The Chicago Bears offseason has been a busy one. It all started with them landing the number one pick in the last week of the regular season. This shaped the entire offseason to come. They made a splash in free agency by signing two stud linebackers in Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. However, the biggest splash they made was trading the number one pick to the Carolina Panthers and moving back to the ninth overall pick. This trade opened up a lot of options for the Bears, but before we get into that, let’s review their needs by position.
Chicago Bears: Quarterback
The Bears have their franchise QB and they do not need help at backup having both Trevor Siemian and P.J. Walker in the room behind Justin Fields. This room should not be touched by the Bears on draft night and I don’t expect it to.
Chicago Bears: Running Back
The Bears don’t have to address this position. If the value was there at the right time in the draft, then they may jump on someone in the middle-to-late rounds. Otherwise, I would imagine they’ll let it ride with the group they have now.
Chicago Bears: Wide Receiver
Unless the organization falls in love with a top end receiver in the first couple rounds, the team does not need to address the position. After the addition of D.J. Moore, as well as Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney returning. They have a solid starting three, as well as solid depth with guys like Velus Jones Jr., Equanimeous St. Brown, and Dante Pettis on the depth chart. They can add a late-round guy, but unless they think they have a superstar on their hands, receiver is not a need.
Chicago Bears: Tight End
The Bears added former NFC North rival Robert Tonyan to the depth chart behind Cole Kmet. The two pair for a nice duo at the position. It isn’t a glaring need, but Kmet has not contributed much as a blocker, and he hasn’t been the receiving threat they probably hoped for, so it is possible they take a tight end in this loaded class.
Chicago Bears: Offensive Tackle
This is the glaring position of need on the depth chart. The offensive line as a whole will be improved, but they have to find a franchise left tackle to protect Fields. The rest of the offensive line is already in place and this would give them a really good starting five.
Chicago Bears: Interior Offensive Line
I expect Cody Whitehair to kick inside to center where he used to play. That leaves Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis at guard which is a really good combo. That interior is much better than average. They really should look to add depth through the draft, but they are in fantastic position for this season on the interior of the OL.
Chicago Bears: Defensive Line
With DeMarcus Walker and Andrew Billings be added this off-season, the Bears have two startable guys now. However, both can be replaced on draft night. They are going to be in the rotation, but they are upgradeable spots on the defensive line. On the edge, the Bears have a lot of rotational pieces, but they definitely need a true wow factor on the edge of their defensive line.
Chicago Bears: Linebacker
There isn’t a position the Bears invested in more this offseason than linebacker. Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards will come in as the heart of the defense and make an immediate impact. Second-year linebacker Jack Sanborn should play a role as well. The Bears linebacking core doesn’t need much work, so they may add someone in the later rounds for depth, but I don’t see any significant draft capital being spent on the position.
Chicago Bears: Cornerback
Outside of Jaylon Johnson, the Bears do not have a reliable corner on the roster. Kyler Gordon was not great as a rookie, and Kindle Vildor won’t have high expectations either. It’s because of this that I think they should invest heavily in the draft at this position. Landing a couple of solid corners will improve what is currently a weakness significantly.
Chicago Bears: Safety
With Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker on the backend, it is hard to say safety is a need. However, I do believe a mid-to-late round pick should be considered on a safety for some much-needed depth at the position.
Full 7-Round Mock Draft
9.OT-Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
After going through multiple mock drafts and feeling things out, I came to the conclusion that the Bears absolutely have to draft an offensive tackle in round one. Otherwise, I would say they have to trade up to get one early on day two. Because I’m not doing trades for this mock. The Bears had their choice of offensive linemen. I think Skoronski will be a stud at the next level. Some prefer Paris Johnson Jr. and that pick would be great as well, but I love Skoronski to the Bears at number nine.
53.CB-Tyrique Stevenson, Miami (FL)
I mentioned the need for corner already, so taking one with their second pick should come as no surprise. Stevenson has gotten better each season at Miami. He was fantastic in coverage this past season. In addition, he brings a very solid athletic profile.
61.CB-Clark Phillips III, Utah
The idea of taking two corners in their first four picks is very appealing to me. They can’t rely on second-year corner Kyler Gordon to be productive. Clark Phillips III was one of the best corners in college football in the last couple years. His draft projection isn’t higher due to his lack of size and athleticism. Standing at just 5’9″ 184 lbs. and running just a 4.51 40-yard dash will limit his ceiling at the next level. However, I believe he will be a very good corner at the next level.
64.EDGE-Derick Hall, Auburn
Derick Hall has a very good athletic profile as well as a ton of production in the SEC. This edge class is extremely deep, so they can grab one with one of these three picks and get a lot of production out of it.
103.DT-Karl Brooks, Bowling Green
Karl Brooks has just trended up, up, and away throughout his college career. He has been a one-man wrecking crew for Bowling Green over the past two seasons. This could be a gem if he falls this far, but more than likely he will be a day two selection. In this mock however, he fell to them and I jumped on him at this point.
133.HB-Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State
The Bears will likely roll with Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman in 2023, but I think adding Deuce Vaughn to this room would make a lot of sense. With the Bears having a bevy of picks, Deuce Vaughn is tough to pass on at this point. He is an explosive player, and a productive back. He would also be able to contribute right away on special teams as well.
136.S-Anthony Johnson Iowa State
This could be a sneaky good pick for the Bears. Johnson played safety for the first time this year having switched from corner. He played more than solid for someone new to the position, and he could be a very good developmental pick at this point.
148.C-Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan
I previously mentioned that Cody Whitehair will probably switch back to center, but even if he does, you can never have enough good offensive linemen. Oluwatimi was one of the best centers in college football the past three seasons. He may not be available at this point, but in this exercise he is so the Bears would be tempted to jump on the opportunity.
218.TE-Noah Gindorff, North Dakota State
At this point in the draft, you’re just looking for someone that can come in and contribute in some type of special teams, or develop into something down the road. I believe Gindorff is a perfect fit for the Bears. He can come in as a blocking tight end and lineup as a full back as well in certain packages.
258.LB-Carlton Martial, Troy
Martial is certainly undersized for the position, but I absolutely love this prospect. I don’t believe he should be available at this point in the draft, and the Bears don’t particularly need LB help, but this is way to big of a steal in my eyes to not give him to the Bears here.
Mock Draft Review
All in all, the Bears have a great opportunity to build for the future over the weekend. If this mock draft is anything close to what the Bears pull off, then Bears fans will be parading through the streets. I love the way the draft falls for them when they go OL in the first and believe this would be the best strategy for the team in the immediate future as well as long-term.
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