The latest Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason faces some interesting new questions. It’s obvious this team is probably two years away from genuine contention. They have several roster areas that need fixing. Even with their extensive assets, it will take GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus time to get things in order. The good news is things might get sped up with the ascend of Justin Fields at quarterback. Three or four strong moves might make this team a surprise wild card contender next year.
Either way, Poles intends to build this team into a consistent winner. That is something his predecessors failed to achieve for the past three decades. The difference is he may have a quarterback. It makes the job of a GM that much easier. Still, there is no shortage of problems to fix. Here is a rundown of how things could play out next spring.
Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason continues to overturn.
CB Jaylon Johnson and 5th round pick (via BAL) to the Eagles for 32nd pick
This is going to shock and anger lots of people. Johnson is a young and solid cover corner. Why would the Bears consider trading him? The primary reason is he continues to show his fatal flaw this year in his inability to force turnovers. He has one interception in his career. Eberflus preaches takeaways in this defense. Throw in the fact that he is another holdover from the Ryan Pace era, and it’s an easy decision, especially with the Eagles offering a 1st round pick. Remember, they’re losing James Bradberry to free agency and have two 1st rounders in this draft.
- Darnell Mooney – 4-year extension for $64 million
- Chase Claypool – 4-year extension for $64 million
- Nicholas Morrow – 1-year deal for $5 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
- Dane Cruikshank – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
- DeAndre Houston-Carson – 1-year deal for $1.165 million
- Patrick Scales – 1-year deal for $1.165 million
- Josh Blackwell – ERFA deal for $750,000
The agenda here is easy enough. This Bears 2023 mock offseason is centered around securing the future for Fields. Mooney and Claypool may not be stars, but both are proven targets in the passing game. Securing both at those prices is relatively cheap compared to the overall market. It won’t preclude the team from hunting for more help. Morrow has played well for them as well. Everybody else is a pure depth signing that shouldn’t be too difficult to retain.
OT Jack Conklin – 4-year deal for $60 million ($7 million cap hit in 2023)
Larry Borom isn’t the answer at right tackle. Riley Reiff is 34. Braxton Jones has done enough to keep the left tackle job. So Poles decides to go for the immediate upgrade on the other side. Conklin has been one of the most dependable right tackles in football for the past few years. He’s only 28 years old and won’t cost too much to acquire compared to other top tackles on the market. His pass protection is stout, and he’ll be an immediate fit for their run-first approach.
RB Tony Pollard – 3-year deal for $19.5 million
Chicago got a taste of how electric Pollard is when he ran all over them in Dallas last month. He’s quick, fast, and insanely dangerous with the ball in his hands. His threat in the passing game alone makes him worth the price tag. He and Khalil Herbert could form a dangerous combination. The only drawback would be that neither of them is much help in pass protection.
LB Bobby Okereke – 3-year deal for $31.5 million ($8 million cap hit in 2023)
Things aren’t going well in Indianapolis, especially on the defensive side. The team misses Matt Eberflus. That might compel some of their players to jump ship for Chicago. Okereke is the perfect example. He was highly productive under Eberflus last year. The Bears need more help at linebacker. It feels like a natural fit. His versatility is exactly what they covet for this system.
EDGE Yannick Ngakoue
One of the more consistent and underappreciated pass rushers in the league for the past few years now. He has five sacks and 11 QB hits so far in 2022. He turns 28 next March, so he isn’t over the hill and the price tag to secure him is relatively cheap compared to other top pass rushers in the league. Ngakoue won’t turn around the Bears’ defensive line by himself, but he should begin pushing it in the right direction.
CB Amani Oruwariye – 1-year deal for $1.5 million
Adding quality cornerback depth is never a bad thing. Oruwariye had six interceptions in 2021. So it’s clear he is capable of playing standout football. For whatever reason, he hasn’t found the same success this year. He was benched after five games. The widespread belief is he’s likely out after this season. He’s only 26 and might do better in a new environment. If nothing else, he could be a perfect #4 corner with an upside to improve.
Trade – Bears send 6th pick to Falcons for 13th pick, 2nd in 2023, 2nd in 2024, and CB A.J. Terrell
1st Round (via ATL) – Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
Atlanta is desperate for a new quarterback to build around. They must get ahead of Detroit, who also needs one. That makes the Bears’ 6th pick valuable. Poles not only secures two valuable extra picks but also replaces Jaylon Johnson with another quality young cornerback in Terrell, who is more proven at taking the ball away. Then the Bears give their toothless defensive line more bite with pass rush help. Wilson is wrecking offensive lines for the Red Raiders, collecting 14 sacks and 27.5 tackles for a loss in the past two seasons. He’s big, long, and athletic.
1st Round (via PHI) – O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
If you didn’t think the organization was serious about protecting Fields, you should be now. Torrence is a massive human being and plays like it. He’s exceedingly powerful and dominates in the run game. That makes it easy to overlook how athletic he is. He isn’t a ballerina, but he moves well enough to pull and reach the second level. Defensive linemen want no part of him. If that weren’t enough, he also has experience blocking for a mobile quarterback, as Anthony Richardson can attest.
2nd Round (via ATL) – Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Taking another Tennessee receiver might scare fans after what’s happened with Velus Jones. The school doesn’t matter. It’s the talent. Hyatt is significantly better than Jones. He’s quicker, faster, and has better hands. His explosion for over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns this season isn’t an accident. It doesn’t matter if he’s well-covered; Hyatt has been abusing defensive backs all year. He could stand to gain some weight at 175 lbs, but there is no question he’d give Fields another electric weapon.
2nd Round (via BAL) – John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
If he were even a year younger, Schmitz would probably go in the 1st round. That is how dominant he’s been for Minnesota. He has all the tools to be good in the NFL, from size to strength and mobility. He’s plenty smart enough to handle the protection calls and doesn’t lack nastiness in his approach. The fact he’ll be 24 years old next March won’t sit well with several teams. Poles has already shown he doesn’t mind drafting older players if he thinks they’re talented enough. Schmitz is.
3rd Round – Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson
No doubt the Bears would’ve liked to find that three-technique interior dominator every 4-3 defense needs. Sadly the board didn’t fall their way this time. That said, Davis flashed serious potential at Clemson. He had 6.5 sacks as a freshman and has four in eight games as a senior. He routinely shows good quickness off the snap and is surprisingly strong for his modest 6’2, 300 lbs size.
4th Round – Kenny McIntosh, RB, Georgia
Playing running back for Georgia can be a double-edged sword. It usually means you’re talented but also may have to share the football more than you’d like. That is the case for McIntosh. He’s been forced to split time with Daijun Edwards, Kendall Milton, and Branson Robinson. This despite clear evidence that he is the most versatile of the group. McIntosh is a competent runner with size and strength but does his biggest damage in the passing game as a receiver.
4th Round (via PHI) – Yaya Diaby, EDGE, Louisville
Eberflus coveted long defenders, and Diaby fits the bill with an 81-inch wingspan. He plays with a high motor, solid instincts and can bend the edge without losing speed in his rush. Some may have concerns about him being a one-year wonder since he wasn’t overly productive before this season. Still, the tape shows plenty of potential for a future QB hunter.
Trade: 5th round pick to Raiders for 5th in 2023, and two 6ths in 2023
5th Round (via LVR) – Aki Ogunbiyi, OG, Texas A&M
Poles stated that the criteria moving forward for Bears offensive linemen is violence. He wants guys that play with nastiness and an edge. Ogunbiyi fits the bill. He is a ferocious run blocker and loves to finish on every play. The guy doesn’t back down from anybody. There are questions about his athletic ceiling, but he should fit well at guard since he’s done pretty well at tackle against SEC competition.
6th Round (via LVR) – Darius Muasau, LB, UCLA
Hawaii isn’t a usual hotbed for NFL talent, but they’ve been known to deliver occasional standouts. Muasau isn’t the biggest or fastest. That hasn’t stopped him from finding the football constantly. He has 339 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, four interceptions, and six forced fumbles. He’s proving he can hang with bigger programs since transferring to UCLA. Watch his game against Arizona State.
6th Round (via LVR) – Riley Moss, CB, Iowa
One thing is almost always true. Iowa produces underrated players on defense. People will talk about Moss and his average speed. They’ll ignore his 6’1 size, incredible toughness, and physical playing style. Oh, and there’s also the 11 interceptions, 23 passes defended, and three defensive touchdowns he’s scored. The guy makes plays. Such players are worth giving a shot.
7th Round – Mitchell Tinsley, WR, Penn State
Tinsley transferring to Penn State was meant to help elevate his profile after a dominant 2021 for Western Kentucky (1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns). Unfortunately, he’s been hampered by quarterback problems. Tinsley isn’t a burner but has good size at 6’1, 200 lbs. He’s smooth and quick, able to find open space on almost every play. In addition, he is a capable runner after the catch.