8. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears and Ryan Poles masterfully made the move back to pick nine in the 2023 NFL Draft, and landed so much draft capital over the next two seasons, along with a WR1 in D.J. Moore. It’s a great first step to helping out Justin Fields to get a true evaluation. Moore can win vertically, and that’s how Fields likes to attack as a passer.
At pick nine, the Bears have to now focus on the trenches. If they like either Paris Johnson Jr. or Broderick Jones, that has to be the pick. Both are hyper-athletic for the position, with great upside in the run game and great recovery skills in pass protection. Both need to work on the finer points of technique, especially with their hands often getting too wide. If the Bears would rather go safe, Peter Skoronski has some flexibility and can let the Bears trot out their best five.
Picks 53, 61, and 64 will be huge. Those could also all be trenches. If a center is still there, like Luke Wypler and Olu Oluwatimi, one of those picks should be used to solidify the very important center position. Then, it’s off to the three technique and edge rusher. Plenty of guys will be available, but Gervon Dexter and Keeanu Benton should be the guys to target. Dexter’s power is limitless, and he does it without good pad level. Benton is wicked explosive with violent hands to shed blocks. The edge rushers there, Zach Harrison, Isaiah Foskey, and Derick Hall, would all be able to start quickly and make an impact in Chicago.
Like Buffalo, Chicago must establish a strong identity in the trenches, and the 2023 NFL Draft will allow them to do so. They just have to take advantage.