The Chicago Bears selected ten players in the 2023 NFL Draft, the seventh most in the league, and big things are expected from the first four players they snagged. First-round pick Darnell Wright should be their starting right tackle, second-round defensive tackle Gervon Dexter and third-round d-tackle Zacch Pickens should be in the d-line rotation immediately, and second-rounder Tyrique Stevenson appears set to compete to start at cornerback.
But what about their six day-three selections?
Analysts were near unanimous in praising the value Chicago got up and down the draft, and that includes the players they selected in the fourth, fifth, and seventh rounds.
In the fourth round they addressed offense with running back Roschon Johnson and wide out Tyler Scott, but after that, it was all defense. In the fifth it was linebacker Noah Sewell and corner Terell Smith, and in the seventh it was defensive tackle Travis Bell and safety Kendall Williamson.
NFL.com recently gave their picks for day three rookies that could compete for starter snaps in 2023, and their seventh-ranked first-year option was Chicago's running back from Texas.
The Bears signed D’Onta Foreman to a one-year deal in March, but the veteran has started more than three games in a season only once (nine in 2022 with the Panthers). Johnson’s combination of power and strong second-level cuts should earn him carries early in the year, and starts later on.
The more I watch Johnson's film and hear and read about Johnson, the more inclined I am to think he'll be Chicago's lead back relatively soon. He has a three-down skill set, which sets him apart from the other backs on the roster, and while he doesn't have 4.4 speed, he's explosive and decisive through the hole.
There's a rather large trollish account on Twitter that enjoys riling up Bears fans for cheap interaction, and he's doing so again today. He tried to devalue Chicago taking Johnson with the 115th selection, but the company that employs him had Johnson as their 84th overall-ranked NFL Draft prospect. I also just ran three draft sims with the simulator his employer created, and Johnson went before 115 every time. Don't fall for his bait and give him the attention he craves. He's just one of several social media clowns that knows an easy way to garner traction online is to go after a passionate fanbase like ours.
Besides Johnson, do you think any of the other day-three rookies could be in the mix for a starting role?
If Darnell Mooney's rehab slows him, could Scott benefit from the extra camp reps?
Could Sewell push Jack Sanborn for the starting strongside linebacker spot?
Smith turned a lot of heads at the East-West Shrine Game, so could he challenge for a role in dime packages?
The seventh-rounders are long shots, but stranger things have happened in the NFL.