Bears 2023 NFL Draft Preview: Bryce Young and the Quarterbacks

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Bears 2023 NFL Draft Preview: Bryce Young and the Quarterbacks

Chicago Bears

The 2023 NFL Draft is around the corner. And unlike last year when Ryan Poles didn’t have a first-round pick, the second-year Chicago Bears GM has a top 10 selection to work with. He’ll get to work with Assistant GM Ian Cunningham, Head Coach Matt Eberflus, and others as they put their heads together to come up with a winning draft plan. Starting today, we’re looking at some of the best prospects at various positions leading up to the Draft in search of fits for the Bears’ needs.

Previous: None

Today: Quarterbacks

Currently on the Roster (2022 PFF Grade)

Justin Fields (70.2), P.J. Walker (64.4), Nathan Peterman (66.7)

BN’s Composite Ranking

Ranking prospects is difficult, in part, because no one publication has the same set of fundamentals or preferences. In an attempt to work through that noise, we’re using a composite ranking based on opinions from PFF, ESPN, CBS Sports, and The Athletic, and adapting them to a points scale. The best of the top-10 prospects gets 10 points, the 10th-ranked prospect gets 1, and prospects outside the top 10 get 0. From there, the prospects are ranked by total points.

Here’s how the top prospects stack up (points in parenthesis):

  1. Bryce Young, Alabama (40)
  2. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State (35)
  3. Will Levis, Kentucky (31)
  4. Anthony Richardson (30)
  5. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee (23)
  6. Jake Haener, Fresno State (18)
  7. Tanner McKee, Stanford (10)
  8. Aidan O’Connell, Purdue (10)
  9. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA (8)
  10. Clayton Tune, Houston (8)

Also receiving Top-10 consideration: Jarren Hall (BYU), Stetson Bennett (Georgia)

Team Fit and Need

Mock drafts sending Alabama’s Bryce Young to the Bears feel like they’re from ages ago.

Chicago doesn’t need a quarterback because it has this guy under center:

Bears Connections

The Bears reportedly did their homework on the draft’s top QBs during the offseason. They even went as far as to meet with them at the Combine. Ultimately, it led them to conclude to roll with Justin Fields moving forward. Good choice, in my opinion. But in doing so, they dealt to move out from the first pick (where they could’ve taken a top quarterback). Again, this seems like another sound decision. Because trading the No. 1 pick netted them a stud receiver (hi, DJ Moore!) and a bunch of future picks — all while not leaving the top 10. It truly was a masterclass in drumming up interest in the pick and executing a winning trade by Ryan Poles.

If I Had to Pick One:

Had the Bears gone into the draft with a gaping hole at quarterback, I’d have been banging the table for Bryce Young. The Alabama quarterback distributes well, makes good decisions, and has been running a pro system since stepping on campus. We’ve seen Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones transition into the pros with varying levels of success. And I would bet on Bryce to do the same. Alas, Bryce Young won’t be a Bear.

With that being said, I’m not opposed to the Bears drafting one late or even using a high-priority UDFA slot on a developmental project. Someone like UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson could be a fun prospect for this team’s offensive coaches to build into a useful NFL backup QB. Check out his highlights:

Or if the team wants a QB with high football IQ and a winning pedigree, then perhaps Georgia’s Stetson Bennett is more their style. In the end, my preference would be for the Bears to (eventually) draft and develop their own QB2 and not pay one in free agency. It’s a small task, but one I think this front office can eventually conquer.

Author: Luis Medina

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