The month of the NFL draft has arrived and the questions are only getting tougher to answer. For the Chicago Bears, it's a case of high-stakes gambling. Can they rely on wild cards like Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte to not let down the offense?
Jay Cutler has Michael Bush but needs another target with Johnny Knox out
Smart front office executives plan for every situation in pro football. It was something Jerry Angelo couldn't do in Chicago and it cost him his job. Now Phil Emery set about correcting that mistake. With the contract talks stalled between the team and star running back Matt Forte, the new Bears general manager did the smart thing and locked up a talented backup in Michael Bush. If Forte holds out then Bush would step in and be a reliable safety net for quarterback Jay Cutler. The bigger question rests with the wide receivers. By adding Brandon Marshall the Bears offense suddenly goes from annoying to dangerous. However, the three-time Pro Bowl talent has a history thick with legal problems and many fans fear it might return to haunt him in Chicago. What's worse is another of their receivers, Johnny Knox, might not even play in 2012 because of a nasty back injury last year. The Chicago Bears receivers are better with Marshall, but do they still need insurance?
Helping Julius Peppers and offensive line creates a problem for NFL draft
Most Windy City fans were in agreement months ago when mock drafts almost unanimously said the Bears should draft a wide receiver with their first pick in the NFL draft. By adding Marshall, that agreement has turned to a raging debate. Many experts think Chicago should still add another weapon for Cutler, such as Notre Dame standout Michael Floyd or South Carolina speedster Kendall Wright. Others however think the Bears have more pressing needs. A latest mock draft has Chicago bolstering its young offensive line with standout guard David DeCastro from Stanford. It's not a bad thought since the Bears gave up the most sacks across two seasons but other voices say this draft should divert attention to the defense. After all, most of the free agent signings by Chicago were focused on offense and special teams. Logic suggests that the team means to prepare for a defense-devoted draft. The Bears have a good defense but also an old one. Each of its top players is over 30. Taking another pass rusher in the first round to help out Julius Peppers or another cornerback to slide next to Charles Tillman sounds just as good as another receiver.
No one envies the Chicago Bears and their draft conundrum. Their team has improved greatly since free agency started in March but fans aren't satisfied. They know it could take one mistake by Brandon Marshall or a holdout by Matt Forte to change the situation. Not even Michael Bush or a healthy Johnny Knox could convince them otherwise. Taking another offensive weapon in the NFL draft sounds like a luxury since Julius Peppers and the offensive line could use help too. Then again, Jay Cutler will decide whether this team wins a Super Bowl. Maybe it's time to stockpile the weapons for him.