With the 2023 NFL Draft quickly approaching, each team has started to narrow down their draft boards and figure out which positions are the top ones for them. Typically, the first three rounds are the most important with getting the prospects that will be immediate impact players. Heading into the draft, these are the top three positions that should be on the Chicago Bears checklist to address in the first three rounds.
The Bears need to get better on the defensive line. They struggled to stop the run, allowing the second most yards of 2,674 and 31 touchdowns. In addition, they could not get to the quarterback as they had the least amount of pressures generated with 85 and only had 20 sacks. Getting better production there will be an important step for this unit, as Matt Eberflus typically likes to build his line from the inside out. DeMarcus Walker and Andrew Billings were brought in during free agency, but both have had their limitations against the pass and run. Adding more depth and someone who can challenge for a starting spot here as well would pay dividends for Chicago.
Potential Fits: Mazi Smith, Keanu Benton, Jalen Carter, Siaki Ika, Kobie Turner, Gervon Dexter
Something needs to shift with the offensive line. Over the last two seasons, the Bears have allowed the highest sack percentage, with 13.3%. At the tackle spot, Riley Reiff is gone from last season, but Braxton Jones remains, who allowed seven sacks and had 12 penalties. Without Reiff this now leads to a shift as Teven Jenkins slots in at the right tackle spot, his natural position that he played in college, but adding competition for Jenkins and Jones isn’t a bad idea as Justin Fields needs better protection to fully showcase his skills. Grabbing a legitimate tackle prospect would allow Chicago to find the optimal five on the line.
Potential Fits: Paris Johnson Jr., Peter Skoronski, Darnell Wright, Broderick Jones, Matthew Bergeron, Cody Mauch
Jaylon Johnson and Kyler Gordon are great, young cornerbacks, but where this becomes a need is at the other outside cornerback spot. Kindle Vildor has been alright, but at the same time has missed 13.4% of his tackles, has allowed a 70.7% completion percentage for 1,112 yards and 10 touchdowns, and only secured one interception over three seasons. To pair with Johnson on the outside, the Bears should be looking to actively upgrade the cornerback position within the first three rounds of the draft.
Potential Fits: Tyrique Stevenson, DJ Turner, Clark Phillips, Jaylon Jones, Cory Trice