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The bad part of coming off an 11-5 season is it means the Bears will be picking at the bottom of each round of the draft. However, with far less holes to fill than a year ago, the decision makers can zero in on a few positions rather than needing to overhaul the entire roster.

The Bears have been successful outside of the first round of the draft in recent years. During GM Jerry Angelo's tenure he took LB Lance Briggs and CB Nathan Vasher in the third and fourth rounds respectively and both made the Pro Bowl in 2005.

The week in Mobile isn't usually focused on high profile picks. At times Kyle Orton looked to be a first or second round pick coming out of Purdue. However, an injury plagued senior campaign pushed him down draft boards. Still he proved something during his week in Mobile and caught the eye of scouts.

Despite seeing 105 players go ahead of him in the draft, Orton went onto to have a more eventful season than most rookies. He started 15 games even though he was a fourth-round draft pick who was slated to watch from the sidelines this season.

Obviously injury and poor play ahead of Orton were major factors in having to speed up his development, but he proved to be a steal as he won 10 games as the starter.

For the first time since the 2002 draft, the Bears will select in the bottom portion of each round. It makes the scouts job that much tougher to find talent deeper in the draft.

The Bears have one pick in each of the first six rounds, with their seventh round choice being part of the trade that brought special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo from the Miami Dolphins.

Their first selection is the 26th overall. The last time the Bears were in a similar position they took OT Marc Colombo with the 27th overall pick of the 2002 draft. A knee injury in his rookie season kept Colombo off the field for two years and eventually led to his release.

Unless something dramatically changes during free agency, the Bears will likely use the draft to go after help in the passing game on both sides of the ball. Either a player that would be a factor catching the ball or one that can upgrade the secondary would be ideal.

The roster is in good shape at several positions. For the most part, the draft will provide a chance to target areas of weakness and generally add depth instead of needing rookies to come in and make an immediate impact.

This season, the Bears had rookies start 36 games. Even though 28 of those starts came between Orton and FS Chris Harris, anything close to that total in 2006 would mean the team had been hit hard by injury. The end result would likely be the organization being back in the upper half of the draft a year from now.


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