1. Offensive Line
If the Chicago Bears could pull it off, they would love to tear down the offensive line and start over in 2013. Even 2011 first-round pick Gabe Carimi’s job is in jeopardy, as he may be moved inside to guard in the near future. They have to come away with at least one starting lineman in free agency and another within the first three rounds of the draft.
2. Tight End
The Bears have some of the best blocking tight ends in the league in Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth, but with Mike Martz long gone it’s time to find another pass catcher. Tyler Eifert would be a great addition in the first round.
The Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs era is nearly over, and no one on the current roster is ready to fill their shoes. Both could be back in 2013, but youth and depth are definitely needed.
The Chicago Bears spent an early 4th-round pick on Temple’s Evan Rodriguez, a tight end who they intended to convert to fullback. It would have been an early selection for any fullback, but especially for one with limited experience at the position.
But so far it’s worked out brilliantly. Pro Football Focus, which grades players at each position, currently has Rodriguez as the highest-rated fullback through two games.
It’s probably unrealistic to expect Rodriguez to keep up that pace, but it’s definitely encouraging to see him excel in this role early in the season.
Chicago Bears 2nd-round Alshon Jeffery was ejected from his final collegiate game for fighting with Nebraska conerback Alfonzo Dennard. On Saturday, in just his second preseason game, he was again mixed up in an altercation with Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Jeffery was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play.
Penalties are part of the game, but Jeffery has shown a tendency to lose his cool far too often on the field. The Bears have undoubtedly spoken with him about this issue – likely before they even drafted him. If it continues to be an issue it could affect his playing time.
Chicago Bears 2nd-round pick Alshon Jeffery made his case for a starting job on Saturday with three catches for 62 yards in the Bears second preseason game.
Jeffery should be one of Cutler's favorite targets
Jeffery caught a 16-yard pass from Jay Cutler in the 1st quarter. He then caught passes from Jason Campbell on consecutive plays – a 12-yard reception (despite defensive pass interference) followed up by a 42-yard play.
I was skeptical of Jeffery during the draft process primarily because of his poor conditioning and occasional lack of effort, but he’s made a strong impression so far with the Bears. He will definitely crack the 53-man roster, but the only question remaining is how much action he will see. Physically, he’s similar to Brandon Marshall, which could limit his role in the Bears offense.
The Chicago Bears are easing 1st-round pick Shea McClellin into their defensive system, primarily giving him reps with the second team defensive unit. However, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, McClellin has been getting on the field with the first team in nickel packages.
The Bears haven’t publicly acknowledged that McClellin will be their the pass-rush specialist, but this news certainly seems to indicate that he will fill that role. More often than not, the nickel (or dime) package is used in passing situations which will allow McClellin to play to his strengths early in his career. Presuambly, McClellin will step in for Isreal Idonije, creating a formidable pass-rush duo between himself and Julius Peppers.