Sunday, April 21, 2024

Chicago Bears 2023 Mock Offseason: Line In The Sand

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Ryan Poles sent a message at the trade deadline. He’s going to build this team his way. Almost every trace of the Ryan Pace era is already gone. Shipping Roquan Smith to Baltimore was the last, most glaring indication of the new GM’s seriousness. It also offered a clear idea of what will happen next spring. That makes the latest Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason far easier to chart.

Justin Fields has established himself as somebody worth building around. He’s played his best football over the past month. The trade for Chase Claypool was a significant signal that Poles is ready to invest in him. He has the resources to do so, all while having enough left over to satisfy Matt Eberflus on the defensive side as well. It comes down to how aggressive he is willing to be.

New Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason has more focus.

Re-signings/Extensions:

  • Jaylon Johnson – 4-year extension for $76 million
  • David Montgomery – 3-year deal for $18 million
  • 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
  • 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

Salary cap: $98.99 million

Free agency:

Jack Conklin – 3-year deal for $45 million ($7 million cap hit in 2023)

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The 28-year-old right tackle is having one of his best seasons in Cleveland, allowing only five quarterback pressures and remaining a solid run blocker. Chicago has to upgrade their offensive line. While Poles is committed to building through the draft, he has to help Justin Fields now. Conklin is an immediate upgrade over Larry Borom and should remain a dependable bookend over the length of that contract.

Dre’Mont Jones – 4-year deal for $88 million ($12 million cap hit in 2023)

Failing to secure Larry Ogunjobi was unfortunate. The Bears knew they had a glaring hole at defensive tackle. So it isn’t shocking they try again. This time they scored big. Jones is a force in Denver and one of the more underrated interior pass rushers in the NFL. He would be an immediate force on the interior, allowing Justin Jones to play a less crucial role as the nose tackle, which would fit his game better.

T.J. Edwards – 3-year deal for $31.5 million ($8 million cap hit in 2023)

Replacing Roquan Smith will be a challenge in this Bears 2023 mock offseason. The truth is they may opt for lesser names nobody talks about while focusing their biggest resources on the lines, as shown above. That said, they have more than enough money to take a calculated swing. Edwards has been a terrific player in Philadelphia with 74 tackles, two sacks, and five passes defended. He can be a dependable starter.

Amani Oruwariye – 1-year deal for $1.5 million

The former Lions 5th round pick has struggled along with the rest of that defense this season. So why would Chicago bother taking a chance on him? Oriwariye had six interceptions in 2021 and played some excellent football. It’s possible he isn’t the issue in Detroit. This coaching staff is well-equipped to elevate him.

The Draft:

Trade – Bears send 12th pick and 5th (via BAL) to Washington for 18th pick, 2nd in 2023 and 6th in 2023

1st round (via WAS) – Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

He may not get the same hype as Will Anderson but rest assured, the NFL is aware of Wilson. This guy is a physical specimen at 6’6 and 275 lbs. He has exceedingly long arms and remarkable quickness for his size. The best part is that he already understands how to use these strengths to his advantage. Over the past 21 games, he has 13.5 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss. Opponents can’t block him. He is a perfect fit for Matt Eberflus’ scheme and somebody that can be a true foundational piece.

2nd round (via WAS) – Jarrett Patterson, C, Notre Dame

Center has been a consistent sore spot for the Bears. So it makes perfect sense they’ll look to address it early in the draft. Notre Dame produces good blockers every year. Patterson is no exception. He has the athleticism of a tackle combined with good size and above-average athleticism. He shows enough anchor to handle power rushers and can get out in space well. Intelligence, awareness, and leadership are also frequently displayed every week when he steps on the field.

2nd round (via BAL) – Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

Few people knew his name coming into 2022. Now he’s the talk of college football. Hyatt is dominating every opponent he faces, scoring a ridiculous 14 touchdowns in eight games thus far. He does this with a mixture of sharp route-running, good hands, and electric speed. He is dangerous both before and after the catch. The primary concern will be that while he’s 6’0 tall, he’s only 175 lbs. That is thin for a wide receiver. Still, the talent is worth the risk.

3rd round – Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Don’t be surprised when this happens. This Bears 2023 mock offseason wasn’t wrapping up without a tight end addition. While Cole Kmet is a decent player, the team badly needs more of a receiving threat at the position. Kincaid has 1,124 yards and 15 touchdowns in his last 21 games for Utah. His 6’4 frame, solid speed, route-running, and strong hands make him a great safety blanket for any quarterback.

4th round – DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas

Eberflus covets three traits in linebackers. They must be athletic, physical and show adequate ball production. Being big and long doesn’t hurt, either. Overshown is 6’4 with defensive back speed. He has 26.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, three interceptions, and three forced fumbles in his last four seasons with Texas. His instincts as a linebacker aren’t quite there yet, given his inexperience, but that will come.

4th round (via PHI) – Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson

This defense needs more defensive tackles that can get up the field. Davis continues to show that’s a major strength of his game at Clemson. If not for some injury setbacks over the past couple of years, he’d likely be discussed as a top 50 pick. Thankfully he appears healthy now and is playing like it, with four sacks and seven tackles for a loss in six games. He is an excellent fit for this scheme and would be an outright steal if he stays healthy.

5th round – Nick Hampton, EDGE, Appalachian State

Teams will shy away from Hampton because he’s 6’3 and only 225 lbs. That is light for an edge rusher in the NFL. Still, weight can be added. Reports say he has great length at 34-inch arms and is a cat-quick athlete. His production speaks for itself: 18 sacks, 27 tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles in the past two seasons alone. This guy is a QB hunter. Having players like him in a rotation always leads to good things.

6th round (via WAS) – Anthony Johnson, CB, Virginia

Depth at cornerback should never be taken for granted. The Bears need more of it. Johnson doesn’t stand out as unique in any one category. Still, he a solid all-around prospect with solid size, adequate speed, and decent ball production. He plays a physical style that fits with what this team wants. He can easily be a #4 or #5 guy with room to grow.

7th round – Tyler Steen, OT, Alabama

Drafting players from Alabama never seems like a bad thing. Steen doesn’t get much attention on their offensive line. He’s typical of their style: big, strong, and aggressive. His physical style is something Poles would covet, and Steen is a solid athlete too. Many of his problems are technical. This is a worthwhile investment for somebody with so much big game experience.

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Stephen
Stephen
Nov 6, 2022 7:22 am

This isn’t any of the last 3 GMs to run the bears. I just don’t see Poles taking a chance on injury prone college picks or thin receivers. Like the 1st – Trade, like the idea of picks. Not sure Jalen Johnson is with the team next year if he can’t be a ball hawk.

Jester
Jester
Nov 5, 2022 9:54 pm

the mock has us trading down in the 1st and we get Washington’s 2nd. That’s why there’s a (via WAS) next to it.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Nov 5, 2022 3:11 pm

Interesting, but the Bears already traded their first second round pick. You should have known that.

repnice
repnice
Nov 5, 2022 2:33 pm

I just finished watching Ohio State vs Northwestern and continue to think Paris Johnson Jr will be protecting Justin’s blind side. But this is not bad. I especially like the trade down with Washington. I doubt it will happen but it looks good in November 2022. Not bad at all.

Ghost Tomahawk
Ghost Tomahawk
Nov 5, 2022 2:18 pm

Not what I would’ve done for sure. There is far too much talent in this year’s draft to get 1 OT in round 7. While this is a solid draft the places where this draft is deep you’re ignoring. I think the Bears will be drafting in the top 10 at minimum. Don’t believe the last 2 games. This is a mirage. The offense is still bad and RPO isn’t what the Bears want to do.

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