the teens, and I've seen him slip all the way to the bottom of round one. A few mid round prospects that night be available are Southeastern Louisiana's Robert Alford, William & Mary's B.W. Webb, and Miami's Brandon McGee.
Linebacker - The Bears replaced their two departing veteran linebackers with two veteran linebackers, so they could still use some youth on the roster. I'm not real high on any of their backups, other than as special teamers.
We've talked about the top three middle linebacker prospects a bunch around here, and even if the Bears trade to the bottom of round one, one or more of those guys could be available.
I do think finding a talented prospect to play the middle is more important than landing an outside backer. Besides those three, the Bears have also met with MLBs Kiko Alonso of Oregon and Jon Bostic of Florida.
Defensive Tackle - The standing contract offer to DE/DT Israel Idonije would help with the DT depth, but if he signs elsewhere the Bears could definitely use some more talent at the position. I see new Bears DE/DT Turk McBride and DT Andre Fluellen as more insurance if the Bears can't upgrade in the draft.
The one DT the Bears have shown interest in is 3rd round prospect Brandon Williams from D2 Missouri Southern State. The Bears met with him at the Senior Bowl, where he looked like he belonged with the big college talent.
NO NEED TO DRAFT - Wide Receiver, Running Back, Safety
Wide Receiver - I don't see wide receiver to be as big of a need as some do. That's not to say the Bears won't select one if they get in a BPA situation, I just feel their current roster can get it done. Finding a "vertical threat" or a "speed guy" would be nice, but they may find that guy already at Halas Hall. Dale Moss ran a 4.38 40 at his pro day in 2012, and Brittan Golden has gone sub 4.4 too. And let's not forget that as soon as Devin Hester grasps his special teams role, he may trickle back over the offense.
Running Back - With Matt Forte and Michael Bush set to get the bulk of the caries, and set to make a lot of money, I just don't see a need to spend a draft pick on a running back. If a change of pace back is desired to compete with Armando Allen, they can find one of those in the undrafted free agency crop. If they can trade a bit to pick up more picks, and a guy is falling, then yeah, I could see them grabbing a guy, I just don't think it's a big need.
Safety - I feel there's a good mix of safeties on this roster and spending another draft pick would be counterproductive. The young starters are growing into their roles, and let's see what a healthy Brandon Hardin can do.
What do you view as the Bears top draft day needs, and what positions do you think it wise to avoid?