Jerry Angelo loves drafting him some d-linemen, and with Tommie Harris officially gone there is a void at defensive tackle. It would not surprise me at all to see JA go DT in the 1st round. It's not the direction I would go, but considering his track record it's a possibility. In looking at the roster, I'm not seeing that big disruptive force anywhere, and after the jump I'll look at each DT in more detail.
Pro Football Focus is letting us showcase their grading system in these Roster Turnover posts. Not one Bears DT ended the season with a positive grade. I think they have a couple guys that could be effective in a rotation, if there was that one DT that was playing at a high level.
Anthony Adams - free agent - I think the Bears would like to bring Adams back. He's a high motor player that plays a solid nose tackle in the Bears scheme. He's a good player and a good teammate, and I'd like to see him return. Pro Football Focus had him graded out with a -3.9, the 57th rated DT. His 21 defensive stops (solo tackles which constitute an offensive failure) led the Bears DTs.
Matt Toeaina - signed through 2013 - Toeaina beat out Tommie Harris for starting 3-tech tackle, then lost the job back to him later in the season, but he was still a big part of the DT rotation. Personally I think the Bears would be better off with him as a reserve getting snaps in rotation. Toeaina's PFF grade of -0.7 tied with Harris for the best of the Bears DTs with enough plays to qualify.
Marcus Harrison - signed through 2011 - Honestly, I've seen enough of Harrison, but with the Bears thin at the position, he may be allowed to prove his worth in the last year of his contract. He's showed some flashed of being a player, but he's just too inconsistent. In only 95 snaps PFF had him with a 0.0 grade.
Henry Melton - signed through 2012 - If Melton weren't so light in the butt, I think he would be a productive starter at the 3-tech DT. His best asset is his quickness, but he's just to small to be anything more than a situational pass rusher. Now if he could find 20 pounds this off-season he would be a legit option to start. His -7.0 against the run did no favors to his -8.6 overall grade. Even with his horrendous grade, I think Melton has the most upside of the DTs on the roster.
Tank Tyler - signed a reserve/future contract - The former 3rd round draft pick of the Chiefs has starting experience in the NFL. Maybe a change of scenery will jump start his career. Or not...
2011 - OUTLOOK - Angelo should and will draft a defensive tackle. The only way I'd be OK with a defensive tackle in the 1st round would be if all the top offensive tackles were gone. This does look to be a fairly deep draft for defensive linemen, so snagging a quality DT in the 2nd or 3rd round is probable. On the free agency side, the real good ones won't make financial sense for the Bears to pursue, and the others are just blah.