2013 NFL Mock Draft: Bears should address offensive line in first round

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Bears could be after an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

The Chicago Bears finished the 2012 season with a 10-6 record, but missed the playoffs and finally made some big, big changes to their coaching staff this offseason. They've got a new coach and new schemes on both sides of the ball.

Visit Windy City Gridiron for more on the Chicago Bears and their draft needs

Going forward, there are plenty of issues to address. Unfortunately, the re-vamped staff won't get to have a top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, as the Bears will pick at No. 20 in the first round. Still, there's a good chance to address some of their bigger needs at that point.

Matthew Fairburn and Dan Kadar of SB Nation released their latest mock draft on Monday in collaboration, and they have the Bears taking Jonathan Cooper, an offensive lineman out of North Carolina:

Right guard Lance Louis is an unrestricted free agent and, quite frankly, just isn't that good. Backups Chilo Rachal and Chris Spencer are free agents as well. The Bears have needed to upgrade their offensive line for several years, and a player like Cooper is well worth the 20th pick in the draft. He's a quick-footed guard that can beat defensive linemen off the snap and get out on the move.

Chicago had one of the absolute worst offensive lines in football in 2012. So many times, quarterback Jay Cutler went back to throw a pass but was unable to even get his feet set. Unfortunately for the Bears, Cutler is the kind of quarterback who tends to panic at times.

In short, offensive line is easily the highest priority for the Bears and fortunately, there promises to be some strong interior line talent at No. 20 in the draft if they do, in fact, elect to go that route.

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