Bears

Mulligan: Bears Must Draft Defensive End

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Julius Peppers

Julius Peppers (photo credit: Getty Images)

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(WSCR) The Bears learned the hard way in 2011 how important depth can be.

When Jay Cutler went down with a season-ending thumb injury, the team had no depth at the quarterback position and ended up losing five straight games en route to missing the playoffs. One of new GM Phil Emery’s first moves was to sign veteran quarterback Jason Campbell, ensuring the Bears wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

It is for that reason that The Score’s Mike Mulligan insists the Bears draft a defensive end with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to make sure the team has depth at one of the most important positions on the field.

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“We all know where the holes are,” Mike Mulligan said during the Bears Roundtable discussion. “The holes start with the pass-rusher, right? You need another guy there.

“If Johnny Knox doesn’t fall down and Jay Cutler doesn’t get hurt, Jerry (Angelo) is still here and there’s no one complaining about what happened during the year. Guys, that’s why they have to take a defensive end. They had one key position (quarterback) where there was no depth whatsoever. That guy gets hurt and you’re caught with your pants around your ankles. If they do that with Julius Peppers, let’s just say he goes down – who is going to take over that spot?”

Chicago Tribune writer Dan Pompei quickly chimed in to agree with Mulligan.

“It’s vulnerable on a number of spots,” Pompei said. “You’ve also got Julius Peppers at 33 years old and Israel Idonije is 31 years old. Really, you don’t have a third defensive end on a team that likes to rotate defensive end and bring them in in waves.”

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