Well, that last mock draft didn’t last too long!
The Bears traded a second-round pick for former Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool on Tuesday. This comes after their two trades sending Roquan Smith to Baltimore and Robert Quinn to Philadelphia prior to the 2022 NFL trade deadline. Not only does their roster look much different from how it looked a week ago, but their draft capital and plan of attack in the draft have likely changed, too.
Just consider this mock draft an exercise for fun to look at potential draft options for the Bears. A lot can and will change between now and the draft, but I love the draft, and I love you! Wait, no. I mean, I didn’t mean to say that so early. I’m sorry. It’s been a while since I’ve said that to someone. Here’s my mock draft.
Round 1: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Murphy has 5.5 sacks so far this season after having 7 in 2021. He is a freak athlete in the mold of Travon Walker last year, possessing fantastic size, rare acceleration, great mobility and bend around the corner, and a high motor. His ceiling is as high as anybody’s in the 2023 draft, and the Bears would be wise to do their homework on him for that reason.
Round 2 (via Ravens): Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
A rapid riser up draft boards in recent weeks, Hyatt has dominated the SEC this season. He’s raw as a route-running technician, but he has elite deep speed, dangerous agility with the ball in his hands, great ball-carrier vision after the catch and reliable hands. He, Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney could be an intriguing young trio for Justin Fields to throw to.
Round 3: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
The Bears would be wise to add an offensive tackle to compete for a starting spot next year, and Bergeron fits the Ryan Poles mold up front. He’s a very good athlete with quality redirect ability and nice burst off the edge. He is also a powerful blocker with a mean streak whose raw grip strength allows him to overwhelm the competition. Though he’s raw as a technician, a lot of his issues seem quite coachable.
Round 4: Owen Pappoe, LB, Auburn
Pappoe has been on my radar for nearly two years, and he has been consistently productive when healthy. His smaller stature provides long-term durability concerns, but his range as a tackler, fluidity in space and instincts in coverage indicate he could be a valuable asset for an NFL team in today’s pass-first game.
Round 4 (via Eagles): Zack Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
Charbonnet has run for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns in 7 games this season. Why he has fallen generally under the radar in the grand scheme of draft coverage is unbeknownst to me. He is a tough runner with fantastic contact balance and good athleticism for a runner who’s 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, and he’s improved quite a bit as a pass-catcher over time.
Round 5: Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton
Remember Iosivas’ name — he’ll be a massive riser up draft boards in due time. He’s a massive receiver at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, and he’s an All-American heptathlete who broke the 60-meter NCAA record as a track athlete. His deep speed is tremendous, he’s a good improvisational receiver, and his ball skills are great. Though he’s very raw as a route runner, the developmental potential is serious.
Round 5 (via Ravens): Javion Cohen, OG, Alabama
Cohen strikes me as one of those interior offensive linemen who gets drafted way later than he has any right to and ends up outperforming his draft status. He brings above-average athleticism with good mobility and polished footwork in pass protection. He also has good recovery strength at the point of attack, and even though he doesn’t have elite measureables, he could be a solid starter at the next level.
Round 7: Caleb Murphy, EDGE, Ferris State
With 15.5 sacks through 8 games, Murphy has been the best pass-rusher at the Division II level this year. He’s undersized for an edge rusher, but he plays incredibly hard and offers fantastic acceleration off the snap. His flexibility turning the corner allows him to take precise angles to the quarterback, and regardless of whether he stays as an edge rusher or transitions to being a SAM linebacker, he deserves a shot at the NFL level.