How the Chicago Bears could rebuild in the 2023 NFL Draft
The Chicago Bears are almost on the clock for this year's NFL Draft.
Why it matters: In one of the most pivotal offseasons in the franchise's history, the Bears need to score game-changing talent to improve from last year's miserable season.
Context: The Bears had the worst record in pro football, which secured them the No. 1 pick overall in this year's draft.
Yes, but: Bears GM Ryan Poles traded that pick to Carolina this offseason, for a huge return including the 9th overall pick and star wide receiver D.J. Moore.
The intrigue: The Bears had the most money to spend in free agency, enabling them to bring in former Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and guard Nate Davis. But fans were eager for more pickups, since the Bears still have $38 million to put to use.
- Instead, the team has signaled they're looking to build through this weekend's draft. As of right now, the team has massive holes on both sides of the ball.
State of play: Optimism is running high that the Bears' rebuild may accelerate now that nemesis Aaron Rodgers is out of Green Bay.
Here are a few blue chip players who could be wearing orange and blue next season.
The Bears would thank their lucky stars if Will Anderson, the best defensive player on the board, fell all the way to the 9th pick. That's unlikely, but we might have a shot at Texas Tech's Tyree Wilson or Clemson's Myles Murphy.
- This is a critical need for the Bears defense, who were dead last in sacks last year.
Georgia's Jalen Carter was once considered the best prospect in the draft, but his stock has dropped this offseason after a lackluster combine performance and off-the-field troubles, including his involvement in a fatal car accident. After Carter, there are several mid-draft options, including Northwestern's Adetomiwa Adebawore.
- The Bears have yet to find the game-breaker at this crucial position in Matt Eberflus' defensive scheme.
The Bears may play it safe in the first round and stay close to home by picking Northwestern's Peter Skoronski or Ohio State left tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
- Both would be massive upgrades in protecting Justin Fields, who was sacked a whopping 58 times last season.
The Bears have some rising stars in the secondary, but they could always use more. Could they shock the draft and pick Illini's Devon Witherspoon with their first-round pick? Unlikely.
- But look for the Bears to use a late-round pick on a guy like Georgia's Kelee Ringo or Michigan's DJ Turner, who could replace Kindle Vildor.
What's next: The draft begins Thursday at 7pm and will continue through Saturday.
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