Chicago Bears 2012 Draft: 3 Positions of Need Not Addressed
In Phil Emery's first draft as General Manager of the Chicago Bears, he was able to address a lot of the team's needs: defensive end, wide receiver and cornerback. While not every pick has been applauded, many of these players will have the chance to grow and become NFL players.
Despite filling some ares of need there were still some major holes on this team that were not addressed in the draft.
With just three defensive tackles currently on the roster (Henry Melton, Stephen Paea and Matt Toeiana), it appeared that the Bears would be clamoring to take a defensive tackle at some point during the draft.
With the defensive tackle being one of the most important positions in Lovie Smith's cover-2 defense, it came as a surprise that the team did not take the opportunity to add to its core.
After a run on defensive tackles like Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox and Michael Brockers before the Bears' first selection, it did not come as much of a surprise that the Bears did not select a defensive tackle at 19, given there was not one available that warranted to being taken that high.
When the Bears traded up in the second round to eventually take wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, two highly rated defensive tackles were still available: UConn's Kendall Reyes and Michigan State's Jerel Worthy.
The remaining rounds still offered the Bears chances to go after a solid defensive tackle, yet they decided to move forward without drafting one.
Without adding one during the draft, there is little doubt that the Bears won't try to sign a defensive tackle who is currently still on the market.
Coming into the draft, almost any fan of the Bears would have said that the one position they would have loved to have upgraded the most would be the left tackle position.
Few can argue that J'Marcus Webb has been a good left tackle for the Bears. He certainly has a lot of the physical attributes that you look for in an NFL starting left tackle, but he cannot seem to piece everything together. Webb often gets beat by stronger defensive ends and he often struggles with his footwork when being bull rushed.
When the Bears were on the clock with the No. 19 pick, many believed that Iowa left tackle Riley Reiff would have been the perfect pick. The Bears ultimately went with defensive end Shea McClellin, and Reiff was selected just four picks later to the Detroit Lions.
Many believed that Reiff possessed the athleticism for the position, but because of his short arms, he would struggle with engaging the opposing defensive end. Despite the deficiencies in Reiff's game, he would immediately become someone to challenge Webb and should have been able to beat him out for the position.
While not only selecting Reiff in the first round when they had the opportunity, they also had opportunities to go after Ohio State's Mike Adams as well as Ole Miss' Bobbie Massie.
With the offensive line, particularly left tackle, being such a highly criticised position of the Bears, it came as a surprise to many that the position was not addressed in the draft.
With a defense anchored by a possible future hall of famer, the Bears need to realize that eventually one day, Brian Urlacher will be gone.
Prior to the draft, the Bears went out and signed outside linebacker Geno Hayes to challenge Nick Roach on the weakside and help provide depth to an aging linebacker core.
With so much invested in both Urlacher and Lance Briggs, it would only make sense to seek out young, talented linebackers who can learn from both of them and eventually become their successors.
The Bears would not have been wise to address the linebacker need in the first three rounds, but when selecting in the fourth round, they had the opportunity to select Texas linebacker Keenan Robinson, but instead selected FB/TE Evan Rodriguez instead. Robinson would have been the perfect guy to learn from Lance Briggs and could develop himself into a perfect replacement for him.
In the later rounds, middle linebacker Audi Cole (pick 210) and outside linebacker Ronnell Lewis (pick 125), could have been perfect fits to learn behind Urlacher and Briggs and could of help contribute to special teams from the start.