Bears draft positional analysis: Def. tackles

Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget is projected to go in the first round. Thomas Campbell/US Presswire

With the release of former Pro Bowler Tommie Harris, the unrestricted free agent status of veteran Anthony Adams, and the uncertain future of former third round choice Marcus Harrison, the odds are good that Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo will address the defensive tackle position at some point in the offseason.

Here's a quick look at our top 20 at the defensive tackle spot, and what round they're projected to be taken:

The next 10: 11. Terrell McClain, South Florida, 6-2, 297; 12. Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson, 6-4, 310; 13. Ian Williams, Notre Dame, 6-1, 319; 14. Lawrence Guy, Arizona State, 6-4, 305, 15. Sione Fua, Stanford, 6-2, 308; 16. Jurrell Casey, Southern California, 6-1, 300; 17. Martin Parker, Richmond, 6-2, 303; 18. David Carter, UCLA, 6-5, 297; 19. Cedric Thornton, Southern Arkansas, 6-3, 309, 20. Chris Neild, West Virginia, 6-2, 319.

Position grade: B+

Analysis: Considering Bears coach Lovie Smith believes the defense is built up the middle, starting with a dominant three-technique defensive tackle, the tackle position is a big area of need for the team, even though the Bears saw improvements from Henry Melton and Matt Toeaina in 2010. Angelo always puts a premium on defensive linemen, and has selected at least one in every draft except for 2005, the year after the Bears sent a third-round pick to Miami for end Adewale Ogunleye. This year's strong class figures to net a tackle who could compete for significant play time up front for the Bears in the fall.