The Chicago Bears are just over a month away from one of the most important drafts in years. They’ve already set the tone by trading the #1 overall pick to Carolina, securing three extra picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore in the process. GM Ryan Poles knows the stakes. If he can land a good player at #9 overall, it could set his team up for a massive turnaround in 2023 and chart the course toward eventual playoff contention. What nobody knows is who the Bears may have in mind for that spot.
Based on the latest rumblings, it sounds like they plan to target one of the top offensive tackles. Some think it’s Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, but the heavy favorite is Paris Johnson of Ohio State. Broderick Jones of Georgia is also in the discussion. The lingering question is whether or not Poles follows through on the hints he dropped about trading down again. Former Bears scout Greg Gabriel believes it is a strong possibility and even mentioned a target they may have in mind were Poles to pull the trigger. He explained on Windy City Gridiron.
“Another option the Bears have is to trade down from nine. By doing so, they still may have a shot at Carter, depending on how other clubs feel. They could miss out on the top tackles, but there are others they could easily select later in the first round. That would include Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison, who is an athletic and nasty left tackle.
A trade down would bring back an extra pick or picks depending on how far they decide to move. It would also build up their draft capital to use to move up in the second round. It’s my opinion that the first half of the second round is a strong point in this Draft. To be able to have two selections in that area would be extremely beneficial to the Bears’ Draft plans.”
The Chicago Bears may have shifted on Harrison at the combine.
Some felt the Oklahoma tackle was an average athlete. Then he posted impressive drill numbers, including a 4.98 in the 40-yard dash. NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein compared him to Buffalo Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins. While he may not be a dominant run blocker, he uses good technique, long arms, and solid athleticism to lock down pass rushers. He also has a nasty disposition that Poles would appreciate. Harrison has more question marks than Johnson or Jones, but his upside isn’t that different from theirs.
This comes down to Poles and how confident he is Harrison will be a good player. If he doesn’t trust that possibility, then he will likely stay at #9 to take the best players on his board. It is a firm reminder that drafting is not easy. GMs must gauge how things are expected to fall, account for unexpected trades, and calculate what the lowest spot a team can drop to and still get a player they want is. That is what the Chicago Bears are in the process of doing.
Harrison arms only measured in at 31 in. Compared to PJJ who measured 37
More chances to get a hit with more at-bats!
I agree strongly about the first half of the second round being a target-rich environment and hope/expect one or two moves to be made to get there. Oh, to have the Claypool pick back and Carolina’s 40th pick!!! Think of those positions! Those spots would be about perfect to me.
I’ve had favorable evaluations of the second group of OTs, which consists of Broderick Jones (Georgia), Darnell Wright (Tennessee), and Anton Harrison (Oklahoma). They are all athletic, as demonstrated by their 40 times at the combine around 5.0 seconds (Wright is a bit over that at 5.02 s, but also weighs 330, while Jones and Harrison ran 4.97 and 4.98 respectively). Poles generally shies away from OL over 315, but Wright is quite athletic for his size, so the question is whether Poles has an athletic threshold that Wright can meet at 330, or will he be further down Poles’s… Read more »
Grin Bear It: Gabriel has worked for multiple teams and still has a lot of credible sources and friends he made along the way. He’s a former about because he’s retired, not because nobody wants him. He’s been around the league for a long time and knows a lot of people. His sources are better and more credible than any of ours are.
He’s not saying what the Bears are going to do, nobody knows this, he’s just throwing out other possibilities and rhelms of thinking.