Author Topic: 2023 NFL Draft  (Read 10227 times)

boogie

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Re: 2023 NFL Draft
« Reply #450 on: March 20, 2023, 07:12:37 am »
I could live with this:

As we get closer and closer to the NFL Draft, the Bearsí draft picture becomes clearer and clearer. The first wave of free agency is done, and the Bears completely reshaped their linebacker and running back corps, while adding a little help on the offensive line and defensive line. Ryan Poles is expected to add even more help on both lines in the draft, and could add talent at several more positions, like cornerback, tight end and wide receiver. Bottom line, there are still a lot of holes on this roster, so the Bears simply need to add the best talent they can find as they try to transition from tearing the roster down to building it back up again.


As always, these mock drafts arenít an attempt to accurately predict what will happen when the picks start coming in for real on Apr. 27. Thatís impossible. These mock drafts are meant to be a fun way to introduce fans to a wide variety of NFL prospects. Additionally, PFFís mock draft tool hasnít added the Bearsí conditional seventh round pick yet (No. 258) so it is not included.

NO. 9: DEVON WITHERSPOON - CORNERBACK - ILLINOIS
Ryan Poles had his eyes on Paris Johnson Jr. and Peter Skoronski with his first pick of the draft, but when Witherspoon surprisingly fell into his lap, he couldnít pass up the opportunity. Witherspoon was the best cornerback in college football last season, giving up just 22 catches on 62 targets (35.4%) and a 25.3 passer rating when targeted, per PFF. Witherspoon didnít allow a touchdown all year, and notched three interceptions. Adding Witherspoon also allows Kyler Gordon to focus on playing slot, where he improved as the year went on. With Witherspoon, Gordon and Jaylon Johnson all together, the Bears will also field one of the most formidable, young secondaries in the league.

NO. 54: B.J. OJULARI - EDGE - LSU
The Bears boost their defensive line play with a pure speed rusher coming off the edge. He may only play in clear passing rushing opportunities to begin his career, but heís got the stuff to develop into a serious defensive line threat, just like his brother Azeez Ojulari. B.J. was a consistent contributor throughout his college career with 16.5 sacks, 25.5 TFLs and 128 tackles in 31 games.

NO. 61: JOE TIPPMANN - CENTER - WISCONSIN
If youíre over undersized centers in Chicago, then Tippmann could be your guy. Heís really big, at 6í6Ē, 313 lbs, but can move surprisingly well for his size. Tippmann is strong when used as the point of attack in the running game, and nimble when asked to kick out in zone schemes. According to PFF, he only surrendered one sack over two seasons as Wisconsinís starting center, too. If thereís a knock on Tippmann, itís that he can be too grabby. He was flagged six times in 2022, per Sports Illustrated.

NO. 64: KARL BROOKS - EDGE - BOWLING GREEN
We know Poles values impressive Senior Bowl performances among all the college prospect showcases based on his comments from last season, and Brooks was one of the buzziest defensive linemen from this yearís event. He earned praise for his ability to shed blocks with his hands, and his pursuit through the play. Brooks notched 20 sacks over the past two seasons, and added another in the Senior Bowl.

NO. 103: BLAKE FREELAND - LEFT TACKLE - BRIGHAM YOUNG
The Bears believe they found a middle-round offensive line gem in Braxton Jones last season, and hope they did it again. Freeland is both reliable and experienced as an outside lineman. He earned a starting job part way through his true freshman season with the Cougars, and started 41 games over his four years at BYU. He was at right tackle for 15 of those starts between 2019 and 2020, and at left tackle for 26 starts over the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Most importantly, Freeland only surrendered one sack in 1,129 pass blocking snaps from 2020-2022, according to PFF.

NO. 133: DORIAN WILLIAMS - LINEBACKER - TULANE
The Bears loaded up in the middle of their defense by signing Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Walker, but they keep an eye to the future by selecting Williams. Experts tab Williams as one of the best incoming linebackers in pass defense, but note that he struggles to get off blocks. The Bears are most interested in his length (80+ inch wingspan) and his playmaking ability at the position, though. He had two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 13 games last season.

NO. 137: KOBIE TURNER - DEFENSIVE TACKLE - WAKE FOREST
Turner brings some positional versatility to the Bears defensive line, with experience playing both nose tackle and in the b-gap. Heíll help the team the most as a run stuffer, with the ability to soak up a block for linebackers behind him to run free. Turner never quits on a play, and often makes tackles in pursuit from the backside as running backs hesitate. The Bears will also love that Turner has had to fight for every opportunity in his college career. He started as a walk-on in Richmond, earned a scholarship the next year, then transferred to Wake Forest where he proved he could hang against stiffer competition in the ACC.

NO. 149: KENNY MCINTOSH - RUNNING BACK - GEORGIA
The Bears find a way to replace a lot of what Montgomery brought to the offense with a late-round pick. McIntosh has a penchant for scoring in the low red zone (10 rushing TDs in 2022), is a dynamic playmaker in the passing game (65 catches for 747 yards, four TDs since 2021), and is reliable when picking up the blitz (one pressure in 27 opportunities last year per PFF). Heíll have the chance to mix in alongside Herbert and Foreman.

NO. 219: PUKA NACUA - WIDE RECEIVER - BRIGHAM YOUNG
Nacua doesnít have the speed to burn cornerbacks deep, but he has the ball skills to win contested catches. The Cougars used him as a big slot at times, and thatís where he could thrive in the NFL. At 6í2Ē, 201 lbs he gives the Bears a little bit more size, but he can challenge teams horizontally, too. BYU liked to use Nacua on screens or jet sweeps, so he could fit in Luke Getsyís offense well.