2013 NFL Offseason: Chicago Bears
Draft Grades, Season Previews, Team Needs, Free Agents
Chicago Bears (Last Year: 10-6)
2013 NFL Draft Grade: B
Please note that the overall grade is not an average of all the individual grades. Other things are taken into account like team needs and goals.
Goals Entering the 2013 NFL Draft: Different year, same strategy: The Bears must build around Jay Cutler. The Martellus Bennett and Matt Slauson signings were nice, but help is still needed at left tackle. A speed receiver and another tight end would really help as well. And of course, Brian Urlacher is gone, so a new middle linebacker will have to be considered.
2013 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Chicago's draft class very much mirrors the Giants'. Like Justin Pugh at 19, Kyle Long was a reach at 20, but again, it wasn't nearly as bad as what the Cowboys would do 11 selections later. And like New York, the Bears would recover and draft solid talents who filled positions of need.
The Bears did a good job of bolstering their linebacking corps. Jon Bostic will be the heir apparent to Brian Urlacher, while Khaseem Greene, a major steal at No. 117, will be an effective player on the outside in the future.
Excluding Greene, my favorite pick of Chicago's was Cornelius Washington at No. 188. Many considered him a mid second-day prospect, so to obtain him in Round 6 as a potential future replacement for Julius Peppers was phenomenal. The next pick, Marquess Wilson (No. 236), provides tons of upside. He quit on his football team at Washington State, but that may not have been entirely his fault. He has the potential to be a solid weapon for Jay Cutler down the road.
Overall, I'm a fan of what Chicago did, save for its first-round choice. As I did with the Giants, I'm rewarding this front office with a solid "B".
2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
20. Kyle Long, G, Oregon: D Grade
Well... at least this fills... a need... Umm... I'm kind of speechless right now. With Tyler Eifert and stud defenders like Desmond Trufant and Sylvester Williams available, the Bears decided to take an inexperienced second-round guard. Long may have been around for Chicago's next selection, so this pick is extremely questionable.
Follow @walterfootball for updates.
50. Jon Bostic, ILB, Florida: B Grade
The Bears hope they've landed their successor for Brian Urlacher. Middle linebacker was a big need, and Jon Bostic is definitely worthy of being chosen 50th overall. I would have gone with Arthur Brown, but there must be major medical concerns with him because he has first-round talent.
117. Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers: A Grade
Khaseem Greene was viewed as a second-round talent by many, but it's not too surprising to see him fall a bit because he doesn't fit many defenses. The Bears don't mind though, as they fill a need with a good value selection. s
163. Jordan Mills, OT, Louisiana Tech: B Grade
So, I guess the Bears wanted to focus on the offensive line and linebacker groups in the draft. Jordan Mills is a right tackle who should be able to challenge J'Marcus Webb. He fits the range, so this is a solid pick.
188. Cornelius Washington, DE, Georgia: A+ Grade
I don't understand why Cornelius Washington fell to the middle of the sixth round. Washington is a Day 2 talent. He is raw, but that's fine because the Bears won't really need him until Julius Peppers moves on.
236. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State: A- Grade
Why not? Marquess Wilson was once considered a second-round prospect, but he quit on his team because he didn't get along with head coach Mike Leach. It has to be considered that Leach is a bad guy, so Chicago is right to take a shot on Wilson.
*** 2013 NFL TEAM NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***
The Bears were 7-1 in early November and looked poised for a deep playoff run. Then, the injuries came. Jay Cutler suffered a concussion in a loss to the Texans, while several defenders also went down. The result was a 3-5 finish that got Lovie Smith fired.
- Offensive Tackle: Fixing the offensive line is priority No. 1 this offseason. J'Marcus Webb was beaten early, but improved as the season went along, so I don't know if the Bears want to keep him at left tackle or move him to the right side. Either way, they need help at tackle. Signed Jermon Bushrod
- Left Guard: Another position that desperately needs to be upgraded. Chance Warmack has to be the pick if he's on the board at No. 20. Signed Matt Slauson and Eben Britton
- Two Linebackers: Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach are free agents, but both needed to be upgraded anyway. I know Urlacher was hurt last year, but he was awful. He'll be 35 in May. Signed D.J. Williams and James Anderson
- Tight End: Jay Cutler needs someone to throw to besides Brandon Marshall. A dependable intermediate target would be a big boost. Signed Martellus Bennett
- Defensive Tackle: The Bears cannot allow Henry Melton, their top pass-rusher, to walk away. Even if he's retained, depth is needed here. Franchised Henry Melton; signed Andre Fluellen
- Wide Receiver: Alshon Jeffery is expected to develop into a capable No. 2 receiver across from Marshall, but the Bears should still add another receiver.
- Cornerback: Three of Chicago's top six cornerbacks from last year are free agents. Re-signed Kelvin Hayden and Zackary Bowman
- Quarterback: Jason Campbell didn't work out as Jay Cutler's backup. He's a free agent anyway. Re-signed Josh McCown
2013 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Martellus Bennett, TE, Giants. Age: 26.
Signed with Bears
Martellus Bennett was solid all around for the Giants in terms of receiving and blocking. He proved that he can be a quality starting tight end in the NFL, so he'll be rewarded accordingly.
Matt Slauson, G, Jets. Age: 27.
Signed with Bears)
Matt Slauson is sound in pass protection, but doesn't run block very well. He beat out Vladimir Ducasse for the starting left guard job in 2012.
D.J. Williams, OLB, Broncos. Age: 31.
Signed with Bears
D.J. Williams has missed lots of time over the past couple of years because of injuries and suspensions. He can be a decent starter if he's on the field, but he'll be 31 in July.
Jermon Bushrod, OT, Saints. Age: 29.
Signed with Bears
Jermon Bushrod run blocks well, but he can't pass protect at all. He surrendered four sacks in 2012, but that number would've been much higher if Drew Brees didn't release the ball so quickly.
- Kyle Moore, DE, Bills. Age: 26. -- Signed with Bears
- Eben Britton, G, Jaguars. Age: 25. -- Signed with Bears
- Tom Zbikowski, S, Colts. Age: 28. -- Signed with Bears (1 year)
- James Anderson, OLB, Panthers. Age: 29. -- Signed with Bears (1 year)
- Steve Maneri (RFA), TE, Chiefs. Age: 25. -- Signed with Bears
- Andre Fluellen, DT, Lions. Age: 28. -- Signed with Bears
- Turk McBride, DE, Saints. Age: 28. -- Signed with Bears
Chicago Bears Free Agents:
Salary Cap: TBA.
Henry Melton, DT, Bears. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Bears (1 year, $8.5 million)
Henry Melton is one of the top interior pass-rushers in all of football. He could stand to be better against the run, but he deserves a big contract after getting to the quarterback more effectively than Julius Peppers.
Israel Idonije, DE, Bears. Age: 32.
Israel Idonije is coming off a fantastic season in terms of getting to the quarterback (7.5 sacks) and stopping the run. He'll be 33 in November, however.
Brian Urlacher, ILB, Bears. Age: 35.
Based on the way he played last year, Brian Urlacher probably deserves 1.5 stars. He was terrible. However, he was hurt throughout, so maybe he can recover and be at least an OK starter again.
Nick Roach, OLB, Bears. Age: 28.
Signed with Raiders
Nick Roach hasn't been a liability as a starting linebacker, but Chicago can do better.
Matt Spaeth, TE, Bears. Age: 29.
Signed with Steelers
Matt Spaeth is an awesome blocker, but doesn't offer much as a receiver.
- Nate Collins (RFA), DT, Bears. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Bears
- D.J. Moore, CB, Bears. Age: 26. -- Signed with Panthers
- Kelvin Hayden, CB, Bears. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Bears (1 year)
- Jason Campbell, QB, Bears. Age: 31. -- Signed with Browns (2 years)
- Lance Louis, G, Bears. Age: 28. -- Signed with Dolphins
- Kellen Davis, TE, Bears. Age: 27. -- Signed with Browns
- Johnny Knox, WR, Bears. Age: 26. -- Announced retirement
- Geno Hayes, OLB, Bears. Age: 26. -- Signed with Jaguars
- Chris Spencer, C, Bears. Age: 31.
- Jonathan Scott, OT, Bears. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Bears
- Amobi Okoye, DT, Bears. Age: 26.
- Zackary Bowman, CB, Bears. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Bears
- Kahlil Bell, RB, Bears. Age: 26.
- Josh McCown, QB, Bears. Age: 34. -- Re-signed with Bears (1 year)
- Chilo Rachal, G, Bears. Age: 27. -- Signed with Cardinals
- Matt Toeaina, DT, Bears. Age: 28.
- Olindo Mare, K, Bears. Age: 40.
- Troy Nolan, S, Bears. Age: 26.
2013 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings - May 21
2014 NFL Mock Draft - May 21
Charlie's 2014 NFL Mock Draft - May 20
2013 NBA Mock Draft - May 3
NFL Picks - Feb. 3
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