It’s short and sweet from the Sickness when it comes to what the Chicago Bears need to be doing in the 2011 NFL Draft: OL, OL, OL, OL. The Bears made a nice run, but they never once felt like a legitimate contender, and there’s one big reason. If Jay Cutler’s not-so-ceremonious exit from the playoffs last season isn’t enough to remind you, I’ll do so again: You have an offensive coordinator who shirks extra protection, a QB who likes to hold it long enough to find a big play, and a quality running back. Now is the time to invest in protecting the QB and assisting the RB. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, they do have some depth issues starting to creep up, and the best players are aging. What will they prioritize? We asked Jonathan Carroll of BearsHeadquarters.com to break his squad’s draft plans down for us. Follow Jonathan @BearsHQ on Twitter.
Q: I have vowed to skewer the Bears in my post-draft review if they don’t take a bunch of offensive linemen. Which position along the OL is most in need of immediate replacement?
A: A right tackle, a replacement for Olin Kruetz and a guard or two would be nice.
Q: Other than OL, what is the one position they absolutely must address in the first 3 rounds?
A: Linebacking depth, wide receiver and a backup quarterback.
Q: Who is your favorite late round guy that you think would be a perfect fit?
A: I’d like to see them find another J’Marcus Webb type. A late rounder that turned into a solid NFL player.
Q: The Bears have one of the top defenses in the league, but some of those guys are getting up there. If they are going to infuse some youth and depth, which spots on defense are most in need?
A: Linebacker and cornerback. Urlacher and Briggs are still studs, but they’re not getting any younger. Peanut Tillman also is getting older as well.
Q: What would a good 2011 Bears draft look like, in your opinion?
A: Three offensive linemen, a linebacker, a quarterback and secondary help.