New general manager Ryan Pace said that the goal of a team in free agency is to address needs in such a way that they could be free to spend their draft picks on the best available player rather than pigeon-holing them to a player that fills their need.
Pace was able, for the most part, to do just that in free agency. He picked up a versatile pass-rusher in Pernell McPhee who can play as many as four positions on the defense (3-4 OLB, 3-4 DE, 4-3 DE, 3-4 DT). Until the staff "gets on the grass" (the newest catchphrase of the John Fox era) they will not quite know how many other 3-4 DEs and LBs they have from the group of Jared Allen, Shea McClellin, Lamarr Houston, Christian Jones, Jon Bostic and Willie Young. Even then Young and Houston aren't expected to be on the field practicing until late summer at the earliest, when the season has begun at the latest.
Outside of McPhee, adding Antrel Rolle to the mix at safety helps bring veteran leadership and playmaking to a spot that has been as volatile as a kid on a roller coaster after cotton candy and nachos. Eddie Royal should fill in some of the void left by Brandon Marshall and if nothing else brings a speed element to a corps sorely lacking that.
The big work is done and now its up to Pace to bring in young talent on both sides of the ball that will build the future of this Bears team. The defense could use some more reinforcement, the offense still has some question marks, so what is he to do at No. 7? Best player available is an easy answer, but let's get specific.
As mock drafts ramp up, it is getting more and more interesting to think about the possibilities at No. 7. Lester mentioned an NFL.com mock that has the Bears taking QB Marcus Mariota at seven. Looking over the rest of that mock, when the Bears select Mariota Bud Dupree, Danny Shelton and Vic Beasley are all still on the board. With that kind of defensive selection I personally wouldn't mind seeing a slight trade down and target one of those three guys four or five picks later.
Other recent mocks I've seen have the Bears taking WR Kevin White, whom I am warming up to more and more and another has them taking Shelton while Randy Gregory, Shane Ray and Beasley are all available.
The point is, more and more it seems the mocks have less of an idea of who the Bears could be targeting, certainly more so than recent years when it was known they would target secondary help, DEs or OL. I like that.
Which direction do you think the Bears should take at No. 7? Offense or defense? And remember, for the purposes of this poll there is no copping out with "Whoever is BPA" or "depends on how the board falls." Should they take an offensive or defensive player and why. If you have a specific player you want to see, all the better.