Wednesday, February 8, 2023

ESPN Predicts Chicago Bears Land Absolute Stud In 2023 Draft


The Chicago Bears are 3-8. Though an emerging star, their young quarterback is injured and could miss time. On top of that, their remaining schedule features four opponents in position to make the playoffs and two others that have already beaten them this year. There is a realistic possibility the Bears will be holding one of the highest picks in the upcoming 2023 draft. Current projections have them holding the 3rd overall selection. That puts them in an interesting spot, assuming it holds through December.

Since they won’t be looking for a quarterback, it’s a safe bet GM Ryan Poles will do one of two things. Either he will take the best non-QB on the board or trade down in hopes of acquiring a king’s ransom of extra picks. ESPN draft experts Matt Miller and Jordan Reid decided to tackle the subject with an updated look at how they think the top ten picks could unfold. After working through the first selections, they reached a surprising conclusion. If the Bears stay where they are, there is a strong possibility that the best pass rusher in the class will fall into their laps.

Will Anderson of Alabama.

Miller: Poles cleaned house on the edge, trading Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, so Anderson gives him an elite prospect to start his rebuild of the defensive line. Relentless is the word that comes to mind when evaluating Anderson. At 6-foot-4, 243 pounds, he has a nonstop motor and excellent speed out of his stance. He’s my top overall player in this class, and I’ve compared him to Von Miller. I’d place him above Aidan Hutchinson and Travon Walker among recent edge rush prospects, and he’s right on par with Nick Bosa and Chase Young from previous classes. And while this might look like he’s falling, this is really just a super-lucky outcome for the Bears.

Reid: Alabama has used Anderson all over the place this season, and he has been forced to hide a lot of the Crimson Tide’s defensive warts by reducing down inside. And while he’s not posting the 17.5 sacks or 34.5 tackles for a loss we saw in 2021, he’s still producing at a high level. Anderson has eight sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss and 44 pressures on the year, and his tape shows a lot of “almost” plays where he gets into the backfield but doesn’t quite finish. The Bears need that type of presence off the edge, with their 15 sacks ranking 31st.”

Anderson is exactly what the Chicago Bears need.

Their pass rush is the worst in the NFL. The defensive line has not logged a single sack since Week 5 against the Washington Commanders. Trevis Gipson and Al-Quadin Muhammad haven’t gotten the job done. This team needs a hunter. Anderson is exactly that kind of guy. He has 32.5 sacks and 55.5 tackles for a loss in 39 career games for Alabama. That level of productivity is impossible to ignore, especially against SEC competition. He has size, length, quickness, power, and speed. The only thing people seem hung up on is that he is only 243 lbs.

Traditional 4-3 defensive tend to weigh around 260-270 lbs. This allows them to better set the edge against the run. It is an understandable concern but an overblown one. Von Miller is 250 lbs and seems to be doing just fine in the Buffalo Bills’ 4-3 scheme. The same goes for the 245 lbs Micah Parsons in Dallas. This is the kind of pick the Chicago Bears cannot and should not overthink. Anderson is a stud. If he is there at #3 overall, you take him. Worry about the fit later. He can change the landscape of a defense.


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Ralph Law
Ralph Law
Nov 23, 2022 12:16 pm

We’ll see.

Nov 23, 2022 10:24 am

Anderson’s effectiveness in college won’t necessarily translate into the NFL. His light weight may give him speed and versatility but in the NFL he likely won’t be as effective against the run or the offensive lineman’s blocks. Of course I could be wrong and if the Bears select him I’m really hoping he proves me wrong.

Nov 22, 2022 11:06 pm

I think I lean towards the “king’s ransom” as well. The draft is a crap shoot, Anderson may be a great talent but sometimes players don’t make the transition, or it’s maturity or injury. Getting more players increases your odds of getting “hits”. We’ll see. Poles seems to like more picks, like this past year. I’m going to the draft next year again so it will be especially fun.

Nov 22, 2022 5:33 pm

It's a tough one that I'm glad I'm not having to make the decision. In one hand Anderson can wreck a game almost by himself. On the other hand there are other good edge rushers out there and we need a WR1 badly. There's none that are worth the 3rd pick but if we trade back to around 8-10 we could land Addison and other players on top of that. If we want a true #1 WR we are going to have to draft him. Too bad Marvin Harrison Jr isn't eligible this year otherwise I would pick him at… Read more »

Tom Waddle
Tom Waddle
Nov 22, 2022 4:38 pm

A king’s ransom trade-down is especially appealing considering the Bears are gonna give up a very high 2nd round pick because of the Claypool trade *puke*

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