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2020 NFL Draft: NFC North Team Needs

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community news, 2020 NFL Draft: NFC North Team Needs

Team needs by Andy Benoit; draft targets by Gary Gramling.

Chicago Bears

GM Ryan Pace may want to dip into this draft’s uncommonly deep wide receiver pool and jolt his offense with a dynamic target opposite Allen Robinson, but it will be hard for Pace not to address the defensive backfield with his first two picks (No. 43 and No. 50). The departures of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Prince Amukamara leave gaping holes at safety and right corner. And defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano’s scheme, which at its best is heavy on matchup coverage concepts as part of zone disguises and pressure designs, demands talent at these two spots. And even if the Bears believe they have quality starters in recently signed ex-Steelers corner Artie Burns and fifth-year backup safety Deon Bush (which is unlikely), both are slated for free agency in 2021 and might have to be replaced anyway.

As for that wide receiver scenario, considering that Matt Nagy’s system asks receivers to align in myriad spots, and considering that the Bears have a quality plus-sized perimeter weapon in Robinson and a fairly movable chess piece in third-year pro Anthony Miller, they can afford to take the most talented prospect regardless of his style of play. And the addition of tight end Jimmy Graham means they are not so desperate for a wide receiver that they have to reach; a two-receiver package with Graham, fellow tight end Trey Burton and scatback Tarik Cohen presents a respectable array of receiving dimension.

Top-100 Targets (Chicago owns picks 43 and 50): It’s not just that the Bears don’t have a first-round pick, but they also don’t select until 140 after they make their two second-round choices. If they stay put, they’ll have their choice of interesting if risky options for the defensive backfield. They’d likely be thrilled if Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr. fell to them, as his versatility and athleticism would pair well with Eddie Jackson. LSU’s Grant Delpit could slip out of the top 40 after a shaky junior season—was his inconsistent tackling a result of playing through injury?—and while Kyle Dugger out of Lenoir-Rhyne would fit great alongside Jackson, can a team built to win now take a chance on a Division II prospect? The Day 2 corners are also interesting; LSU’s Kristian Fulton is an SEC-tested man corner who could slip, while undersized Javaris Davis of Auburn could be a scheme fit if the Bears feel he can hold up on the outside.

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