Commanders get: No. 9 pick
Bears get: No. 16 pick, No. 47 pick, 2024 fourth-round pick, 2025 fifth-round pick
Round 1 (via Commanders): Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Wright answered athleticism questions at the Combine, but the truth is, his tape showed he’s a capable enough athlete to play in a system like Chicago’s, anyway. He’s a big-bodied, powerful offensive tackle with an incredibly strong anchor and a mean streak at the point of attack. His technique can be hit or miss, but his issues are easily coachable. He’s a gifted, natural right tackle who could start from Day 1 for the Bears.
Colts get: No. 47 pick, No. 133 pick, No. 148 pick, 2024 fourth-round pick (via Commanders)
Bears get: No. 35 pick
Ryan Poles didn’t trade up in last year’s draft, so there’s no guarantee such an aggressive move like this happens in real life. However, given the value of this next player falling out of Round 1 was too much for me to pass up. Plus, with two other second-rounders and an additional third-rounder in this scenario, it would be easy to gain draft picks back if you wanted to trade down.
Round 2 (via Colts): Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
With his length, athleticism and raw power, Adebawore has all the tools to become an impact 3-technique defensive tackle at the NFL level. It helps he also has plenty of experience kicked outside, and though his plan as a pass rusher isn’t always sound, he’s shown some encouraging flashes jumping from 2021 to 2022. If he falls out of Round 2, the Bears would be wise to at least consider trading up for him.
Round 2 (from 49ers via Panthers): Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
Foskey has been a popular option for the Bears in some of my past mock drafts, and for good reason. Here’s what I had to say about him in my immediate mock after they traded the No. 1 pick:
Foskey has been very productive at the collegiate level with 25 sacks and 28 tackles for a loss over the last three seasons. He’s a 4.58 athlete with 34-inch arms and an intriguing frame that’s built well for a 4-3 base defensive end role. He accelerates well off the line of scrimmage, turns the corner well and has done a good job of adding good weight to his frame, meaning his play strength should only get better with time. Chicago needs some juice off the edge, and Foskey has the tools to be a long-term starter.
Round 2 (via Ravens): Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
Do the Bears have a massive need for a wide receiver right now? Not necessarily, but it’s not a bad idea to prepare for the future. Rice is good value late on Round 2; he’s a very good YAC receiver who’s a twitchy route runner and has very good contact balance after the catch. Though he hasn’t been used a ton as a deep threat at SMU, he has good deep speed and has the potential to be a quality complementary receiver as a field-side threat.
Round 3: Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
From a physical perspective, Rush fits exactly what Matt Eberflus would like in a cornerback:
I wouldn’t rule out the #Bears drafting a CB on Day 2 this year, and a guy I like is South Carolina’s Darius Rush.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 9, 2023
6’2” with long arms and a 4.36 40. Good ball skills, physical at the catch point. He’d be nice to complete the secondary, especially if they keep Kyler in the slot. pic.twitter.com/Lrn8gNmAmL
A former wide receiver who’s transitioned well to the cornerback position, Rush is physical through a receiver’s stems and has the play strength needed to wrap up and drag down ball-carriers. His fluidity on tape is just okay, but if he can loosen up a bit, he has the potential to be a solid starter at the NFL level.
Round 4: Jaquelin Roy, DL, LSU
Roy didn’t live up to expectations as a pass rusher in 2022, but his previous tape was very good. Here’s what I said about him as a Day 3 option at 3-technique.
Roy didn’t have the 2022 season many had hoped from him, tallying just 0.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss. However, his 50 pressures from 2020 to 2021 were the most among all SEC defensive tackles in that time frame. He uses his hands and gap awareness well to penetrate backfields and free himself up against the run. His flashes of pad level are encouraging, and while his tape didn’t look as good this past year, his previous film looked the part of a potential NFL starter.
Round 4 (via Eagles): Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC
A torn ACL makes Vorhees an injured reserve option, but his film is good enough to warrant taking a flier early on Day 3. He packs a mean punch at the point of attack, and he has a strong anchor that allows him to neutralize speed-to-power conversions. He keeps a wide base and offers nice coordination blocking on the move. Considering he has tackle-guard versatility, there’s potential for added value as a swing backup or a plug-and-play starter.
Round 7: Shaka Heyward, LB, Duke
Though not the most fluid linebacker out in space, Heyward ran a blazing 4.53 40-yard dash and has the longest arms of any linebacker at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. He’s an intelligent MIKE backer with good spatial awareness in zone coverage and a physical edge in run support. He strikes me as a good special teamer who could be a solid backup.
Round 7 (compensatory pick): Joshua Pryor, EDGE, Bowie State
Pryor was a very productive pass rusher, dominating fellow Division II schools to the tune of 32 sacks during his time at Bowie State. He has a high motor, inside-outside versatility and a deep pass-rushing arsenal including a good push-pull, swipes and swims. He’s one of the top HBCU talents in this draft, and though he isn’t super fluid out in space, he might be worth a shot near the end of the seventh round.
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