Best Offensive Tackle Prospects for Chicago Bears in 2023 NFL Draft: Rankings and Fit

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Best Offensive Tackle Prospects for Chicago Bears in 2023 NFL Draft: Rankings and Fit

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. 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: Quarterbacks, Running backs, Wide receivers, Tight ends

Today: Offensive tackles

Currently on the Roster (2022 PFF Grade)

Braxton Jones (75.4), Larry Borom (64.7), Ja’Tyre Carter (62.6), Kellen Diesch (DNP)

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. Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (36)
  2. Broderick Jones, Georgia (34)
  3. Peter Skoronski, Northwestern (30)
  4. Darnell Wright, Tennessee (29)
  5. Anton Harrison, Oklahoma (25)
  6. Dawand Jones, Ohio State (17)
  7. Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse (16)
  8. Cody Mauch, North Dakota State (13)
  9. Tyler Steen, Alabama (6)
  10. Nick Saldiveri, Old Dominion (5)

Also receiving Top-10 consideration: Blake Freehand (BYU), Carter Warren (Pitt), Braeden Daniels (Utah), Jaelyn Duncan (Maryland)

Side note: How good is Peter Skoronski’s prospect profile to where The Athletic won’t even claim him as a tackle and he still comes up with the third-highest score on our composite rankings. (Spoiler: Skoronski is The Athletic’s top guard, FWIW)

Team Fit and Need

For as much as we discussed the Bears’ need to upgrade along the offensive line this offseason, that the only move they’ve made there is signing right guard Nate Davis is disappointing. Teven Jenkins was already there and thriving. Sure, maybe you have injury concerns based on Jenkins being unable to play a full 17-game season in each of his first two years as a pro. And I think that is valid. But the team still has long-term needs at center and at right tackle. To not address those with viable candidates in free agency feels like a missed opportunity.

Of course, the Bears could easily make that a footnote by patching those holes via the draft. But pigeonholing yourself into needing to do so at any particular position is a risk I wouldn’t be comfortable making. At least the Bears are in a spot to draft the top lineman available.

Bears Connections

At this point of the pre-draft process, GM Ryan Poles and his pals in Chicago’s front office are neck-deep in O-line scouting reports:

If I Had to Pick One:

It feels like every calendar flip features a different offensive lineman as the flavor of the week. One week it is Paris Johnson Jr. going ninth to the Bears. But if you blink, you’ll miss it turning to Tennessee’s Darnell Wright. Last week, it was Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski — who happens to be my pick to click here. If I was making the call, I’d probably pick Skoronski. Don’t get me wrong. I understand the concerns about his arm length if he is to play tackle. And I don’t want to dismiss them entirely because that length can be leveraged by the best linemen to the point where it really makes a difference. But Skoronski does so many other things well. He has a strong résumé and grades out well athletically based on the data at our disposal. What’s not to love other than arm length?

That Skoronski is seen as a guard in some circles doesn’t bother me as much as it does others. And why should it? The Bears possibly drafting an offensive lineman who is a top-rated prospect at two offensive line spots feels like a good use of a draft pick. After all, we’ve seen them do worse.

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Author: Luis Medina

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