Here's the fifth and final part of our WCG roundtable about the 2023 Chicago Bears draft. In case you missed any of our previous discussions, you can check out our favorite draft pick here, our "least" favorite here, the player that got away here, and our pick for the biggest draft winner here.
With "winner" being yesterday's topic, that means that today's was...
Who was the biggest loser of the 2023 NFL Draft?
For this prompt, I told our staffers to interpret "loser" in any way they wanted, and while most tackled it from a Bears' perspective, these first few were more about the draft in general.
Jeff Berckes - The Minnesota Vikings. They were non-factors in this draft. Rumors swirled that Dalvin Cook and Za'Darius Smith were on the trade block, but no takers for Minnesota to add draft capital. They may end up just cutting those players as their overall talent level shrinks around an aging Kirk Cousins. Their inflated W/L record from 2022 is a powerful deodorant to their fanbase on what's in store for this team going into 2023, and I for one, can't wait.
Erik Duerrwaechter - The Green Bay Packers. Once again, when they had the opportunity to spend their newly acquired 13th overall pick on a difference maker for their offense, they instead reached for a questionable fit for their front seven on their defense. While they did turn back to offense in the 2nd round, they're just sending Jordan Love into the fire without premium talent around him. They don't have Aaron Rodgers anymore to make their offense work. A bolstered Bears team led by Justin Fields at QB is going to cause a ton of issues for the Packers moving forward.
Peter Borkowski - Mock drafts. Sure, every draft goes a little sideways from what is projected, but this one felt especially wonky. The first two picks went about as expected (I thought Stroud would end up in Charlotte until a few days before the draft), and Will Anderson Jr. did go top three...but who called the Texans trading up to snag him right after picking Stroud at two? Or how about the Cardinals trading down, then back up to take an OT? Or the Lions trading down to pick an RB when a superior RB prospect was available at their original spot? What about the Bears passing on arguably the best player in the draft, trading down to pick an OT, and then that top prospect instead goes to the reigning NFC champs? The list goes on and on (Will Levis and Joey Porter Jr.'s slides, a top CB falling into the Patriots' lap, a kicker going top 100, etc.).
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. - First off, Josh is way too kind (you'll see why in a bit), and second, my pick for loser is Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. Sure, he just landed arguably the best overall draft class in 2023, but he basically threw away a fourth-round pick because Ryan Poles led him to believe there was another team that could jump Philadelphia to get Jalen Carter. Poles had zero intention of drafting Carter, and he wouldn't trade back to a spot that would risk him losing out on his number one tackle, Darnell Wright. Poles was content to stay at nine and draft Wright, but he worked Roseman into giving him a pick to move back one position in the draft.
EJ Snyder - Slow NFC North cornerbacks. With the Bears able to roll out 4 WR sets that include DJ Moore (4.42), Darnell Mooney (4.38), Chase Claypool (4.42), and Tyler Scott (4.44, but looks faster on tape) NFC defenders who are not fleet of foot will have their hands full next season.
Aaron Leming - Kindle Vildor or Dante Pettis. Vildor was slated to once again be one of the team's starting corners on the boundary, but the duo of Tyrique Stevenson and Terell Smith might put his roster spot in jeopardy. Pettis was already on the bubble going into the draft after just being recently re-signed, but the addition of Tyler Scott should put an end to his tenure after the conclusion of preseason. I know some will say Velus Jones Jr. is on the outs, but I can't see the Bears giving up on their 2022 third-round pick this soon.
Jacob Infante - Kindle Vildor. Tyrique Stevenson kicks him out of the starting lineup, and the Bears drafting Terell Smith means he faces more competition for playing time in 2023. I doubt his roster spot is in any form of jeopardy, but he could be in for a much smaller role this coming year.
Jon Helmkamp - Velus Jones. The wide receiver pick from the 2023 NFL Draft will face an uphill battle to meaningful playing time with all the additions to the room.
Sam Householder - Larry Borom. He was not a fan of the Wright pick and then took his account private and deleted the tweet. Obviously, he will have to compete pretty hard to get his starting job back. There were better ways to handle all of this, and he comes out looking bad and probably ticked off a lot of his coaches and his agent.
Josh Sunderbruch - WCG Readers. Sackwatch is one of the best features in contemporary football writing, and it looks to be much shorter in future years. Sigh.
Now it's your turn Bears fans... Who was the biggest loser?