CHICAGO – Phil Emery is a list man.
He has made a list, and he has checked far more than just twice.
The NFL draft begins Thursday with Round 1, continues Friday with 2-3, and wraps up Saturday with 4-7.
All kinds of surprises happen in the draft. Players go higher than expected. Others wait in stunned silence as they slide. Teams jockey for position. Millions of dollars are at stake with every top selection.
No wonder Emery wants a list nearby. He won’t reveal it to anyone outside of the organization, but hinted that his target list at No. 20 would include five to seven players, likely from both sides of the ball.
What we do know for certain is the Bears’ 74-man roster heading into the draft:
Quarterbacks: Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, Matt Blanchard
Analysis: Emery would like to draft a young quarterback for Marc Trestman to develop. Look for a pick in the middle rounds, where a player like Oklahoma’s Landry Jones or Arizon’a Matt Scott might be available.
Running backs: Matt Forte, Michael Bush, Armando Allen, Harvey Unga
Analysis: It’s possible that the Bears could look for a pass-catching running back late, but Allen played well (27 carries, 124 yards, 1 TD) in limited time in 2012.
Receivers: Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, Eric Weems, Joe Anderson, Brittan Golden, Dale Moss, Terrence Toliver
Analysis: Devin Hester is now a full-time special teams player, and Johnny Knox retired, which could open up a spot for Emery to select a speed burner in the middle rounds. One idea is Texas wideout Marquise Goodwin, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.21 seconds.
Tight ends: Martellus Bennett, Steve Maneri, Evan Rodriguez, Kyle Adams, Brody Eldridge, Gabe Miller, Fendi Onobun
Analysis: Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert, Stanford’s Zach Ertz and San Diego State’s Gavin Escobar could be gone in the first two rounds.
Offensive linemen: Jermon Bushrod, J’Marcus Webb, Roberto Garza, Matt Slauson, Jonathan Scott, Gabe Carimi, James Brown, Eben Britton, Edwin Williams, Cory Brandon, Taylor Boggs, Derek Dennis
Analysis: The Bears gave up 44 sacks last year. Several top linemen could be available at No. 20, including Alabama’s D.J. Fluker and North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper.
Defensive tackles: Henry Melton, Stephen Paea, Nate Collins, Andre Fluellen
Analysis: The Bears should add depth on the defensive interior in the later rounds.
Defensive ends: Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin, Turk McBride, Kyle Moore, Cheta Ozougwu, Aston Whiteside
Analysis: Emery took a versatile pass rusher (McClellin) with his first pick in 2012.
Linebackers: Lance Briggs, D.J. Williams, James Anderson, Blake Costanzo, J.T. Thomas, Dom DeCicco, Patrick Trahan, Jerry Franklin, Lawrence Wilson
Analysis: Georgia’s Alec Ogletree is the best athlete and the best option. Others include Kansas State’s Arthur Brown, LSU’s Kevin Minter and maybe, just maybe, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o.
Cornerbacks: Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, Kelvin Hayden, Zack Bowman, Sherrick McManis, LeQuan Lewis, Isaiah Frey
Analysis: Tillman is 32, Jennings 29, and Hayden will turn 30 in July.
Safeties: Major Wright, Chris Conte, Craig Steltz, Tom Zbikowski, Brandon Hardin, Anthony Walters, Tom Nelson, Cyhl Quarles
Analysis: The Bears have bigger needs elsewhere.
Specialists: Robbie Gould, Austin Signor, Adam Podlesh, Patrick Mannelly, Devin Hester
Analysis: Nothing to see here. Move right along.