Yesterday we kicked off this Windy City Gridiron roundtable on a positive note, so you knew the flip side was coming today. Here's our latest discussion topic...
Who was your least favorite Chicago Bears draft pick in the 2023 class?
And it was a struggle for our guys to give an answer that reflected on the rookies themselves.
Jacob Infante - I'd probably go with Zacch Pickens here. I don't even hate this pick, since I get the thinking behind it. He's a gifted athlete with plenty of raw power and athleticism, and he fits the 3-technique mold the Bears want for their defense. However, due to his being raw as a technician, I had a Round 4 on him, so I saw him as a bit of a reach early in the third round.
EJ Snyder - Selecting Zacch Pickens at the top of Round 3 felt a little early to me. He's not a bad player by any means, and I understand what the Bears see in him, I just don't value what I saw on his tape the same way. There were other players I liked better for a similar role who were available later on.
Jon Helmkamp - I hate to label anything a "least favorite," because it's a disservice to the players that were selected and to Poles and his staff's analysis. I'm going to answer this question with Tyrique Stevenson, but it has nothing to do with him. In the second round, I had my eyes on John Michael-Schmitz, an athletic, smart center that could anchor the interior of the offensive line for years. Stevenson also fits a need – his ability to play the outside will allow Kyler Gordon to stay at nickel, where he is a much more natural fit. But John Michael-Schnmitz... man. His name is my name too, ya know? Center still remains a tremendous need after the draft.
Peter Borkowski - Zacch Pickens. No offense to Mr. Pickens, it is just the matter of where he was drafted. If he had come before Gervon Dexter Sr., or Dexter was not picked at all, I would not mind Pickens. And DT is a special place of need for the team. But the fact that two of the three day-two picks were used in the same position was questionable in my opinion. I know each player brings something different to the table, so it is not like the Bears drafted identical players, but when other options at different position groups were still available (Jalin Hyatt, Tyjae Spears, and Darnell Washington to name a few sexier picks), the Pickens pick felt a tad bit redundant.
Aaron Leming - I would probably have to go with Gervon Dexter Sr. here. It's not that I "hate" the pick, but he's also a guy that I've watched and simply don't see "it." He's got an alarmingly slow first step. Yes, he's athletic and fits the mold, but he ultimately feels like a better fit for a one-technique, and I just don't see that as a mid-second-round value. Especially with the needs the Bears had at 53.
Josh Sunderbruch - I'm not sure I have one in a conventional sense, but I'll go with Terell Smith. I guess I just don't see the value of adding a second corner in the same draft to what is looking like an increasingly crowded room. The player himself seems fine, though.
Erik Duerrwaechter - I like all the players selected by the Bears. My only "dislike" here is not landing a good DE prospect, and even then, most of the players I wanted like Derick Hall and Isaiah Foskey were long gone before the Bears picked in the 2nd round. So no major complaints from me.
Sam Householder - There really weren't any that I was upset with. Until they actually hit the field and prove otherwise, it seems like they are all fits in one way or another.
Jeff Berckes - None, these are all Chicago Bears now. They're all winners until they get on the field and prove otherwise.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. - Count me among the no-complaints camp. There were a handful of players I was hoping the Bears would have drafted (more on those tomorrow), but all ten selections seem to be decent value while also filling a roster need. Let's not forget how many holes this team had following their three-win 2022.
Now it's your turn Bears fans... Who was your least favorite pick of the 2023 Bears' draft?