Commentary

Horton: NFC North offseason needs

Breaking down the top six areas to address for every squad

Originally Published: April 26, 2011
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
GrantDilip Vishwanat/Getty ImagesIf Ryan Grant comes back healthy, Green Bay's offense will improve -- a scary thought.

Amid the NFL labor situation, with no free agency yet, one thing is certain: There will be an NFL draft starting Thursday. With that come mock drafts (from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay) and team needs that must be met. Gary Horton examines the top six needs for every team in the NFL. Here is the file for the NFC North.

Chicago Bears

Top needs
1. Offensive tackle/guard: A lot of help up front is needed, especially on the left side. This offensive line gave up a league-high 56 sacks in 2010 and couldn't establish a consistent run game. Left tackle Frank Omiyale can get by in the run game, but his pass-protection skills are not good enough to protect Jay Cutler's blind side, and aging center Olin Kreutz eventually will need to be replaced.

2. Defensive tackle: Anthony Adams is a free agent, and Tommie Harris and his big contract are gone. There is no help and depth behind them, and in this Cover 2 defense, a physical three-technique defensive tackle who can hold up versus the run and penetrate is really important. The Bears need a starter here.

3. Wide receiver: This group improved in 2010 but consisted mostly of complementary players, and it would be nice to add a No. 1 guy to the mix. The Bears could use a physical wide receiver who could give them a third-down chain mover and help improve Cutler's 75.1 QB rating on third down. Too many times Cutler threw passes believing his guy could go get it, and that was rarely the case.

4. Outside linebacker: Brian Urlacher is set in the middle and Lance Briggs is solid at one outside spot, but the other LB spot is a problem area. Veteran Pisa Tinoisamoa can't stay healthy and is a free agent. There is no depth at the position, and for a defense that is so LB-oriented, a lot of help is needed.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.