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Chicago Bears 2013 Draft Preview

By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - The Bears have rebooted things by firing veteran defensive- minded head coach Lovie Smith and bringing in an offensive guy, Marc Trestman, to hopefully build a 21st century offense around talented but enigmatic signal-caller Jay Cutler.

First and foremost Chicago needed to upgrade its porous offensive line in front of Cutler and was able to bring in a new left tackle during free agency, ex-Saint Jermon Bushrod. More needs to be done, however, since Lance Louis, who is a pedestrian player and has now moved on to Miami in free agency, was the Bears' best offensive lineman in 2012 before he went down with a torn ACL.

Depth at receiver, specifically a vertical threat, behind All-Pro Brandon Marshall and emerging possession receiver Alshon Jeffery is also a concern.

Defensively, linebacker is the key issue since the Bears have decided to move on from long-time middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, and lost Nick Roach in free agency to the Raiders.

Tight end, however, has become a little less concerning because the team signed Martellus Bennett, an inconsistent player who is coming off a solid year with the New York Giants.

Chicago currently has only five picks in the draft and doesn't have a third- rounder so hitting on its early picks is a necessity. Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree and Notre Dame mike Manti Te'o are possible options for the Bears with the 20th overall selection.

2012 Record: 10-6

Top Needs: OL, MLB, WR

First Three Picks: No. 20, No. 50, No. 117

Number of Selections: 5 (1, 2, 4, 5, 6)

RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Shea McClellin (DE, Boise State); 2011 - Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin); 2010 - none; 2009 - none; 2008 - Chris Williams (OT, Vanderbilt); 2007 - Greg Olsen (TE, Miami-Florida); 2006 - none; 2005 - Cedric Benson (RB, Texas); 2004 - Tommie Harris (DT, Oklahoma); 2003 - Michael Haynes (DE, Penn State), Rex Grossman (QB, Florida); 2002 - Marc Colombo (OT, Boston College).

04/15 10:42:42 ET

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