Forget the Browns, let’s discuss the Bears’ draft needs

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Adam L. Jahns and WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge have co-hosted a Bears podcast since the 2015 season. The “Hoge & Jahns Podcast” can be found on chicago.suntimes.com and wgnradio.com. It’s also available on the WGN Radio app, iTunes and the TuneIn app.

Adam L. Jahns: Let’s not talk about the Browns. Let’s hold off discussing the oft-discussed topic of coach John Fox’s job security. And let’s ignore the ups and downs of Mitch Trubisky’s development for a bit. How about the NFL draft? Let’s talk about that. Other than quarterback, the Bears need a bit of everything. Where would you begin?

Adam Hoge: The most obvious need is a Pro Bowl-caliber wide receiver for Trubisky. Unfortunately, this draft isn’t going to be littered with first-round talents at receiver. Alabama’s Calvin Ridley will be in play in the top 10, but he’s not a big guy who will high-point the football. He’s more of speed receiver who runs great routes and finds holes in a defense. Still, he would help Trubisky immensely.

Jahns: You know what would help out Trubisky? Better protection. Of course, the Bears have to improve at receiver. But it’s best not to reach on one, especially if they’re drafting as high as fifth or sixth. If we’re ranking the Bears’ needs, which everyone loves to do, it starts up front on the offensive line or the defensive line. Protecting quarterbacks and getting after them are what make good teams. Give me Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson or North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb. You target receivers and cornerbacks later on.

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Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace talks to reporters in January. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Hoge: You take the best player available. The Bears are not good enough to be targeting just one or two position groups in the first round; they have needs everywhere. For example, it would be foolish not to look at Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick or Florida State safety Derwin James just because Adrian Amos and Eddie Jackson have emerged this season. Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson is a ballhawk with great length, and he could rise into top-10 territory, too.

Jahns: But certain positions carry more weight than others. Jets safety Jamal Adams, the sixth overall pick this year, might turn out to be a special player, much like safety Eric Berry has been for the Chiefs. But there are reasons why Adams and Berry are the only two safeties drafted in the top 10 since 2010. That said, already having Trubisky changes things. Teams will be bidding to move up to draft one of the best quarterbacks. The Bears can benefit from that, whether it’s a top player falling to them or trade-back possibilities.

Hoge: If you thought the 2017 first round was wild, this one might be even crazier. There could be around 10 teams with new coaches, which makes things unpredictable. There could be five quarterbacks who are at least discussed as first-round talents. That could all prove very valuable for Bears general manger Ryan Pace as he fields calls from teams that want to move up. Pace has traded up in the first round each of the last two years, so he isn’t green when it comes to these high-pressure draft trades. That experience could help him maneuver a trade that gets the Bears extra picks.

Jahns: Having more picks would help Pace’s rebuilding efforts after having only a five-pick class in 2017. He has a better track record with the draft than free agency, too. Now he’s just got to hire the right coach. Sorry, we weren’t supposed to talk about Fox.

Follow Jahns and Hoge on Twitter @adamjahns and @adamhoge.

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

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