INDIANAPOLIS (CBS) — It’s no secret the Bears have a ton of needs on defense this season.
In fact, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that they will use the 14th overall pick on a defensive player.
But does Bears general manager Phil Emery feel the same way?
On Thursday, Emery was asked where the strength of this year’s draft class is, and the answer may surprise you.
“I know at 14, I’m going to be sitting there and there’s going to be a lot of offensive playmakers on the board,” Emery said. “This is a deep draft in offensive playmakers, and I’m sure my peers recognize that.”
Of course, an early run on offensive players will only push the top defensive players closer to the Bears at No. 14, and head coach Marc Trestman admitted defense is the priority.
“For the most part, not all, but for the most part it’s going to be a defensive-oriented draft in terms of where we’re going,” Trestman said. “That doesn’t mean we won’t draft an offensive player. We’re going to draft the players we think are best at the time, where our football team is at the time of the draft.”
Will the Bears draft a quarterback?
The Bears have Jay Cutler locked in for a minimum of three years and a maximum of seven, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look at possible quarterbacks in the upcoming draft.
“We’re going to evaluate all the quarterbacks that we think can play, and we’ll make decisions accordingly,” Trestman said. “If that player can be developed and help our football team now and in the future, I’m sure he’ll be in the consideration.”
For the Bears to take a quarterback this year, Trestman would have to really like a prospect. Re-signing backup Josh McCown is a bigger priority for next season, and sacrificing one of their seven draft picks on a quarterback would be tough with all the defensive needs.
What are the Bears looking for in prospects?
Emery’s brief track record with the Bears has shown a willingness to take chances on players who come with question marks, but also high ceilings.
“We have a history of not being afraid to take calculated risks, and we’ll continue to do that,” Emery said. “We’ll continue to find players that have upside skills, that have good ceilings in terms of athletically, speed and size.”
Could the Bears trade back?
Emery has said in the past he would love to add draft picks. Right now he has seven, but could he gain more by trading back in the first round?
“It’s always difficult to trade down unless you’re willing to give up a lot of value, and we’re not going to do that,” he said. “We’re going to make sure there’s equal value. Unless we just see that that potential pick that we’re getting out of the deal is going to be in a significant spot where we can make some good out of it.”
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.