CSNChicago.com mentioned previously that the additions of Brandon Marshall, Devin Thomas and Eric Weems have materially altered the Bears' needs profile for the upcoming draft. Another wide receiver is always a possibility based on a nugget falling to them at No. 19 or the chance to trade down and add picks.
But the swing away from wideout already has begun among the outside prognosticators, and that was even before the Thomas signing.
National Football Posts most recent lineup of five Bears possibles has two No. 19 picks for wide receiver (Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright), one for OT Jonathan Martin (that would be a major surprise) and two for defensive ends: Whitney Mercilus from Illinois and Quinton Coples from North Carolina.
Wes Bunting over at NFP was among five mock drafters cited by USA Today on Wednesday. Wes call was Coples, which also is CSNChicago.coms if Coples is still available at No. 19. The head-scratcher is that three of the other four mocksters forecast the Bears taking Floyd or Wright at 19, with Nate Davis tabbing Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick at No. 19.
A veteran NFL personnel executive told CSNChicago.com on Thursday that defensive end or cornerback would be the likely Chicago targets. Kirkpatrick is 6-foot-1, which is Charles Tillman-ish, but hes not physical and weighs sub-190.
And Buntings assessment for CSNChicago.com at the recent combine is that this draft is corner-rich to the point of finding value (i.e., starters) in rounds 2 and 3.
The draft is still a month away but the Bears are not expected to be shopping hard for a pass rusher. Look for that to come almost exactly four weeks from right now.