The Athletic always produces an interesting mock draft because they can pull from their team of 32 NFL beat writers and have them make all the mock decisions. In their latest, they have the Chicago Bears pulling off the much-anticipated double trade back before settling in to make the pick at eight overall.
Their first mocked trade was the Colts coming up to Chicago's first overall selection by sending their 2023 number 4 overall pick, their 2023 second-rounder (36 overall), a 2023 fifth-rounder (via Buffalo), and Indianapolis' 2024 first-round pick. They then took Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.
But The Athletic's Bears' beat writer Adam Jahns traded back again, this time with the Falcons.
Atlanta sent their 8th pick overall, their 2023 second-rounder (45), and a 2024 second-round pick, to get Carter for themselves.
Their next few picks went like this.
5. Las Vegas Raiders: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
6. Carolina Panthers: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
And Jahns went in this direction for the Bears.
8. Chicago Bears: Peter Skoronski, OT/G, Northwestern
Seeing multiple trades after the Bears’ second trade back might make GM Ryan Poles feel a bit anxious. The Falcons’ trade up and selection of Carter also were surprising. But I feel great about the Bears’ haul: the eighth pick, the 36th pick, the 45th pick and the Colts’ fifth-rounder (previously the Bills’) in this year’s draft and the Colts’ first- and the Falcons’ second-round picks in 2024. Poles would dance at Halas Hall if he netted something similar. It’s encouraging to see so many options to trade back. At No. 8, taking Peter Skoronski — a Chicago suburban product who was considered one of the best offensive linemen in the draft before the 2022 season began — makes too much sense. He’d instantly make the Bears’ offensive line better, especially if they feel good about his arm length for tackle.
Many predict that Skoronski will need to play guard in the NFL, so is eight too high for a guard?
If he can play tackle, that would probably mean the Bears ask Braxton Jones to flip over to the right side, and if Skoronski is slotted in at guard, then that means he's taking the starting left guard position that has belonged to Cody Whitehair. Either way, he's a day-one starter, and that's not a bad use of a first-round pick.
I think Skronski is a fantastic prospect, but I'm not sure this is Chicago's direction in the draft. I feel they believe in Jones' upside as their left tackle and will spend a ton to secure a new right tackle. I'm not opposed to drafting a guard at eight overall, but they could possibly find better value later for the interior o-line at a later draft slot.
What are your thoughts if the actual draft were to go this way?