Bears Are Likely Looking for Players at High Impact Positions Early in 2023 NFL Draft

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune
answers your questions.

What’s the bigger draft need that the Bears should address with their first pick? OL or DL? — @kct2020

Depending on where the team selects, the Bears could have their choice of the first or second non-quarterback to come off the board. That would put GM Ryan Poles in a position where, if he didn’t trade down, he needs to hit a home run. In that instance, you’ve got to trust your draft board and go with the highest-graded guy. Whether that is an offensive lineman, defensive lineman, edge rusher, wide receiver, cornerback, it doesn’t matter. That has to be what scouts call a “blue,” a player that would be a clear starter on any NFL roster and an elite performer. If the grades are similar, I would lean toward a front seven player on defense. The Bears are wholly lacking on defense and need players that can tilt the field.

I tend to agree with Biggs here.

I think that the Bears have shown their hand in terms of what they think about positional value around the field.

It a little early to draw broad conclusions. But when the Bears traded Roquon Smith to the Ravens, it wasn’t just a statement on Smith’s value. It was a statement about the value of the off the ball linebacker position as a whole in the organization under GM Ryan Poles. In addition, given the way that Poles tried to address the line in the offseason with a large quantity of late round picks, it may say something about where he thinks that he can find good players at those positions.

By extension, my conclusion is that it they’re going to spend a high draft pick on one player, they’re probably going to go with a guy in a position that they is going to have the highest impact.

That doesn’t mean that they won’t take, for example, an offensive lineman. Of course, if the best player on their board by a long shot is an offensive tackle, that’s the direction they’ll go in. But all else being equal, I think that Poles is likely looking at three technique defensive tackle, defensive end, cornerback, or wide receiver. Those of positions of need that have the highest impact on the field in terms of big plays. That is, scoring touchdowns or preventing touchdowns.

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