The latest Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason isn’t changing the approach. GM Ryan Poles figures to come out on the attack next spring. He’ll have tons of money to spend, which means he should be able to land a few quality free agents. At the same time, he will continue his efforts to build through the draft. Everything points to the Bears holding a high pick when the dust settles. For right now, they’re projected to select 11th overall.
It will be interesting to see how they approach this. Both sides of the ball have clear needs. Will Poles prioritize one in free agency and one in the draft, or will he try to balance both sides? Only he can answer that question. Here are new projections on how things could play out. It would make for an exciting few months.
New Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason comes with shifted focus.
Robert Quinn, David Montgomery, and a 5th in 2023 to the Rams for a 3rd and a 6th in 2023
The Chicago Bears have few reasons to retain Quinn or Montgomery beyond 2022. One is 32 years old and won’t be around for a rebuild. The other is a free agent next year and unlikely to secure an extension with Khalil Herbert on the roster. Meanwhile, the Rams need both pass rush and running back help. So the two teams reach a fair agreement that nets the Bears a much-needed extra pick in the first three rounds.
Salary cap: $134.2 million
- Roquan Smith – 1-year franchise tag for $17.4 million
- Jaylon Johnson – 4-year extension for $76 million ($10 million cap hit in 2023)
- Nicholas Morrow – 3-year deal for $15 million
- Armon Watts – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
- Equanimeous St. Brown – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
- N’Keal Harry – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
- Trevon Wesco – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
- Khari Blasingame – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
- Matthew Adams – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
- DeAndre Houston-Carson – 1-year deal for $1.165 million
- Josh Blackwell – ERFA deal for $750,000
Not many changes from the last Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason. This time Montgomery doesn’t return. Smith still gets tagged, while Johnson lands himself a quality extension to solidify the secondary. Every other move is about securing solid depth in all three phases, including three excellent special teamers in Adams, Houston-Carson, and Blackwell.
Salary cap: $93.405 million
Dre’Mont Jones – 4-year deal for $76 million ($10 million cap hit in 2023)
The Bears took a strong shot at finding their interior pass rusher with Larry Ogunjobi. That fell through due to a failed physical. This time they take a bigger swing. Jones might be one of the most underrated defensive tackles in the league. He has 14.5 sacks in these last 35 games, along with 25 QB hits. When he is allowed to attack up the field, he is a problem for blockers to deal with.
Dre’Mont Jones is having himself a game. pic.twitter.com/Ghs0jJg1Gm
— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) August 2, 2019
Dalton Schultz – 4-year deal for $52 million ($5 million cap hit in 2023)
The injury to Dak Prescott couldn’t have come at a worse time for Schultz, who had over 800 yards last season for Dallas. Cooper Rush hasn’t been great about getting him the ball in recent weeks. That is going to hurt his value in free agency. Not that the Bears are complaining. They need another option at tight end in the passing game. Schultz has shown he can be that go-to guy for a young quarterback.
Jawaan Taylor – 4-year deal for $70 million ($10 million cap hit in 2023)
Much of Jacksonville’s recent success in the passing game can be credited to the development of Taylor at right tackle. Not only is he a strong run blocker, but he’s also come a long way in pass protection. He moves well for his size and could make for a devastating pairing with Teven Jenkins on that right side.
Salary cap: $68.405 million
1st Round (11th overall) – Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Justin Fields needs weapons. He doesn’t have nearly enough. So Poles decides to go against his better judgment and grab one early. Quentin Johnston is an absolute physical specimen at 6’4, 215 lbs. People would think he is mostly a possession guy. They would be wrong. He is much faster than even the defensive backs facing him realize before it’s too late. He has the strength and route-running skills to win early and the explosiveness to win deep. If the Bears hoped to get their QB a genuine #1 guy, Johnston is it.
Finding a 6'4", 215 lbs wide receiver who is as twitchy and explosive as Quentin Johnston it's pretty rare, that's why he's a top-tier wide receiver prospect.
He should be a top-15 pick.pic.twitter.com/JiLlDPDqwP
— Luca Sartirana (@SartiranaLuca) October 15, 2022
Trade: 42nd pick to Falcons for 50th pick, 4th in 2023, and 7th in 2023
2nd Round (50th overall) – Nick Broeker, OT, Ole Miss
The reshaping of the offensive line was always going to continue. This Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason isn’t accommodating Braxton Jones. While the rookie has survived reasonably well, it’s fair to say he hasn’t done anything to suggest he is the long-term answer at left tackle. Nick Broeker is the kind of athlete with the size and length to thrive in that spot. He’s got quick feet and a mauler mentality. If he can improve his upper body strength, he will bookend a line for ten years.
3rd Round – John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
If this guy were a year younger, there is a strong likelihood he’d be a top 50 pick. Schmitz will be 24 at the start of the 2023 regular season. Teams tend not to take older players early. That suits the Bears fine. The Minnesota center has blossomed into one of the best pass protectors in college football. He’s also aggressive in the run game too. His intelligence and athleticism show up consistently on tape, making him a great fit.
3rd Round via LAR – Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army
Teams will be wary of Carter because of his military commitment. That is fine. The Bears are at a point where they can afford to take a chance. This kid is a specimen at 6’7, 265 lbs. He has the size, length, power, and quickness to be a highly productive pass rusher in the NFL. His 14.5 sacks in 2021 proved as much. While opponents have worked hard to keep him in check this year, he continues to flash regularly.
4th Round – Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest
It isn’t a crime if the Bears want to add some developmental depth at quarterback. Hartman is somewhat overlooked because he’s not the biggest guy at 6’1 and isn’t known for game-changing mobility. He is more of a classic pocket passer with okay speed. His biggest strengths are his arm strength, accuracy, and ball placement. In his last 20 games, he has 60 TD passes and 17 interceptions. That includes a 6-TD performance against Clemson.
4th Round via ATL – A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
You can’t teach size. Perry is 6’5 with a long wingspan, and it shows every time Hartman throws the ball in his direction. The receiver is very good on 50/50 balls and has more speed than he gets credit for. Like most bigger receivers, his route-running isn’t exactly crisp. If he can improve that area, he’ll become exceedingly dangerous.
Players I’m most excited to see this CFB season – Pt 6
Dante Stills – DL – @WVUfootball
Stills is among the leaders of WVU all-time stats – currently 3rd in TFL / 6th in sacks. Earned 1st team All-Big12 in ‘21:
◦15 TFL (7 Sacks)
◦1 FF / 1 INT
NFL caliber DL ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ivPrUTnwyH
— Adam Breneman (@AdamBreneman81) May 8, 2022
6th Round via LAR – Dante Stills, DT, West Virginia
There is something to be said about productivity in college football. As a defensive tackle for West Virginia, Stills has 22.5 sacks and 48 tackles for a loss. The guy has a knack for getting into the opposing backfield. His athletic testing numbers will keep him down on many draft boards. Don’t be fooled. This guy makes plays.
7th Round – Kyu Blu Kelly, CB, Stanford
Stanford has a strong history of producing good defensive backs. Blu Kelly has solid size and athleticism. He’s not afraid to do the dirty work as a tackler and possesses decent ball skills. Part of his issue is a gambler mentality that gets him in trouble sometimes and an apparent unwillingness to trust what he sees. Those need correcting.
7th Round via ATL – Miyan Williams, RB, Ohio State
The exit of Montgomery means the Bears have to add more depth at running back. Williams won’t win any awards for his 5’8 size, but that’s deceiving. This guy is a compact, strong runner with good vision and underrated speed. He’s enjoying a breakout year for the Buckeyes and has more versatility than the numbers suggest.
Here’s a pipe dream offseason: Trades – probably none, but perhaps Montgomery for a 5th or 6th. According to over the cap, Bears sit at 115 million cap space for 2023 today. Here goes: The big moves Extend Roquan Smith 5-yr, 105 million (19mil cap hit 2023) or TAG. Extend Armon Watts (2.5mil) Extend Nick Morrow (4-5mil) Extend Darnell Mooney (increase cap hit in 24) Restructure Eddie Jackson (save 8 mil) Designate Cody Whitehair and Robert Quinn post June 1, 2023 cuts (save 24mil) So then you sit at 120.5 million cap space. Free agents: (assuming of course they are… Read more »
I love these complete fantasy “trades” that writers do to generate the draft lineups they want
Nice draft. The Bears aren’t starting 11th.