The Chicago Bears draft needs list is not as extensive as its been in years past. A welcome relief for the team as they can truly focus on best player available more than ever before. Still, that doesn’t mean no needs exist. GM Ryan Pace understands that injuries can kill a team if they strike in sensitive spots. Areas that might not have a lot of depth.

Most people feel they have the lineup of needs figured out at this point. It’s running back at the top with defensive back and edge rush close behind. Tight end and wide receiver are a distant fourth and fifth. Of course, kicker should be heavily considered but have already added three legs to their competition. The odds of them drafting one are unlikely.

However, there may be another way to look at this. Like arranging those five needs according to where the Bears are forced to focus in the draft.

Chicago Bears draft needs should focus on positions with best hit rate

The Bears have no 1st or 2nd rounds pick this year. That is common knowledge at this point. This means they may want to reshuffle their needs focus based around which positions tend to yield good players the most later in a draft. In other words, the less successful a position is the later it gets, the earlier they should receive focus.

Here is the rearranged list of Bears needs according to how many Pro Bowlers it has yielded in the 3rd round or later since the year 2000.

  • Edge rushers – 15
  • Tight ends – 12
  • Wide receivers – 11
  • Running backs – 22
  • Defensive backs – 22

Amazing as it may sound, the Bears might be better off waiting on their desire for more running back and defensive back help. The later rounds have typically yielded good players at both of those positions. One because it’s not as important as it once was and the other because there’s often a high abundance of talent available.

Such is not the case for edge rushers and tight ends. Good ones are extremely difficult to find in general, but even harder the later a draft gets. Wide receivers can be tough too but the need at that position isn’t quite as pressing for the Bears as the other two.

One must also take into account GM Ryan Pace. He’s proven highly adept at finding good running backs and defensive backs before. Such is not the case at edge rusher or tight end. It might be wise for him to save those higher choices for positions that have not been his strength.