The Chicago Bears are coming off a trip to the playoffs, but it doesn’t feel like it. The Bears have become the big losers of the offseason after being interested in Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford but coming away with Andy Dalton. They were fortunate to sneak into the playoffs in 2020, and the front office and coaching staff are on thin ice.

They need to recapture what they had in 2018, and to do that, they’re going to have to crush the draft. Here are three first-round targets that could help turn the Bears from pretenders to contenders. 

Alijah Vera-Tucker

With Andy Dalton leading the passing attack, the Bears can pretty much throw away all hope of having an elite passing offense. The only time that Dalton was at the helm of an above-average offense was 2015. If the Bears want to have a good offense, the running game will have to be stellar. To do that, they’ll have to invest in the offensive line. Alijah Vera-Tucker is a versatile lineman that played 2019 at left guard and 2020 at left tackle.

He earned all-conference honors in both seasons. The Bears’ right guard projected to be Alex Bars, an undrafted free agent that Chicago signed in 2019. He’s outperformed expectations, but he’s far from a solid starter at the position. The Bears offensive line got off to a poor start in 2020 but pulled it together towards the end. If they can build on their end-of-season success and add Vera-Tucker, it figures to be an above-average unit that can take the pressure off Andy Dalton.