Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions.
Is there a position no one is talking about that the Bears could go to with their first pick in the NFL draft? — Greg W., Warrenville
You probably can rule a few spots out with the two second-round picks — and maybe even the third-round selection — on Day 2 of the draft. The Bears seem unlikely to target a quarterback, running back, tight end (it’s not a great group this year) or inside linebacker with those picks.
Everything else — wide receiver, offensive line, defensive line, pass rusher, cornerback and safety — can be considered a legitimate need. That means general manager Ryan Poles can remain true to his board and have a lot of possibilities when it comes to the highest-graded available player(s) when he’s on the clock. Maybe will provide a little flexibility to trade down. One thing I have wondered of late: If the strength of this draft is in the depth — Rounds 2 through 4 or so — will other teams be less inclined to want to trade up?
It’s an interesting question.
My gut feeling is that the answer is “No“. One of the things that bugged me about former Bears GM Ryan Pace the most was his tendency to fall in love with players and, as a result, aggressively trade up for them. Many, perhaps most, of the best GMs in the NFL will tell you that they try to never do this. Too often in the end the guys you fall in love with turns out to have had almost the same chance to fail or succeed as the guys that you could have had if you stayed put. I’m convinced that was true of many of the players that Pace simply couldn’t do without and it cost the Bears a lot of draft capital. See “Anthony Miller” as the poster boy.
So it depends upon the team. I always said that Pace was the type of GM that other GMs take advantage of. Well, there are a lot of other GMs out there who are exactly the same. It is my sincere hope that GM Ryan Poles turns out to be one of those smart GMs that makes hay at their expense. If he is, there should still be plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the aggressive nature of other GMs, regardless of the talent that you think is available.
Bottom line, I think there are plenty of general managers out there who will identify players that they think should’ve gone in the first round and who will try to trade up in the second to get that player before he disappears off the board regardless of the other “second round talent” that remains available. For Bears fans, probably the most interesting aspect of this draft will be seeing if Poles can use that and turn it into badly needed picks because it will tell us an awful lot, not just about the present, but about our future as well.