Dane Brugler's Top 100 Has a Whole Bunch of Prospects the Bears Should Have Heart-Eye Emojis For

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Dane Brugler’s Top 100 Has a Whole Bunch of Prospects the Bears Should Have Heart-Eye Emojis For

Chicago Bears

It’s time to pivot.

OK, so, in fairness, we’ve made this pivot around these parts long ago. But now, the rest of the league has caught up. With the Super Bowl in our rearview mirror, it is time for us to turn our focus to the 2023 NFL Draft. Sure, the league’s free agency period begins in 29 days — which is 43 days before the draft opens its doors. But with The Athletic’s Dane Brugler releasing an updated look at his top 100 prospect rankings, my eyes are firmly on draft-eligible prospects.

As is always the case when Brugler presents a prospect list, it has our full attention:

There is so much good stuff to take away from these rankings. Here are some highlights that Bears fans should have their eyes on.

What’s happening in the trenches?

Jalen Carter (Georgia DT) and Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama EDGE) are 1-2 in Brugler’s rankings. Brugler describes Carter as having a “rare combination of body control, quickness and power” and the ability to use all three of those things at the same time to defeat blockers. Meanwhile, Anderson is a two-time unanimous All-American who is as talented as a pass-rusher as he is a run-defender. In other words, if the Bears can draft either, that’ll be a win in my book. Bonus points if they can do so while trading down and adding boatloads of draft capital.

Not only is Peter Skoronski the highest-ranking offensive lineman, but the Northwestern product is also the fourth-best player on Brugler’s big board. I’m floored. Not because I don’t believe in Skoronski, who has been on our radar for a hot minute. But I wasn’t sure if not knowing his future position (is he a guard or a tackle?) would push him down ranking lists. It sure doesn’t seem to be the case with Brugler, who calls Skoronski a “technician and master of the details” who has a high ceiling if he ends up at guard.

Looking beyond Skoronski, there are 11 other offensive linemen who make Brugler’s top 100. The next four tackles after Skoronski: Ohio State’s tandem of Paris Johnson Jr. (9th), Georgia’s Broderick Jones (12th), Tennessee’s Darnell Wright (37th), and (yes, another Buckeye) Dawand Jones (52nd).

Perhaps there will be found value after that tier of linemen. Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison (63rd), Syracuse’s Matthew Bergeron (65th), Oklahoma’s Wanya Morris (69th), Chattanooga’s McClendon Curtis (81st), Maryland’s Jaelyn Duncan (84th), and Utah’s Braeden Daniels (95th) could be Day 2 targets.

The only offensive guard in the bunch is Florida’s O’Cyrus Torrence. The UF product is 28th overall and has been considered worthy of a first-round selection dating back to last year. Dude was impressive at the Senior Bowl, to be sure.

Obsessive quarterback watch

Alabama’s Bryce Young is Brugler’s QB1. Someone let Colts owner Jim Irsay and GM Chris Ballard know that little factoid. One month after Ballard sounded ready to risk it all for a quarterback upgrade, Irsay showed a public display of affection for Young. And on Valentine’s Day, too. That’s cute.

Quarterbacks C.J. Stroud (7th), Will Levis (10th), and Anthony Richardson (14th) join Young to make for a total of four quarterbacks in the top 15. There is a real chance we’ll get three going within the first 10 picks. Or to put it differently, there could be ample trade-back partners if push comes to shove.

A wave of receivers

There appear to be a few sweet spots in this draft when it comes to receivers. Jordan Addison (USC) is Brugler’s WR1 and is one of four wideouts in the 20-26 range. Joining Addison are Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt (22nd), TCU’s Quentin Johnston (25th), and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba (26th). That quartet makes up the receivers who essentially earn first-round grades. If the Bears have eyes for one of these prospects, they’ll likely need to trade to get back into the first round. That seems appealing, but there are other intriguing receiver options.

After that, we have the next tier led by North Carolina’s Josh Downs (45th), Cincinnati’s Tyler Scott (47th), and Boston College’s Zay Flowers (55th). If the Bears are able to add draft capital by trading back in Round 1, they could bolster their collection of pass catchers with one of these prospects. Finally, Michigan State’s Jayden Reed (72nd), Tennessee’s Cedric Tillman (74th), Penn State’s Parker Washington (77th), Houston’s Nathaniel Dell (86th), Wake Forest’s A.T. Perry (91st), and Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson (97th) round out the receivers making the cut in the top 100.

All in all, there are 13 receivers checking in among Brugler’s top 100. That feels like good news if you’re hoping for the Bears to address the needs at that position via the draft.

In the end…

There are so many more layers to peel back in Brugler’s rankings. And because the NFL Draft is still 72 days away, I think we’ll have ample time to dig through it all.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.