NFL Mock Draft 2013: Bears turn to receiver after filling need on offensive line

Ronald Martinez

Chicago landed a new left tackle in free agency, so the mock drafts feel comfortable heading elsewhere. Which prospective rookies could help the Bears offense in 2013?

The Chicago Bears filled probably their biggest need during free agency when they signed Jermon Bushrod to replace J'Marcus Webb at left tackle. The Bears have been notoriously bad on the offensive line for a few years now, and while Bushrod won't solve all of their woes, he does fill a major need that won't have to be addressed in the first round of the draft anymore.

That doesn't mean that Chicago doesn't still have some major needs to fill, and at least one of those could be coming in the form of a playmaker to score touchdowns now that Jay Cutler could have extra time in the pocket.

For more on the Bears, check out Windy City Gridiron

While the Bears paid a high price to get Brandon Marshall, and spent a second-round pick last year on Alshon Jeffery, they still have a dire need at wide receiver. Beyond Marshall's excellent season, finishing with 118 catches for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns, no other receiver on the team topped 400 yards. Nobody else had more than three touchdowns. No wide receiver besides Marshall had over 30 catches.

Chicago finished the year 28th in total offense and 29th in passing offense, meaning that even if their defense was excellent they couldn't outscore opponents and ultimately lost five of six games in the second half last year. They will need more touchdown-makers on offense, and Tavon Austin out of West Virginia could be just the sparkplug for which they are looking. That is who Rob Rang of CBS Sports projected to Chicago in his latest mock draft:

The Bears improved their secondary options for Cutler with the addition of free-agent tight end Martellus Bennett, but never adjusted to the loss of speedy slot receiver Johnny Knox. Austin is dynamic with the ball in his hands and could be quite a weapon in Marc Trestman's quick-strike offense.

In need of more weapons for Cutler, Austin could be they key. But will they add another player in free agency to take that spot before the draft? We will have to wait and see.

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