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Our 2015 Chicago Bears Draft Preview

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Apr 29, 2015 7:45PM

2014_03_bears_logo.jpg Following a dreadful 5-11 season, the Bears enter the draft with a bunch of holes to fill on their roster and a new regime looking to put its stamp on the team. On account of their record, the Bears have the seventh pick in the first round and the organization hopes that the new front office has better luck in the first round than during the Phil Emery era.

Among the team's top needs are defensive line, wide receiver, linebacker, safety and quarterback. With so many needs, it's unclear where the Bears will focus their attention in Thursday night's opening round.

With the shift to a 3-4 defense and a need for help on the front line, the Bears might covet
Danny Shelton, a nose tackle from Washington. Clemson's Vic Beasley or Kentucky's Bud Dupree are edge rushers who might also be looked at to shore up the front line of the defense.

On the other side of the ball, the Bears need help at wide receiver after trading Brandon Marshall. The top wideout this year is Amari Cooper from Alabama. Will he be on the board when the Bears make their pick? If the team wants to address the position and Cooper is gone, West Virginia's Kevin White might fill the need. While Cooper's the more polished player now, White has the better size and speed and could end up the better wideout down the road.

The Bears could look to trade up or down as well. Should one of the players they desire appear to be targeted ahead of their pick, might the team trade up? Or will the long list of needs entice the Bears to trade down and increase their total pick count?

And then there is many fans' dream scenario, with the Bears working a trade to draft one of the top QBs. Jameis Winston from Florida St. and Oregon's Marcus Mariota are expected to go with the top two picks. The Bears seem especially interested in Mariota. But could the Bears move up to land a possible franchise QB? As much as such a move might be tempting, history suggests it rarely pans out when teams do. But if it signals the end of Jay Cutler, fans will cheer the move.

We'll report back on Friday with our take on the first pick of the Ryan Pace era and how it might impact later rounds.