That is the burning question that has been on the minds of Chicago Bears fans since the 2012 season ended. The Bears currently hold the 20th pick in this year's NFL draft, which begins tomorrow night. Coming into the offseason, the Bears had numerous needs to fill but had limited salary-cap space with which to do it.
Tight end, offensive line and some insurance on defense were the initial needs for this team. Then there were more gaps on the roster when linebacker Brian Urlacher and quarterback Jason Campbell announced their departures from Halas Hall.
Complicating matters is the fact that numerous key players from the 2012 squad became free agents at season's end. The limited cap space seemed to make matters worse in this situation. But so far there has been some good news coming out of the Bears front office.
They did manage to re-sign some players to smaller contracts while making a little noise in the free-agent market. But there are still some needs that need to be addressed, and the draft may be the best opportunity to do that.
In a little over 24 hours we will know what the Bears will do with their first-round draft pick. There has been a lot of chatter about the Bears trading the 20th pick and moving down in the draft. I think that would be a mistake because the Bears could still get some top tier talent in the first round.
Here is what I think Bears general manager Phil Emery should do with the pick:
While the Bears do have Martellus Bennett as the new starting tight end, getting him a backup would be a great idea. With that being said, I think Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert would look great in a Bears uniform.
Eifert is the best tight end available this year's draft. The 19 teams ahead of the Bears have more pressing needs, so there's a chance that Eifert could still be available. Eifert is one of the faster tight ends in the game today.
He's a very dependable receiver who can go across the middle, and he can be a deep threat when needed. He could improve a little with his blocking, but having him behind Bennett would be a great help to Jay Cutler.
Should Eifert be off the board by the time the Bears pick, Stanford's Zach Ertz and Florida's Jordan Reed would be suitable picks at the position as well.
Another way the Bears could go is another offensive lineman. I think Alabama center Barrett Jones would be an excellent fit should the Bears go that route. While Roberto Garza has been serviceable at the center position, I think he is a much better player at guard.
Drafting Jones would sure up the interior of the line because it will allow Garza to move back to right guard. If the Bears decide to draft an interior lineman with the 20th pick and Jones is not available, I wouldn't mind seeing Wisconsin's Travis Frederick get the call.
Hopefully the Bears will choose wisely tomorrow night. Trading the pick would be a mistake. The Bears have some potential here, and they should not waste this opportunity.
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