Sunday, June 16, 2024

Chicago Bears 2023 Mock Offseason: Double The Trade Fun

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The fun of each Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason is exploring every scenario GM Ryan Poles might concoct to build up his roster. Some possibilities are more farfetched than others, but it still offers an idea of how things might go. It is doubly fun this year because the Bears have more cap space than anybody and hold the #1 overall pick. So there is limitless flexibility. Given the way Poles has talked, it is reasonable to expect he will be careful in free agency while putting his focus on what should be the most important draft of his career.

That is not to say he’ll play it totally cheap. The Bears have way too many roster holes to justify that. It will be about finding deals that fit what the team wants to do without breaking the bank and maintaining flexibility for the future. Here is a way they can go about it.

This Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason is about being calculating.

Cuts:

  • OG Cody Whitehair – $5.8 million saved
  • DE Al-Quadin Muhammad – $4 million saved

Re-signings/Extensions:

  • Jaylon Johnson – 4-year extension for $70 million
  • David Montgomery – 3-year deal for $21 million
  • Cole Kmet – 4-year extension for $48 million
  • Darnell Mooney – 4-year extension for $60 million
  • Nicholas Morrow – 2-year deal for $10 million
  • Armon Watts – 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
  • 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 $1.165 million
  • Josh Blackwell – ERFA deal for $750,000

Free Agency:

  • DT Dre’Mont Jones – 5-year deal for $85 million
  • DT Poona Ford – 3-year deal for $21 million
  • LB Bobby Okereke – 3-year deal for $24 million
  • WR D.J. Chark – 3-year deal for $30 million
  • OT Isaiah Wynn – 2-year deal for $30 million

Jones and Ford help to revamp the interior of the Bears’ defensive line. Jones will be the designated pass rusher, with an average of six sacks per year. Ford is a stout run defender who can play nose tackle. Okereke will beef up the outside linebacker spot where the team was weak this past year. Chark should add much-needed juice to the passing game with his mix of speed and route-running prowess. Wynn is a calculated move to provide competition for both tackle spots. He played right tackle in 2022 but was often at his best at left tackle. So Braxton Jones shouldn’t get comfortable over there.

The Draft:

  • Trade: #1 pick to the Texans for #2 pick, #33 pick, and 3rd in 2024
  • Trade: #2 pick to the Colts for #4 pick, #35 pick, #79 pick, and 2nd in 2024

1st Round (via IND) – Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

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The main selling point here is that both the Texans and Colts don’t have to give up future 1st round picks to make the deals happen, but the Bears still stockpile a ton of extra quality selections. Then they secure the most accomplished pass rusher in the entire draft. People will nitpick Anderson about the lack of elite size or bend. That is fine. He’ll still sack your quarterback, return to the huddle, then come back and do it again.

  • Trade: #33 pick and #79 pick to Eagles for #31 pick and #95 pick

1st Round (via PHI) – Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Few things are more valuable than a rookie contract in the NFL. Maintaining control of a top prospect for cheap is crucial to long-term success. That is why teams often seek the 5th-year option, which only 1st round picks get. That is why the Bears move up here. Wright has a case for being one of the best right tackles in this draft. He’s big, long, strong, and more athletic than he gets credit for. The guy handled the best in the SEC.

2nd Round (via IND) – Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

Make no mistake. It isn’t crazy for this Bears 2023 mock offseason to take a cornerback high. Poles values the position, and the team needs a third option to go with Kyler Gordon and Jaylon Johnson. Forbes is tough, athletic, aggressive, and a ballhawk. His six interceptions in 2022 proved that much. He has good instincts and is rarely caught out of position. His fit in this turnover-drive defense is perfect.

2nd Round (via BAL) – Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State

Doubling up on pass rushers is never a bad thing. Some people sleep on Anudike-Uzomah. He’s slightly undersized for a 4-3 defensive end but not enough for it to be a dealbreaker. The guy is quick off the snap, athletic, can bend the edge, and has more power than you’d think. He fights through chips and double teams, still able to create pressure on the quarterback with regularity.

3rd Round – Rashee Rice, WR, SMU

Rice can be classified as a receiver that isn’t special in any category, but he’s good in most. He’s got 6’2 size, adequate speed, and can run smooth routes. The big question with him is whether he can handle a more complex route tree and learn to make catches with less space. He has more than enough ability to make that transition.

3rd Round (via PHI) – Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC

Most of the questions with Vorhees center on his average athleticism. His range and quickness aren’t anything great. Where he stands out is with power, technique, and sheer nastiness. This guy loves to bury defenders at every opportunity. He’s a tone-setter. Poles said he wants more guys like this. Getting him here is great.

4th Round – Joe Tippman, C, Wisconsin

Tippman is what you’d call a classic mid-round flier on the upside. His tape at Wisconsin is somewhat uneven. Some good and some bad. Yet it’s his 6’6 size, long arms, and athleticism that stand out. He is a unique physical specimen for a center. If he can fine-tune his craft, the sky is the limit for him.

4th Round (via PHI) – Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State

Boasting 6’3 size, good hands, and great body control are never bad for a wide receiver. Hutchinson isn’t a burner when it comes to speed, but he’s got enough not to be ignored. His route-running is fine. This is a player that tends to make a living on 3rd down and in the red zone. Chicago needs someone like that.

5th Round – Chase Brown, RB, Illinois

Trestan Ebner failed to become the change-of-pace back the Bears were hoping for. They need more explosiveness from that position. Brown provides that. He has excellent speed and agility, can catch passes out of the backfield and is surprisingly solid in pass protection. Just don’t rely on him in short-yardage situations.

5th Round (via BAL) – Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama

The best way to describe To’oTo’o is another Jack Sanborn-type. He isn’t the most elite athlete on the field, but he constantly makes up for it with great instincts and consistent tackling prowess. His awareness allows him to be a factor in pass coverage. Getting him this late isn’t a bad thing for the Bears.

7th Round – Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

You can’t teach size. Few defensive backs on the planet can match up with a 6’8 tight end. Kuntz is more than just that, though. He runs with decent speed and has route-running potential. He may need to bulk up for the NFL, but the building blocks of something bigger are there.

15 COMMENTS

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repnice
repnice
Jan 29, 2023 2:59 pm

Ok, I need to unpack this mock, 1st offense then defense. Offense: FA – OT Isaiah Wynn, WR D.J. Chark Offense: Draft – 1st Round (via PHI) – Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee, 3rd Round – Rashee Rice, WR, SMU, 3rd Round (via PHI) – Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC, 4th Round – Joe Tippman, C, Wisconsin, 4th Round (via PHI) – Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State, 5th Round – Chase Brown, RB, Illinois, 7th Round – Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion Defense: FA – DT Dre’Mont Jones, DT Poona Ford, LB Bobby Okereke Defense: Draft – 1st Round (via IND) –… Read more »

Btay001
Btay001
Jan 29, 2023 9:38 am

They need to and should get much more for that valuable 1st overall pick. They will most likely get what you asked for plus a established player and a first rounder next year as well, at least. 1st overall picks for potential franchise qbs under team control are worth way more. You under sold it. Also the 2nd pick will more than likely be a offensive lineman or a WR. The free agent class is weak in free agency. Poles has also talked A LOT about boasting his line since he himself was a lineman. I think everything after that… Read more »

Unluckyirishman
Unluckyirishman
Jan 29, 2023 9:03 am

All fine and dandy but Anderson will not be there anymore by the 4th pick.

frankwilburn@yahoo.com
frankwilburn@yahoo.com
Jan 28, 2023 8:54 pm

This is definitely ideal and would be a home run A+ for idea but let’s wait for the execution

Martin Melhus
Martin Melhus
Jan 28, 2023 3:44 pm

I think it’s good that you were fairly conservative on the trades that Houston and Indy made with the Bears. In RL, hopefully Poles can bargain them against each other and squeak a 1st next year out of Houston (they have two, I think theirs and Cleveland’s). Really like your picks, except getting both Isaiah Wynn and Darnell Wright seems like overkill at OT, when Brax Jones performed pretty well last year. Maybe spend the high pick (late 1 – early 2) on another WR, still take Rice, and instead of Hutchinson, stay in state and pick CB Riley Moss… Read more »

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