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NFL Draft Preview

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Apr 27, 2007 3:27PM

Just as the local sporting goods stores have finally moved out the last of their Bears NFC Champions merchandise, it's time for the Bears and the NFL teams to restock their roster during the NFL draft, which takes place Saturday and Sunday in New York.

2007_04_sports_nfldraft.jpgThe draft begins at 11:00 am on Saturday, but there's no need to get up early to watch. The Bears don't draft until the 31st pick in the first round, which could come a good five or six hours into the draft. Each team is allowed 15 minutes to make their first round selection.

They come up again soon thereafter, with the 37th pick -- the one they swapped with the Jets as part of the Thomas Jones trade. The Bears five additional picks -- with no sixth round pick and two seventh rounders.

In spite of making it to Super Bowl XLI, the Bears certainly have a number of holes on their roster that they would like to fill or positions that they'd like to either upgrade or find insurance policies.

Here is where Chicagoist thinks the Bears need to focus:

1. Tight End
They used Desmond Clark effectively at times last year, after passing on a number of quality tight ends. Imagine if Rex Grossman had a real tight end as a target -- he's another shot to fill a need.
2. Defensive Tackle
Tommie Harris is coming back from a season-ending injury. Tank Johnson's likely out all season because of his off-the-field troubles. They lost Alfonso Boone to free agency, and could lose Ian Scott as well. They'll need somebody to play the position!
3. Offensive Line
Their O-line has lots of veteran experience, which is code for "they're getting old fast."
4. Linebacker
Escpecially if they do end up parting ways with Lance Briggs, or he follows through on his holdout.
5. Running Back
Cedric Benson hasn't proven to be all that durable. With Thomas Jones now with the Jets, could Adrian Peterson carry the load himself were Benson to go down?

As in past years, this year's draft will probably take a while to determine its quality. Who, at the conclusion of last year's draft, was wowed by Devin Hester and Mark Anderson? Jerry Angelo has proven he's capable of finding the talent later into the draft better than anyone.

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