The Bears had a chance to draft a top-shelf offensive lineman at No. 19 last draft. Iowa tackle Riley Reiff was available; the Lions took him four picks later at 23.
Stanford guard David DeCastro was there; Pittsburgh grabbed him at 24.
But the Bears chose Shea McClellin out of Boise State (to be a pass rusher, not a linebacker) and their reasoning has always been pretty clear.
Defensively the Bears were 29th in sacks per pass play.
Daniel Jeremiah over at NFL.com looks at the last five Super Bowl winners and notes that four of the five (all by New Orleans) were in the top three for total sacks.
(To put that in just a little perspective, however: The New York Giants were third in sacks and won the Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings were 1-2 in sacks per pass play and were done after 16 games and the Eagles led the NFL in total sacks.)
The Bears were 16th in sacks per pass play in the 2006 Super Bowl season, which says that total dominance isnt necessarily the order. But they also had 11 forced fumbles by defensive linemen alone.
Last year they had 13 total, four by linemen. Sacks and pass rush produce strips. That was why the biggest need the Bears had last draft day wasnt protecting the quarterback. It was getting to others.