NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein gives top needs for each team in the order that they would draft if the season ended today. His analysis of the Bears needs at number 15 overall is puzzling:
“Top need: Pass rusher
“Other needs: Quarterback, cornerback, left tackle, wide receiver ”
“Analysis: Chicago has had improved play from Jay Cutler as the season progressed, but after 10 years, he is who he is. The question for Chicago is where it will prioritize quarterback this year — or if it does at all. Wide receiver opposite Alshon Jeffery could be addressed within the first three rounds, but finding a pass rusher should be the Bears’ top priority.”
I’ll leave the Cutler criticism for others to comment upon. But a wide receiver opposite Jeffery? Has last year’s first round draft pick, Kevin White, been kidnapped or something? Because otherwise, I can’t imagine what Zierlein is thinking.
I also find the need for a left tackle to be off base. Even if you think that Charles Leno doesn’t have a future there – and I think the Bears would disagree – the team still has both Jermon Bushrod and Kyle Long to fill that void. If anything, they have a glut at the position.
This was a mighty sloppy evaluation that obviously wasn’t very well thought out. It’s a living, breathing example of why NFL fans need to be careful about who they listen to when it comes to analysis of any part of the game. Far too frequently, we accept opinions like this without questioning who the analyst is or where they are coming from.
It’s true that if general manager Ryan Pace sees a quarterback that he likes, he has to take him. And the Bears do have a big need at offensive guard, something that somehow got past Zierlein. But otherwise I can’t imagine prioritizing anything other than defense in this draft.