If there is one thing to always remember about the NFL draft, it’s to expect the unexpected. People have preconceived notions in January about how the top five picks will play out each year. Each year those people are shocked when players they scarcely gave the time of day end up going way higher than expected. Nobody had Eric Fisher going #1 overall in 2013. The same was true for Baker Mayfield in 2018 and Travon Walker in 2021. For those reasons, it might not be wise to lock in who the Chicago Bears may or may not target when it’s time to make their choice.
Everybody believes it is down to one of two players that GM Ryan Poles will target. It will either be Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson or Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. That makes sense. Both fit major needs for the Bears and were highly effective in college football’s best conference. However, draft insider Charlie Campbell revealed they might soon have company. He hears from multiple league circles that another name will draw attention this spring.
Enough to challenge for the right to go 1st overall.
“A year ago at this time, Georgia defensive end Travon Walker was not being projected as the No. 1-overall pick in 2022 NFL Mock Drafts…The same sources that tipped off WalterFootball.com that the Jaguars were going to hire Doug Pederson as their head coach and bring back Cam Robinson at left tackle, said Jacksonville was more inclined to address the defensive line at the top of the first round…
…This year, some team sources think a similar dynamic could play out as well because there are some scouts and team directors who prefer Texas Tech defensive end Tyree Wilson over Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson. The reasons parallel those of 2022. Like Walker compared to Hutchinson and Thibodeaux, Wilson has more length than Anderson as Wilson is taller with longer arms. Those evaluators also feel Wilson (6-6, 275) possesses more athletic upside given his combination of size, speed and athleticism. Meanwhile, team evaluators feel that Anderson (6-4, 235) has a skill set lacking dynamic speed, size, power or athleticism.
We are still very early in the process for the 2023 NFL Draft, but Wilson being a riser and this year’s Travon Walker is possible according to team sources.”
Wilson is the perfect Chicago Bears prototype.
Head coach Matt Eberflus said one of the things he prioritizes with players is length. He’s a big believer in having athletes with long arms. It increases the odds of forcing turnovers and consistent tackling. Wilson is everything he would look for in a defensive end. He’s 6’6, 275 lbs, and reportedly has arms between 35 and 36 inches in length. One thing you can’t teach is size. This guy has the dimensions. His athleticism also stands out. He moves with quickness and fluidity, able to rush from both three and two-point stances.
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Unfortunately, he couldn’t finish the final few games of 2022 for the Red Raiders. He was dominating with seven sacks and 14 tackles for a loss in ten starts. What might make him appeal to the Chicago Bears is his versatility. He’s able to apply pressure both from the edge and the interior. His length and power often prove too much for guards and centers to handle. This is an essential point by Campbell. While #1 overall might be a slight reach, Wilson is absolutely a target they might consider if they trade down as many expect.