10 players could pick the Bears in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft

10 players could pick the Bears in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft

The 2023 NFL Draft is finally here, and in just a few hours the Chicago Bears will add another playmaker to their roster in hopes of improving for the upcoming season.

For weeks, draft experts, analysts, the media and everyone in between have taunted various players about the Bears since they traded the #1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for #9 wide receiver DJ Moore and more (no pun intended). Whether it’s offensive tackle, defensive lineman, cornerback, or even running back, the possibilities for what could happen seem endless.

We’ll know soon enough, but for now here are 10 possible names the bears could pick in the first round given the clock is up.

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  • Position: Approach
  • School: The state of Ohio

Paris Johnson Jr. is the highest rated pure tackle in the draft according to many analysts. He possesses both the size and athleticism the Bears would appeal to to anchor their offensive line. A reunion with former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields could be in the works, but Johnson could have other suitors ahead of the Bears’ pick.

AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

  • Position: tackle/guard
  • School: northwest

If Johnson is the best pure tackle in the draft, Peter Skoronski is the best offensive lineman overall. Skoronski has question marks at the next level as to where he could best fit, whether that’s tackle or central defence. He should be available when it’s the Bears’ turn, but does he fit the mold the Bears are looking for when it comes to linemen?

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  • Position: Defensive tackle
  • School: Georgia

Jalen Carter, arguably the most polarizing player in this year’s draft, is considered a top candidate from a talent perspective. He was dominant during his time with Georgia, but since the start of the offseason questions have lingered about his behavior off the field as well as his behavior in the dressing room. At one point it seemed impossible that Carter would be available when the bears were picking. Well, it’s a very real possibility. One that could leave Poland with an important decision when the bears are up.

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  • Position: Approach
  • School: Tennessee

A few months ago, Darnell Wright was considered a first-round underdog. Now he could be voted into the top ten. Wright is a player the Bears are said to be in love with after an impressive career in Tennessee. He’s a tall, athletic tackle that can start on the right almost immediately. He would solve a big problem and allow the Bears to keep Braxton Jones on the left if he was selected.

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  • Position: wide receiver
  • School: The state of Ohio

Jaxon Smith-Njigba was the hottest name on Bears fans’ minds, dating back to early 2022. Back then, he torched the Utah Utes in the Rose Bowl and took a pick from fans who challenged the team when he was drafted. Now that the time has come, the need for a star receiver has diminished with recent commercial acquisitions by Moore and Chase Claypool. But Smith-Njigba is considered a top receiver and should be a next level stud. It never hurts to charge to pass catchers, although it would be a surprise if the Bears went in that direction early in the draft.

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  • Position: Edge rusher
  • School: texas tech

Tyree Wilson has closed the gap on Alabama’s Will Anderson as a potential top defensive player to be selected in the draft. But one recent mock draft by NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah showed Wilson falling to the Bears in 9th place, a surprise to many. While there are questions about his frame and how he might handle NFL-caliber offensive linemen, Wilson would be an excellent pick on a defense that failed to rush the passer last season.

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  • Position: Approach
  • School: Georgia

Broderick Jones, another of the top tackles in the draft, hasn’t had the same fanfare as Johnson, Skoronski, or even Wright in recent weeks. But he’s another solid option that would be available to the 9th-ranked bears overall. Jones has elite athletics but would likely need time to grow at any of the tackle positions. It would be a bit of a surprise to see the bears take him when they pate, but not a big one.

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  • Position: Back race
  • School: Texas

Bijan Robinson is another polarizing player, but not for anything off the field. He’s the top running back in the class and the best prospect for the position since Saquon Barkley came out five years ago. He would be an asset to the Bears offense, but does it make sense that they’re running back so high in the draft when there are plenty of other pressing needs? If the Bears picked Robinson, it would seriously divide the fandom.

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  • Position: Edge rusher
  • School: Iowa

The Bears raved about their ability to attract homegrown players to the team. Why not design another one? Lukas Van Ness, a native of Barrington, IL, is considered one of the better edge rushers in the draft behind Anderson and Wilson. While he doesn’t make much sense at number 9, he would be a perfect player if the bears were able to trade down. Van Ness didn’t start for Iowa last year, but made plenty of splash plays to jump out of the film. He would be a great asset to the Bears’ pass rush.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

  • Position: corner back
  • School: Illinois

Cornerback was the Bears’ first pick last year. Could it happen again this year? Devon Witherspoon is one of the top players in this position, bringing decent size and physicality to a defensive backfield. Pairing him with Kyler Gordon at the nickel corner and Jaylon Johnson on the other would give the Bears an elite secondary.

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