Up next in the team needs features for the draft section are the Chicago Bears. THN will be filling in all of the needs’ pages throughout April, so keep checking back for your favorite team.
2005 Results: 11-5 (NFC North Division Champs)
2006 Projected Cap Status: $ $14.9 million
2005 Season Recap: The Bears outlook for 2005 was in shambles before the season even started. Rex Grossman went down with an ankle injury and the best option available was rookie Kyle Orton, who started the season out 1-3. After the bye week and behind a great defense, Kyle Orton found his game and the Bears won seven games in a row. Upon Rex’s return, Orton was benched as the Bears continued their winning ways and clinched the NFC North by defeating the Packers. Earning a first round bye in their first playoff game since 2001, the only thing between the Bears and Super Bowl XL were the Carolina Panthers. This is where their season came to an end, as the Bears had no answer for Steve Smith.
Team Needs: 1) Cornerback – Ricky Manning Jr. was targeted by the Bears to pick up the slack of a retired Jerry Azumah, who ended his career due to piling injuries. Thanks to Manning's trip to Denny's, that might not help at all. None of the backup DB’s behind Nate Vasher and Charles Tillman did anything to set themselves apart from the pack.
2) Tight end: The TE position has not been at the forefront of the Bears playbook, due to the lack of a viable weapon at the position. With the lack of a consistent number two WR, look for the Bears to upgrade at this position.
3) Wide receiver: Ranked thirty-first in the league via the air, the Chicago Bears need a lot more consistency at the WR position. Last year’s acquisition Mushin Muhammad struggled a bit due to all of the attention defenses were able to pay him without someone to compliment him on the other side of the field. The Bears do have some promising prospects in Mark Bradley and Bernard Berrian, but neither are a definite success story as of yet and Bradley is coming back from a torn ACL.