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Chicago Bears 2012 Draft Preview

Protecting quarterback Jay Cutler has been a major problem for the Bears over the past two seasons, therefore it wouldn't be a stretch if the team spends another high draft pick on an offensive tackle even after grabbing promising right-side regular Gabe Carimi in the first round last year. Depth is needed behind Carimi and inconsistent left-side starter J'Marcus Webb regardless, and the guard positions could use some retooling as well. The overtures made to free-agents Mario Williams and Jeremy Mincey during the offseason also suggest that Chicago will be in the market for a pass-rushing end to team with perennial Pro Bowler Julius Peppers, and last month's trade for Cutler confidant Brandon Marshall doesn't completely rectify the club's flimsy situation at wide receiver, as speedster Johnny Knox's 2012 status is cloudy due to a serious back injury and the mercurial Marshall has encountered his share of trouble away from the field. Look for the Bears to use the later rounds to inject some youth into other areas of the defense, namely linebacker and the interior line.

2011 Record: 8-8

Top Needs: OL, DE, WR

First Three Picks: No. 19, No. 50, No. 79

Number of Selections: 7 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2011 - Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin); 2010 - none; 2009 - none; 2008 - Chris Williams (OT, Vanderbilt); 2007 - Greg Olsen (TE, Miami-Florida); 2006 - none; 2005 - Cedric Benson (RB, Texas); 2004 - Tommie Harris (DT, Oklahoma); 2003 - Michael Haynes (DE, Penn State), Rex Grossman (QB, Florida); 2002 - Marc Colombo (OT, Boston College).