Hear Me Out: Maybe the Bears Should Draft an *OFFENSIVE* Tackle With Their First Pick (After Trading Back)
We’ve been borderline obsessing over the possibility of the Chicago Bears adding a premier defensive tackle this offseason.
And with good reason, too.
Free agency has its share of defensive tackle options. And even though Daron Payne appears to be coming off the board before he could even hit free agency, Chicago still figures to be aggressive in addressing the position group. Meanwhile, the top of the NFL Draft features Jalen Carter. Whether the Bears pick first, fourth, or somewhere in between, Carter is a potential target on draft day. The Georgia product who was a college-football game-wrecker and could do it at the next level. Hence, there have been numerous connections to the Bears drafting him in April.
But what if the Bears were to draft an *OFFENSIVE* tackle with their first-round pick?
Hey, now. Don’t give me that look. It’s a real possibility. In fact, The Athletic’s team-by-team beat writer draft has the Bears trading back (twice!) (and with an unexpected partner) and taking an offensive tackle. We’ve had our eyes on Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski for a hot minute. And that is who this particular mock draft sends Skoronski to Chicago.
Here’s what Adam Jahns has to say about the pick:
Seeing multiple trades after the Bears’ second trade back might make GM Ryan Poles feel a bit anxious. The Falcons’ trade up and selection of Carter also were surprising. But I feel great about the Bears’ haul: the eighth pick, the 36th pick, the 45th pick and the Colts’ fifth-rounder (previously the Bills’) in this year’s draft and the Colts’ first- and the Falcons’ second-round picks in 2024. Poles would dance at Halas Hall if he netted something similar. It’s encouraging to see so many options to trade back. At No. 8, taking Peter Skoronski — a Chicago suburban product who was considered one of the best offensive linemen in the draft before the 2022 season began — makes too much sense. He’d instantly make the Bears’ offensive line better, especially if they feel good about his arm length for tackle.
For as important as the 3-technique defensive tackle is to the Matt Eberflus-Alan Williams defensive scheme, we shouldn’t lose sight of the value of bolstering the offensive tackle position. And Skoronski would definitely present an upgrade to what the Bears were throwing out there last year.
Skoronski is one of the draft’s most highly-rated offensive lineman. The unanimous All-American has a case to be the first offensive lineman taken off the board. He could even be a top 10 pick. After a college career in which Skoronski displayed considerable skill against upper-echelon collegiate competition, he makes sense as a possible Bears target. Even if the Bears roll with Braxton Jones as their left tackle, plopping Skoronski at right takable would make for solid bookends. And if Jones doesn’t stick at the position, perhaps Skoronski could flip to the other side of the line after getting his feet wet as a rookie on the right side. The more I write about the possibility, the more I think about Skoronski as a realistic draft target for these Bears.
And to think, he isn’t the only offensive lineman worthy of first-round consideration come draft day. Because there isn’t a consensus top offensive tackle in this draft, it doesn’t take much to make an argument for a host of others. For instance, Georgia’s Broderick Jones is the second-highest-ranked player on The 33rd Team’s big board. That makes him the highest-ranking offensive lineman. And, actually, the top offensive player. Imagine adding the No. 2 overall draft-eligible prospect to the 2023 Bears. Swoon. Meanwhile, Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. is the top offensive tackle on Pro Football Focus’ big board. Again, the Bears have options should they decide on drafting a top offensive line option early. And I like having options. Don’t you?