“Need” can be defined lots of different ways in the NFL, whether a specific position or player. The Bears do not necessarily need a quarterback, at least not until Marc Trestman and Matt Cavanaugh have had at Jay Cutler, or until they add a free agent, whether re-signing Jason Campbell or Josh McCown or not.

But apart from the obvious performance questions surrounding Cutler, 30 in April, and his future viability, the Bears have reasons to staff up the quarterback position in the draft, perhaps earlier rather than later.

The Bears missed the playoffs last season in no small part because of certain other teams that did draft quarterbacks without seemingly immediate pressing needs.

The 2013 draft in fact may be potentially favorable for the Bears to make a move at the franchise position without necessarily investing a high pick there at the expense of a better player or bigger need elsewhere.

ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio has noted that virtually all quarterback prospects will work out for the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine because no one is among the projected top picks.

NFL draft guru Mel Kiper has raised the possibility of no quarterback being taken in the first round. Unlikely, with West Virginia’s Geno Smith in the field.

But Cutler has not played his way into a contract extension beyond this season. And Trestman did not use the adjective “franchise” while discussing him and neither he nor GM Phil Emery are invested in Cutler.

So the question arguably is not if the Bears should draft a quarterback but when:

First round?

In 2005, the Green Bay Packers were coming off a run of five consecutive winning seasons, four of them in the playoffs and three with Brett Favre in the Pro Bowl. They used a No. 1 pick, 24th overall, on Aaron Rodgers.