Most experts would tend to agree on what the biggest Chicago Bears need is going into the 2019 NFL draft. Doesn’t matter if they’re national or local guys. The general consensus is the team needs a running back. Trading Jordan Howard made that the obvious choice. People don’t have a lot of belief in the Mike Davis–Tarik Cohen combination.
For the cheeky members of the crowd, they’ll say kicker. Not a surprise given how the 2018 season ended thanks to He Must Not Be Named. It’s unlikely though the Bears will consider that position early in the draft. Or even draft one at all. So is there any other that could possibly have an argument for being a bigger need than running back?
Football Outsiders, a group known for their extensive analytics work, wrote a detailed article on the biggest draft needs for every team going into the draft. Long story short? Running back was nowhere near the list for the Bears.
Biggest Chicago Bears need will be cornerback before too long
Their data says that this is the time for GM Ryan Pace to start thinking a year or two ahead. He has a good team in place now but soon salary cap and age concerns will start popping up at certain key positions. None more so than at cornerback.
“Third-round picks and beyond should not be expected to step in immediately and start the way first-rounders should. Therefore the Bears’ draft strategy should be about identifying developmental players at positions where they might soon need help. Cornerback is the most glaring opportunity for the Bears to do this.
Additionally, the roster of depth cornerbacks behind Fuller and Amukamara is not good, save for flashes from Sherrick McManis last year. The Bears would be smart to grab a cornerback with one of their earliest picks to secure depth and potentially develop a starter for when the roster needs to be turned over down the line.”
Amukamara will turn 31-years old before the start of the 2020 season. It would not be a surprise if the Bears chose to move on, saving a projected $8 million in cap space along the way. If they don’t draft somebody now, their projected starting lineup could be Fuller, Buster Skrine, and Kevin Toliver.
Not exactly the most inspiring trio. They could add help in the 2020 draft as well but it might be wise to get a head start on it this year. The cornerback class for 2019 appears to have a strong depth to it with several prospects have the skill set to fit their scheme. It will be interesting to see which, if any, Pace goes after.