Best Defensive Line Prospects for Chicago Bears in 2023 NFL Draft: Rankings and Fit

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Best Defensive Line 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, Offensive tackles, Guards and centers,

Today: Defensive linemen

Currently on the Roster (2022 PFF Grade)

Defensive Ends/Edge Defenders

Rasheem Greem (62.4) Trevis Gipson (48.9), Dominique Robison (45.9), Gerri Green (58.5), Terrell Lewis (46.1), Andrew Brown (35.3) Kuony Deng (DNP)

Defensive tackles/Interior Defensive Linemen

Andrew Billings (76.4), DeMarcus Walker (72.8), Justin Jones (45.8), Donovan Jeter (57.8), Jalyn Holmes (31.6)

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. Will Anderson Jr., Alabama (40)
  2. Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech (33)
  3. Lukas Van Ness, Iowa (31)
  4. Nolan Smith, Georgia (29)
  5. Myles Murphy, Clemson (27)
  6. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State (14)
  7. Will McDonald IV, Iowa State (14)
  8. BJ Ojulari, LSU (11)
  9. Keion White, Georgia Tech (10)
  10. Derick Hall, Auburn (6)

Also receiving Top-10 consideration: Tuli Tuipulotu (USC), Adetomiwa Adebawore (Northwestern)


  1. Jalen Carter, Georgia (40)
  2. Bryan Bresee, Clemson (32)
  3. Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh (34)
  4. Mazi Smith, Michgan (27)
  5. Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin (19)
  6. Gervon Dexter Sr., Florida (15)
  7. Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern (11)
  8. Zacch Pickens, South Carolina (11)
  9. Siaki Ika, Baylor (10)
  10. Kobie Turner, Wake Forest (5)

Also receiving Top-10 consideration: Tuli Tuipulotu (USC), Moro Ojomo (Texas), Byron Young (Alabama), Karl Brooks (Bowling Green), Scott Matlock (Boise State), Colby Wooden (Auburn)

Team Fit and Need

Holy Toledo! I know the 3-technique defensive tackle is of the utmost importance to the Matt Eberflus/Alan Williams scheme, but Chicago’s defensive end situation is brutal. Don’t get me wrong. I know Pro Football Focus grades aren’t the be-all, end-all when it comes to quantifying what a player does. But the site’s overall grade is a catch-all metric. And the only thing I’m catching from looking at those grades is bad vibes.

If it is any consolation, the Bears appear to have bolstered the interior defensive line with its new free agent additions DeMarcus Walker and Andrew Billings. But both players are on short-term contracts. And returning DT Justin Jones’ contract is easy to escape without wrecking the cap situation. In other words, this is a nice place to find a long-term upgrade to pair with a short-term fix. Plus, it would add to the rotational depth.

Bears Connections

There has been ample discussion surrounding the Bears and the top defensive line prospects:

Sure, there has been an obvious obsession with plugging offensive line holes early in the draft. And rightfully so, I might add. However, it doesn’t mean we should overlook what is happening in the trenches

If I Had to Pick One:

This is where I want to say Jalen Carter, but can’t. Maybe the Bears can. Perhaps they should. But they should only do so if they feel 100 percent confident that questions about Carter’s love for football check out and off the field concerns will no longer be a problem in the future. Carter would be a high-risk, high-reward pick. However, there is a real shot he won’t make it to the ninth pick. And I can likely say the same about Will Anderson Jr., my favorite defensive line prospect.

Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore intrigues me. A defensive end by trade, the Bears have already laid out their plan to move him inside if they were to snag him in the draft. I find that noteworthy. Here is a clip:

And with his propensity to get into the backfield while at NU in mind, I can understand why the Bears would dare look ahead. Adebawore is one of several defensive linemen who I’d be happy with the Bears drafting. And if they can get him in the second round, it could be a tremendous value.

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Author: Luis Medina

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