The time for speculation is nearing an end. This evening at around 8:30 p.m. Central, the Chicago Bears will be on the clock (unless they trade), and we'll all know what general manager Ryan Poles will have done with his first-ever first-round draft pick.
There really isn't a wrong direction he could take with the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft because this franchise could use help up and down the roster, but I do believe the trenches need some extra TLC.
The odds favor an offensive lineman being selected, so those were the top choices I put on this week's SB Nation Reacts poll question, and Ohio State's Paris Johnson Jr. came out on top.
The buzz this week has the Arizona Cardinals, who currently draft at three overall, interested in Johnson, so he may not make it to the Bears at nine.
I can't imagine Poles would trade up, so if PJJ is off the board, our next favorite option is Tennessee right tackle Darnell Wright. Several analysts believe that the Bears could have Wright if they trade back a few spots, like maybe to the Tennessee Titans at 11, the Houston Texans at 12, the Washington Commanders at 16, or the Pittsburgh Steelers at 17.
Snagging Wright in a trade back while adding more craft capital is my preferred choice, but I wouldn't be mad if Wright is the pick at nine.
Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is probably leading the 18% that voted other, and if Poles and company believe he's a fit for Chicago after meeting with him, then that's good enough for me.
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