Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
As important as finding a pass-rusher will be in this year's draft, finding a defensive tackle will be a close second.
The defensive tackle position was decimate by injuries, most notably Henry Melton and Nate Collins, who were both lost for the season. Defensive end/tackle Turk McBride was lost for the season during training camp, and Sedrick Ellis decided to retire without ever reporting to training camp, leaving the position in trouble before the season even started.
Because of the injuries and lack of depth, the Bears were forced into playing relative unknowns like Christian Tupou, Zach Minter and Landon Cohen at different times in 2013.
As important as finding a pass-rusher will be for the Bears, they may jump at the chance to draft one of the many talented defensive tackles near the top of the draft.
Minnesota Golden Gopher Ra'Shede Hageman has quickly been rising up draft boards and may be too hard for the Bears to pass up on at No. 14. He has the ability to play both the nose tackle or 3-technique in a 4-3 defense and has a lot of untapped potential.
Despite his incredible athleticism and strengths against both the run and the pass, he has failed to have a truly dominate game against top-level talent. If put in the right situation with a good defensive line coach, Hageman has the ability to become an elite defensive tackle.
A bit undersized at 6'0" and 285 pounds, Pitt's Aaron Donald is another quickly rising defensive tackle. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler said that Donald has been an "unstoppable force" at the Senior Bowl practices this week and showed off his great quickness and aggressiveness. His explosiveness is what has made him such a great player, and despite his smaller size, he still has the potential to be a solid NFL player.
If the Bears wait until later in the draft to select a defensive tackle, LSU's Anthony Johnson could be another solid option. He has quick feet and great athleticism for an interior defensive lineman and could excel as a 3-technique defensive tackle in the NFL if given the time to grow. He is still raw, often playing too high, and he also lacks consistency with his pass rush.
His strength lends well in the run game, and he consistently maintains his gaps but relies too much on pure speed to beat offensive linemen, and that will not always work in the NFL.
With just Stephen Paea signed long-term, the Bears will need to address the defensive tackle position in both free agency and the draft and the position may be one of the strongest in all of the 2014 draft.