Chicago Bears 7-Round Mock Draft
The Chicago Bears started mock draft season with an A-grade in their pocket after Ryan Poles successfully leveraged the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, trading down from one to nine with the Carolina Panthers.
The Bears decided that they were not in the quarterback market, so they were able to turn the top selection into wide receiver DJ Moore, the No. 9 pick, a second-round pick this year, a 2024 first-round pick, and a second-round pick in 2025.
For a team that’s devoid of talent on both sides of the ball, they need as many bites at the apple as possible. This trade allows them to build a better roster now while still leaving them the flexibility to address the quarterback position in 2024 if Justin Fields fails to take the next steps forward.
Chicago has four of the first 64 picks in the draft and ten selections overall.
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Chicago Bears 7-Round Mock Draft
Round 1 (No. 9 overall)
Pick: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
If the Bears can move down from No. 1 to No. 9 and still get the best fit for their roster, someone that PFF regards as the best defensive tackle prospect since Quinnen Williams, I think it’s a home run selection.
Now, Jalen Carter is available at this pick for a reason. The off-the-field concerns make this a possibility, but the Bears have brought Carter in for multiple visits, and I’m of the mindset that you don’t bring him in a second time if you weren’t at least somewhat comfortable with what you saw the first time.
On the field, Jalen Carter is a force multiplier. He’s quick off the line, has incredible footwork for his size, and he possesses a toss-you-out-the-club type of strength. He’ll make everyone else’s job on the defense a bit easier. Chicago’s edge rushers will see more one-on-ones, the new linebacker core will be free to run to the ball, and Carter himself will be able to collapse the pocket from the inside on passing downs.
The Bears need to address the offensive line for a long-term solution at tackle and could do that with this pick as well, but I believe they select Carter if he’s available. If not, another trade back could be in the works, likely one that keeps them in the middle of the first round in order to grab one of the top tackles in this class.
Round 2 (No. 53 overall)
Pick: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
Coaches and scouts rave about Bergeron’s steadiness and ability to process pre-snap, and while he’s not going to wow you with athletic traits, his agility scores were a pleasant surprise in the pre-draft process. His long arms and strong hands also should serve him well at the next level.
He has a ton of experience playing both tackle positions, and there’s a sizable tier drop at the position once Bergeron is off the board.
Round 2 (No. 61 overall)
Pick: Tuli Tuipulotu, EDGE, USC
Still just 20 years old, there’s immense upside and versatility to Tuli Tuipulotu’s game. He’s been a consistent force up front for USC’s defense the past two seasons, and his 13 sacks last season were second in the Power Five in 2022. He can play on the edge, over tackles, or at three-technique. And he’d be a great compliment to Jalen Carter.
Round 3 (No. 64 overall)
Pick: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
One of the best intermediate and contested catch receivers in the draft, Rashee Rice has been a target hog for SMU for the past two seasons.
Rice isn’t a burner, but at 6’1″ 204 and with exceptional body control, he should have a role at the next level. He was used primarily as a slot receiver in 2021 but really emerged when he moved to the outside in 2022, hauling in 96 balls on 156 targets, finishing with 1344 yards and 10 scores.
Round 4 (No. 103 overall)
Pick: Cory Trice, CB, Purdue
Cory Trice is getting a lot of pre-draft buzz, and rightfully so. At 6’3″ 206, he has elite size for a corner, and his agility is off the charts. He’ll be a tight-end stopper at the next level after allowing just one catch on 88 press coverage snaps in 2022.
Round 4 (No. 133 overall)
Pick: DeWayne McBride, RB, UAB
He’s not much in the passing game, but DeWayne McBride put up video game numbers in three seasons at UAB.
McBride ran for 3,507 yards on 484 carries (7.2 yards per carry) and broke 175 tackles on 484 attempts. That 36% forced missed tackle rate trails only Bijan Robinson and Javonte Williams among FBS running backs since PFF began charting college football in 2014.
Round 5 (No. 136 overall)
Pick: Starling Thomas, CB, UAB
Thomas ran a blazing 4.38 40-yard dash, but he’s not just a track athlete. Thomas limited opponents to 22 catches and 257 yards on 58 targets last season. And, at 6 feet tall, he has the size to play on the outside.
Round 5 (No. 148 overall)
Pick: Keaton Mitchell, RB, East Carolina
Don’t get caught up in the positional tag here. Mitchell profiles as a hybrid player at the next level and will likely be used more as a receiver than a between-the-tackles ball carrier. His speed is off the charts, and his 31 carries of 15-plus yards led all of college football in 2022.
Round 7 (No. 218 overall)
Pick: Brett Neilon, C, USC
Over 25 games and 1,856 snaps the past two years, Brett Neilon allowed zero sacks and just one quarterback hit. He grades out exceptionally well in both PFF’s run and pass block grades and adds depth to the Bears’ interior offensive line.
Round 7 (No. 258 overall)
Pick: Jonah Tavai, DL, San Diego State
Likely to slide a bit due to his size, Jonah Tavai complied 22 sacks for San Diego State the past two seasons. That type of production deserves to be drafted, and he graded out well as a run-stopper as well.
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