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2014 NFL Draft Needs: Chicago Bears

Jerry Donabedian

Donabedian is an Assistant Football Editor at RotoWire. He writes and edits articles and covers breaking news. A Baltimore native, Donabedian roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.

Areas of Need

1. (4-3) Defensive End

The serviceable but unexceptional Corey Wootton is slated for free agency, while Julius Peppers has been mentioned as a possible cap casualty after turning in his worst season with the Bears. Even if Peppers is back, he's not a great pass rusher anymore, and the Bears would be wise to start locating a replacement.

2. Safety

Chicago's starting safety duo of Major Wright and Chris Conte was arguably the NFL's worst in 2013. The rest of the defense probably made Wright and Conte look more unfortunate than they actually were, but there's little doubt that the Bears could use an upgrade.

3. Defensive Tackle

In 2013, the Bears lost both starting defensive tackles for the season before making it through Week 5. The team took a beating from opposing running backs for the rest of the year, and now top defensive tackle Henry Melton is set to hit free agency while rehabbing a torn ACL.

Potential Targets

*Denotes player who declared with eligibility remaining

1. (4-3) Defensive End

First round
-Kony Ealy*, Missouri (6-5, 275)

Second round
-Trent Murphy, Stanford (6-6, 260)
-Marcus Smith, Louisville (6-4, 260)
-Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech (6-3, 245)
-Scott Crichton*, Oregon State (6-3, 265)

Third round
-Trevor Reilly, Utah (6-5, 255)
-Chris Smith, Arkansas (6-2, 270)
-Kareem Martin, North Carolina (6-5, 265)

Fourth round and later
-Aaron Lynch*, South Florida (6-5, 245)
-Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (6-4, 250)
-James Gayle, Virginia Tech (6-4, 255)
-Ronald Powell*, Florida (6-3, 240)
-Chaz Sutton, South Carolina (6-4, 265)
-Cassius Marsh, UCLA (6-4, 260)
-Brent Urban, Virginia (6-7, 295)

2. Safety

First round
-Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix*, Alabama (6-1, 210)
-Calvin Pryor*, Louisville (6-2, 210)

Second round
-Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois (5-11, 190)
-Deone Bucannon, Washington State (6-1, 215)
-Terrence Brooks, Florida State (5-11, 200)
-Ed Reynolds*, Stanford (6-2, 205)

Third round
-Craig Loston, LSU (6-1, 210)
-Vinnie Sunseri*, Alabama (6-0, 210)

Fourth round and later
-Dion Bailey*, USC (6-0, 200)
-Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt (6-0, 205)
-Marqueston Huff, Wyoming (5-11, 195)
-Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State (5-10, 210)
-Ahmad Dixon, Baylor (6-0, 205)

3. Defensive Tackle

First round
-Timmy Jernigan*, Florida State (6-2, 300)
-Aaron Donald, Pitt (6-0, 285)
-Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota (6-6, 310)
-Louis Nix*, Notre Dame (6-2, 346)
-Stephon Tuitt*, Notre Dame (6-6, 310)

Second round
-Will Sutton, Arizona State (6-0, 305)
-DaQuan Jones, Penn State (6-3, 320)

Third round
-Anthony Johnson*, LSU (6-2, 295)
-Kelcy Quarles*, South Carolina (6-3, 300)
-Caraun Reid, Princeton (6-2, 305)
-Ego Ferguson*, LSU (6-2, 310)

Fourth round and later
-Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech, (6-2, 350)
-Shamar Stephen, Connecticutt (6-5, 315)
-Deandre Coleman, California (6-5, 315)