Prior to reaching the one year milestone as Chicago Bears general manager, Ryan Poles received one of the league’s most coveted assets: the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. And before he could call the shots in the second Bears draft of his tenure, Poles did something only 12 other GMs have dared to do since 1967 by trading it away.
His haul? A new weapon for Justin Fields at wide receiver in DJ Moore, two first round picks, and two second round picks. One first this year, one next, one second this year, and one in 2025. *cha-ching*
The 2023 NFL Draft takes place in less than one week, and when it’s over, the Bears could have 10 new players to compete for roster spots. Then again, if we’ve come to expect anything from this new front office, we could end up with even more picks somewhere along the way.
No one will know for sure exactly what Ryan Poles and the rest of the team have planned for draft night. But, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at some options, and it all starts in round one!
Round 1 | Pick #9
Up first for Poles in his second Chicago Bears draft is round one of this years NFL Draft which begins on Thursday, April 27 at 7PM CST. After trading with the Panthers, the Bears are positioned to draft from the #9 spot pending any future moves. Which, as far as we know, isn’t entirely out of the question.
As far as using the pick to draft a player goes – there are plenty of solid options the team can consider at the end of the top 10. Offensive line-wise, there’s Paris Johnson Jr., a tackle from Ohio State who could be available for the Bears at pick nine. In addition to Johnson, Peter Skoronski is a highly rated offensive lineman from Northwestern who could also potentially be available. Having to choose between the two could be challenging, and while critics knock Skoronski for having shorter arms, both Pat Fitzgerald and Poles have shut that down as a cause for concern.
While building up the Bears o-line is certainly a need, Poles could have a very tricky decision to make if former Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is still up for grabs when it’s the Bears turn to draft. Carter is certainly a top-level talent at the pro level, but off-field issues and questions about his character have made teams question whether or not they should use a top pick on him. If the organization thinks they can handle any distractions and help Carter grow on and off the field then there’s a good chance they could steal one of the best players in the draft from nine.
Like we mentioned before, trading the ninth pick away isn’t out of the question. We have to guess that Poles ends up pulling off one more trade in his second Bears draft. There’s a good chance the 9th pick is involved in that trade, and it would likely involve a deal with a QB-needy team that wants to secure their guy at 9 before the Tennessee Titans pick at 11. The who and what of a possible trade obviously remain to be seen, but our hopes would be that we find ourselves with at least another second or third pick this year, on top of an extra first or second round pick in future drafts.
Round 2 | Picks #53 and #61
Barring any moves, the next selections from this years’ Bears draft class will come from picks 53 and 61 in the second round. Both were acquired via trades this year with the 53rd pick coming from the Baltimore Ravens in the Roquan Smith deal, and the 61st coming from the Panthers.
Their first round choice will likely have the most impact on what they do with these second round picks. If the Bears draft an offensive lineman in round 1, odds are they beef up the d-line with pick #53. They could certainly go with a second o-line guy too with one of the selections. It would honestly be a pretty good move for the Chicago Bears considering their o-line needs in both the short-term and long-term with Cody Whitehair and Lucas Patrick in the final year of their contracts this season.
Going with a “skill position” like cornerback, wide receiver, or running back could be an option depending on who’s available. Despite David Montgomery’s departure, we’d like to think they’d lean towards a CB or WR in round two given the additions of D’Onta Foreman and Travis Homer in the offseason who will run behind Khalil Herbert.
As far as names go, players like Adetomiwa Adebawore (DT from Northwestern), Matthew Bergeron (OT from Syracuse), Julius Brents (CB from Kansas State), and Tyler Scott (WR from Cincinnati) could all be up for grabs.
Round 3 | Pick #64
The final Chicago Bears draft pick we’ll touch on for 2023 is their 64th pick which comes at the top of the third round. In our eyes, anything could happen with the third pick and there’s a good chance that a lot of the players they’ll consider with picks #53 and #61 could be available when the Bears are on the clock again at #64.
One thing we’ll bet on is that if the team ends up going with an offensive lineman in round one, then passes on going after the position again with either pick in round two, that they’re highly likely to target another in round three. It’s nearly impossible to predict what any team will do in an NFL draft, let alone what will happen after round one. But, we’d put our money on that scenario taking place should it all play out that way.
Players on the board at pick #64 could include Jayden Reed (WR from Michigan State), Blake Freeland (OT from BYU), Jartavius Martin (Safety from University of Illinois), and Isiah Foskey (DL from Notre Dame).
Where Else Do The Bears Draft in 2023?
After the first three rounds, the Bears have six remaining selections to do what they please with. They’ll have picks 103 and 133 in round four, 136 and 148 in round five, and 218 and 258 in round seven. Ideally those turn into the uncommon, but always loved, day three gems that everyone missed out on. There’s plenty of talent in this year’s draft class and there’s sure to be plenty of unrecognized talent that’s one opportunity away from becoming a star.
If all goes well and the Bears find the right talent across the board in this year’s draft, things could turn around quicker than expected for the team with the worst record in the league last year. Only time will tell to see what happens, but it won’t be long before the Chicago Bears are on the clock!
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