Chicago Bears 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

    The Chicago Bears have several holes to fill in the 2023 NFL Draft. I predict every pick for them and try to plug each hole on both sides of the ball.

    As we approach the 2023 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears still have holes on the roster to fill. After earning the first overall pick by having 2022’s worst regular-season record, trading it to the Carolina Panthers has given Chicago extra capital to hopefully build around Justin Fields. Fields took a step forward last season, showcasing his dynamic play-making ability. Can the Bears fill all the holes they need to?

    Chicago Bears Team Needs Following Round 1 of the NFL Draft

    • CB
    • C
    • EDGE
    • G
    • DT

    The Bears need to significantly address both sides of the ball in the NFL Draft. Another thing to consider is that while they added DJ Moore in the trade with the Panthers, it’s a position that they should not completely ignore, given their current corps.

    Chicago was dead last in receiving yards in 2022, and Moore alone won’t change that. Fields will need more reliable weapons.

    MORE: 100% FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator

    Defensively, the line remains a problem and was a problem for the entire Matt Eberflus tenure in Indianapolis. Again, EDGE may be the bigger need, but Chicago needs pressure from all over and should take the best available pass rusher regardless of where on the line he plays.

    When you have this many holes on the roster, you don’t draft for need. The Bears’ draft plan should focus on best player available (BPA) and plug them in.

    Results for Bears 2023 Draft Picks

    Round 1, Pick 10 | Darnell Wright, OT

    When the Bears were on the clock at No. 9, Tony Pauline, Trey Wingo, and I speculated during our first-round live show that the Bears were poised to have traded the No. 1 overall pick and still end up with the best player in the draft in Jalen Carter.

    Instead, they traded down one more spot with Philadelphia and got the offensive tackle that they had a massive need for. Darnell Wright will provide improved protection for Justin Fields from Day 1. This was a great move by Chicago.

    Predictions for Remaining Team 2023 Draft Picks

    Round 2, Pick 22 | Steve Avila, G

    The fastest way to improve your team is by working inside out and getting started in the trenches. Steve Avila is a character and will add lots of fun and energy to the Chicago locker room.

    TCU teammates love Avila, and then when the lights come on on game day, a switch flips, and he becomes a mauler. Adding him to the offensive line could pay dividends for Justin Fields. Don’t rule out a trade up for Chicago here as well or a selection of Darnell Washington. He could be a pass-catching weapon and aid in pass protection and the running game.

    Round 2, Pick 30 | Keion White, EDGE

    In the MDS run-through I did, Washington was available here as well. But so was Keion White. With the Chiefs picking just two picks later, I couldn’t risk White not being available at the first pick of Round 3.

    MORE: List of Chicago Bears 2023 NFL Draft Picks

    EDGE is a massive need on the defensive line for the Bears, and despite Eberflus having a poor track record of developing the position, Chicago cannot ignore adding talent.

    Round 3, Pick 1 | Joe Tippmann, C

    Technically, center is not a need, but Joe Tippmann can play anywhere on the interior. If he’s sitting there at the top of Round 3, you can’t pass up the opportunity to add more beef to your offensive line. An athlete at the point of attack and excellent when pulling, Tippmann would be an asset to Fields running the type of offense they want.

    Round 4, Pick 1 | Jartavius Martin, CB

    Cornerback is a big need for the Bears, and Jartavius Martin has been rising up draft boards as of late. If he’s still available at this pick, I don’t see how the Bears pass up on him. Eberflus runs his own version of the Tampa-2. You need corners who can tackle and contribute to the run game. Martin does just that and could see action on Day 1 in Chicago.

    Round 4, Pick 30 | Cameron Latu, TE

    Cameron Latu being available this late would be great for Chicago. Latu is a smooth athlete and pass catcher, and would provide an excellent safety valve for Fields.

    Yes, the Bears already have Cole Kmet and Robert Tonyan. But Kmet is an unrestricted free agent next year and has already hit his ceiling. Latu could come in, provide value as TE2, and then step in 2024 as a big part of the receiving game.

    Round 5, Pick 1 | Jordan McFadden, OT

    It isn’t until the fifth round, barring trades, where the value matches the draft slot for the tackle position and the Bears. Chicago is likely fine with this outcome, having already added Day 1 starters to their offensive line earlier.

    Jordan McFadden is a bit of a project at the position and not as tall as you would like your tackle to be. However, like Avila, he’s a tone-setter on game day with a good amount of chippiness to his game. McFadden has played both tackle spots and comes from a high-frequency RPO offense, with a good amount of QB draws and designed runs. He would fit perfectly with what Chicago is trying to do.

    Round 5, Pick 13 | Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WR

    The Bears need to add more pass catchers. Bryce Ford-Wheaton is a freak athlete with tremendous size. He’s very raw as a polished wide receiver and will need to dedicate time to refinement. But this late in the draft, when you can add an athlete of his size to your receiver room without the pressure of needing to rely on him right away, you absolutely do it.

    Round 7, Pick 1 | Nic Jones, CB

    In the seventh round, the Bears could have an opportunity to really fortify the secondary. Nic Jones has the short area burst and explosiveness to be effective in the Tampa-2. He comes downhill in a hurry and is willing to stick his nose in the run game.

    Round 7, Pick 41 | Connor Galvin, OT

    This late in the draft, Chicago should go BPA in the biggest area of need. In this simulation, they match. Connor Galvin is a project on the line but should have the opportunity to develop and work toward earning playing time.

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