Are the Bears Considering Northwestern DL Adetomiwa Adebawore in the First Round?
Don’t get me wrong. I like what GM Ryan Poles has done to build out the depth along the defensive line lately. Free agent signings DeMarcus Walker and Andrew Billings look like they can be solid contributors to the group. Considering the pounding D-linemen take weekly, the ability to attack in waves from that position group isn’t something we should overlook. But with that said, it’d be nice to have a butt-kicking defender … someone who commands respect in the trenches and wrecks the opposition.
Perhaps that player is defensive lineman Adetomiwa Adebawore.
The Northwestern prospect is rising up draft boards. And he reportedly has caught the eye of the Chicago Bears. The Draft Network’s Ryan Fowler reports Chicago hosted Adebawore for a top 30 visit ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft:
NFL teams are allowed to host 30 visits of draft-eligible prospects who are from a school outside of a 50-mile radius of team headquarters. These facility visits tend to include campus tours, meetings with team doctors, chopping it up with coaches, and things of that nature. In other words, it is a deeper and more personal dive into a prospect your team might have an interest in taking in the upcoming draft. And when it comes to the Bears, the Adebawore visit is one that piques my interest. After all, they must LOVE him if they’re using a top 30 visit on a local prospect.
Adebawore was a solid defensive lineman for Northwestern. A third-team All-Big Ten performer last year, Adebawore set career highs with 5 sacks, 9 tackles-for-loss, and 38 total tackles. He also picked up 31 pressures and 27 run stops for good measure. It’s not as if Adebawore is a one-year wonder either. As a junior in 2021, Adebawore earned All-Big Ten honorable mention recognition, leading NU with 4.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles-for-loss. Perhaps his best football is yet to come. And maybe it could be with the Bears.
For what it’s worth, Chicago seems to know where Adebawore fits in the Matt Eberflus-Alan Williams scheme:
So not only did the Bears use a top-30 visit on Adebawore, they also spoke with him at Northwestern’s pro day. More specifically, they have already discussed what his role could be in their defense. That Adebawore understands the importance of the position Chicago envisions him filling is important, too. Those are pretty big conversations to have at any stage, let alone in the info-gathering pre-draft process. With that in mind, Adebawore’s name is one to keep an eye on in connection with the Bears.
But here’s the hangup for me: I feel as if taking Adebawore ninth would be a reach. With all due respect, there are better (and potentially, more impactful) fits who figure to be available at No. 9. Especially if there is a run on quarterbacks at some point throughout the first eight picks. But with that said, trading back from No. 9 could better position them to take Adebawore. Imagine the Bears moving back, collecting more picks, and snagging Adebawore later in Round 1. Nothing like executing the perfect trade back and taking the player you want. It’s a win-win.
We’ve got 31 days until the NFL Draft plays out. However, we’re very aware of this possibility shaking out down the line. So stay tuned.