The Chicago Bears huddle during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field.
The Chicago Bears had the worst record in the league last season, only winning 3 out of 17 games, earning them the #1 overall pick in the 2023 draft, which they then traded for DJ Moore, the 9th and 61st overall pick, and a 2024 first-round pick. There is no doubt in this year’s draft that the Bears will look to protect their quarterback, who was sacked 58 times last season, the 4th highest in the league. Here are my predictions of what the Bears will do with their 10 picks in the 2023 draft.
Round 1 Pick 9 (via Carolina Panthers): Peter Skoronski, Offensive Tackle, Northwestern
The Bears had maybe the worst pass-blocking line in the NFL, allowing Justin Fields to be sacked 55 times. Skoronski, who allowed only one sack last season, would bring elite pass blocking to their offensive line. Skoronski is widely considered to be the number one offensive tackle in the draft; however, he lacks length and only has the wingspan of a typical NFL guard. Still, Skoronski would be a franchise offensive lineman for the Bears.
Round 2 Pick 53: Tyrique Stevenson, Cornerback, Miami
The Bears had one of the best secondaries in the NFL, allowing 3,716 passing yards this past season. Tyrique Stevenson, although only 6 feet tall, will add speed and physicality to any defense. Stevenson ran a 4.45 second 40-yard dash, only fractions of a second slower than Jalen Ramsey’s 4.41 seconds. Tyrique Stevenson could give the Bears the best secondary in the NFL.
Round 2 Pick 61(via Carolina Panthers): Nick Herbig, Edge, Wisconsin
Part of the reason the Bears gave up so many passing yards was their lack of pressure on the quarterback, the Bears sacked the opposing quarterback only 20 times this season. Herbig had 20 sacks over the last two seasons at Wisconsin. Herbig also has a wide range of moves to get around the offensive line, making him unpredictable.
Round 3 Pick 64: Sydney Brown, Safety, Illinois
Brown is one of the most athletic safeties in this year's draft. Brown ran a 4.47 40-yard dash and was in the 96th percentile for vertical jump. Brown’s athleticism and ability to defend the run makes him a very versatile player, even at an NFL level.
Round 4 Pick 103: Cameron Latu, Tight End, Alabama
Cameron Latu is a very tall, fast, tight end. Latu is 6 '4 " and ran a 4.82 second 40-yard dash and a 4.38 second shuttle run. Latu appeared in 10 games this past season, receiving 322 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Bears would take Latu to serve as a TE2 behind Cole Kmet.
Round 4 Pick 133 (Via Philadelphia Eagles): Jon Gaines, Offensive Guard, UCLA
Jon Gaines, the 5th year senior out of UCLA, allowed only 2 sacks in his senior campaign. Gaines is also extremely agile for his size, which should allow him to make an instant impact on the Bear's offensive line.
Round 5 Pick 136: SirVocea Dennis, Linebacker, Pitt
After the Roquan Smith trade, the Bears need another linebacker, and SirVocea Dennis is the perfect selection. Dennis has an elite first step and is great at reading the quarterback's eyes. Dennis also has great speed allowing him to blitz the quarterback, drop back and play coverage, and defend the run. SirVocea Dennis checks all the boxes for an NFL level linebacker.
Round 5 Pick 148: Kenny McIntosh, Runningback, Georgia
After the departure of David Montgomery, the Bears will need a running back aside from D’onta Foreman and Kahlil Herbert. McIntosh adds elite speed to a backfield that already has Justin Fields, making the Bears run game a scary opponent for defenses.
Round 7 Pick 218: Max Duggan, Quarterback, TCU
Even after leading the Horned Frogs to the National Championship game, I believe Max Duggan will fall to round 7 and be selected by the Bears. Like Justin Fields, Max Duggan is a rushing quarterback making him an ideal backup quarterback.
Round 7 Pick 258: Byron Young, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
The Bears fill another hole in the defensive line by selecting Byron Young. The Bear's defensive line could use more young depth. Young has an NFL-caliber physique which makes him a low-risk but high reward player.
The Bears are still multiple years away from being Super Bowl contenders. However, if their offseason signings and these rookies work out, I believe the Bears could be a playoff team in the weak NFC. Justin Fields also needs to take his game to the next level and prove to everyone that he is a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL. Peter Skoronski and Jon Gaines will be able to give him the time he needs to throw the ball, and Tyrique Stevenson and Sydney Brown will help keep games in reach on the defensive end.