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Will Bears pick best player available?

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Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

What is new Bears general manager Ryan Pace's philosophy in terms of drafting for need or picking the best player on the board?

Kevin T.
Warwick, Rhode Island

Bears general manager Ryan Pace definitely believes in drafting the best player available. He made that clear Wednesday when he discussed the Bears' draft preparations with the media. Acknowledging that the team did not fill all of its needs in free agency, he stressed that the Bears must still "be disciplined with taking the best player available and we'll continue to do that." He went on to say that if two players are ranked closely, "then of course you'll lean toward your need. The mistake is when you reach down and draft a guy [a lot lower] because you're enamored with a need." Pace also made an interesting point that teams don't necessarily make those mistakes on draft day but in their evaluations leading up to the draft when they may rank prospects at a certain position higher perhaps without even realizing it because it's a need area.

How important is character to the Bears when evaluating potential draft picks and have they taken any players off their board strictly because of those concerns?

Dave L.
San Francisco, California

General manager Ryan Pace said Wednesday that character is a very important consideration when looking at players in the draft and he praised Bears scouts for digging up a lot of good information. Pace also noted that there are two different types of character: 1) Football character in terms of being a good teammate and having passion for the game; and 2) Off-the-field character because, as Pace said: "He's representing your organization, the McCaskeys and the city of Chicago, so those weigh on your shoulders heavily and that's really analyzed thoroughly." Pace said there have been players the Bears have taken off their draft board because of character issues or medical issues and others who they've flagged that they might consider later in the draft where the risk is minimal if it exists at all.

Do you think watching the minicamp practices this week will change the way the Bears approach the draft in terms of believing that some positions may be stronger or weaker than initially thought?

Ethan B.
Evansville, Indiana

General manager Ryan Pace said Wednesday that the minicamp practices would not change the way the Bears approach the draft, telling the media: "It's good to see our players in person, but the workouts here in shorts and t-shirts won't really impact the draft."

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