The passing of Gaines Adams in January was obviously a tragic loss for the Bears.
The club — particularly defensive line coach Rod Marinelli — had high hopes for Adams, the fourth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
The Bears believed that the athletic Adams just needed some refining, which is why they shipped their second-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But the Bears never got a chance to see if Adams could fulfill their expectations. Instead, they lost a valuable draft pick — one that could have helped them address a glaring need at safety.
The Bears would have picked 10th in the second round, a solid enough position to land one of the more highly-respected safeties in this draft class.
Earl Thomas and Eric Berry were taken early. But, no other safeties were selected after, and players like Taylor Mays (USC), Nathaniel Allen (South Florida), Morgan Burnett (Georgia Tech) and Chad Jones (LSU) are still available. With that pick, if the Bears coveted one of them, they could have packaged another pick to move up and get him.
But the Bears instead will have to wait until the 12th pick in the third round, where they can still get a quality player, albeit with far more questions.
Among the players who could be available: Major Wright of Florida, T.J. Ward of Oregon, Reshad Jones of Georgia, Kam Chancellor of Virginia Tech and Robert Johnson of Utah.