The NFL Draft is just over two weeks away, and there is no shortage of mock drafts to be found across the web. It’s fair to say that this draft class is a pivotal moment in Ryan Poles’ rebuild, and Bears fans know it – any and all possible draft selections have been combed through and discussed ad nauseam.
9th Overall: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia
Shew. That’s one way to start, and it’s a possibility that continues to crop up in draft circles. There is no denying Jalen Carter’s talent as a dominant cog on the defensive line. If it weren’t for the legal issues that have surrounded him stemming from a tragic car accident in January, Carter would be in contention to be the first non-quarterback selected in this year’s draft. In fact, there was plenty of smoke surrounding Carter as a potential draft target for Chicago with the first overall pick before the pick was traded to Carolina.
The amount "he's just fucking unblockable" tape Jalen Carter has is Ndamukong Suh levels of insane. pic.twitter.com/xKMGbsm4FM— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) April 4, 2023
Chicago has been doing plenty of homework on Carter, including spending time with him at his pro day and bringing him in for a pre-draft visit. If Poles and the rest of the front office are comfortable with Carter the person as well as Carter the player, then he would be a home run of a pick at ninth overall.
53rd Overall: OT Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
If Chicago doesn’t take an offensive lineman in the first round, then it seems like an essential lock that one will be taken with one of the three picks that they have between 53 and 61.
Jaelyn Duncan might not be a name that many fans are familiar with, but he fits the mold for what Poles is looking for. He clearly has a type (athletic) that he prioritizes, and Duncan has been skyrocketing up draft boards since posting impressive athletic testing numbers.
Duncan is confirmed to have a pre-draft visit scheduled with Chicago, and comes from a zone scheme in Maryland that fits the style of play that the Bears deploy. The traits are there, and he would add another name to an offensive line room that continues to seek improvement.
61st Overall: EDGE Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame
Speaking of Poles loving athletes, enter Isaiah Foskey, the Notre Dame edge rusher with plenty of length and explosiveness. Foskey weighed in at 264 pounds and put down a 4.58 40-yard dash and a 10’5” broad jump at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Foskey, who holds the Notre Dame all-time sack record, started his pre-draft process at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, where he showed plenty of strength and technique in drills all week. Foskey has a motor that Chicago should covet.
Leaving the draft with an infusion of Carter and Foskey on the defensive line, which remains arguably the biggest weakness on the Bears roster, would be a major step in revamping this roster.