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5 Players the Bears Could Draft in the 2023 NFL Draft – NBC Chicago

5 players the Bears could draft in the 2023 NFL draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears have a free pick at any single player in the upcoming 2023 NFL draft. Their first pick them guarantees the right to select any player before another team.

That being said, it’s been widely prognosticated the Bears would be more interested in trading their pick down in the draft to acquire more capital, while staying relevant in the non-quarterback draft.

Here are five players who could become a Chicago Bear by the end of April:

Will Anderson Jr

Will Anderson Jr. is regarded as the best athlete in the upcoming draft. He has great size and speed at the edge position, and will inevitably become an excellent pass rusher in the NFL. With Alabama last season, he recorded 51 tackles, 10 sacks and one interception. During his sophomore season, he recorded over 100 tackles and 17.5 sacks.

The Bears need a pass rusher. They jettisoned Robert Quinn last season – then their best pass rusher – to the Philadelphia Eagles. They owned the worst pass rush in the league last season, recording to least number of sacks of any unit in the NFL.

Some believe Anderson could fall to the no. 4 pick, considering two quarterbacks are likely to come off the board first, and personal preference could pave the way for Jalen Carter to fall before Anderson.

NBC Sports Chicago’s Josh Schrock outlined a trade between the Bears and Colts (beholders of the No. 4 pick), lighting the path for the Bears to get the best of both worlds in a trade-down scenario.

MORE: Schrock’s Bears Mock Draft 1.0: Poles gets haul for No. 1 pick

Jalen Carter

Carter is a behemoth, weighing around 300 pounds at the defensive tackle position. You’re getting a consistent A-gap plug out of Carter, as well as a solid pass rusher. Some believe he could take on a similar effect as Aaron Donald by becoming a menace in the middle.

The three-technique defensive tackle is vital in Matt Eberflus’ defense, as said by the coach himself. The Bears may prefer him over Anderson because of their specific defensive needs in their 4-3 defense.

The same logic from Anderson’s draft position applies to Carter; a trade down within the top four picks could land him a Chicago Bear.

Paris Johnson Jr.

Here’s a name rarely involved in any Chicago Bears mock drafts.

This would take a more drastic trade down outside of the top five picks. Johnson is an offensive tackle out of Ohio State. He’s regarded as the best tackle in the draft and would immediately challenge for a starting spot on the Bears’ offensive line.

Chicago’s offensive line was horrendous last season. They contributed to Justin Fields being one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL, despite identifying as an effective run-block unit. Nonetheless, the Bears have rarely had a formidable offensive line in recent years and a blind side tackle would almost certainly help Fields.

Peter Skoronski

Skoronski is a local football player from Park Ridge, Ill., entering the draft out of Northwestern University in Evanston. Depending on the front office’s bias towards Midwestern players, they might be interested in taking a hometown kid. And a good one at that.

Scouts see potential in Skoronski as a five-position player on any offensive line – meaning he can play any one position on the line from outside to inside. This would help the Bears tremendously since they’ve made adjustments on the line – like moving Teven Jenkins from tackle to right guard.

The Illinois native is projected just outside the top five picks, so a trade down to any team in the 5-10 range would make his draft chances more likely for the Bears.

Tyree Wilson

Wilson is projected top 10 pick in the draft. This is likely as far as the Bears would be willing to trade down if they desired to find a turnkey player in the first round.

Some pundits consider Wilson to be the best 1-on-1 edge in the draft. At 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, Wilson is an athletic unit. He has a nearly 7-foot wingspan to force linemen out of his way. He’s a name to highlight at this portion of the draft and he fills a dire need for the Bears.

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