Would the Bears Draft a Linebacker in the First Round? Doubtful.

Dan Parr and Eric Edholm at nfl.com
evaluate the draft position and needs for every NFL team as it currently stands.

Biggest needs: DL, OL, LB
Week 10 opponent: vs. Lions

DP: Linebacker replaces wide receiver on the needs list. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to continue adding to the receiver corps, even after the acquisition of Chase Claypool, but the cupboard is looking bare at linebacker with Roquan Smith now in Baltimore.

I think if there is one message that we can take away from the Bears recent moves it’s that inside linebacker is not going to be anywhere near that nine overall pick unless it’s a can’t miss, super impact player.

For instance, Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune points to this exchange in his 10 thoughts column.

I asked Matt Eberflus on Wednesday if, when he was the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator in 2018, they would have considered Smith if Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson wasn’t available.

“At 5 (actually the Colts picked No. 6)?” Eberflus said.

Yeah, Smith was taken a few picks later.

“(Smith) was 11, right?” Eberflus said.

No, he went at No. 8.

“Eight?” Eberflus replied. “Yeah, I don’t think at that time (Colts GM Chris) Ballard was in the business of taking an off-the-ball linebacker at 8. I don’t think I could convince him of that.”

That’s a revealing take from Eberflus about the significance of positional value.

It is.

It’s pretty obvious that Bears general manager Ryan Poles is going to value the other, more high impact positions over positions like inside linebacker. If it’s an offensive lineman, it will be in offensive tackle, preferably a left tackle. If it’s a defense of lineman, it’s going to be three technique or defensive end. Don’t rule out the possibility that cornerback is high on this list as pretty much everyone on the roster is an inferior player after Jaylon Johnson.

Parr and Edhome are right to suggest that wide receiver is still high on the list. But given the scarcity of talent at the top of the draft, I would expect a fairly early run at the position. I wouldn’t hold my breath that the Bears are going to find a wide receiver that they need picking in the slot.

And that brings up another “problem” when it comes to this draft (if you consider it to be a problem). The Bears draft position is likely to only get worse from here. The defense is not going to be dealing with a Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle every week. And the offenses is definitely showing signs of being a bit frisky.

It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the Bears find themselves outside the top 10 before this season is over.

In any case, these are the positions that the Bears are going to be looking at, not linebacker.

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