Every Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason is about experimenting with possibilities as the picture becomes more apparent. Here’s what we know. The Bears hold the #2 overall pick in the draft with two games to play. Two wins put them at 7th overall. One win likely drops them to 4th. Losing out guarantees #2 with a chance to steal #1 if Houston wins one of its final two. It’s incredible how two games that should be meaningless can create so much stress for a fanbase. Here we are.
The big debate right now is what GM Ryan Poles will do if he ends up with the 2nd pick. Many believe he is a virtual lock to trade down, collecting extra picks from teams desperate to land their QB of the future. There will be opportunities for this as such teams keep stacking up in the top 10. It’ll come down to whether a team is ready and willing to pay the hefty price tag. Here is another possibility the Bears could consider.
This Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason is about seizing opportunities.
- OG Cody Whitehair – $5.8 million saved
- DE Al-Quadin Muhammad – $4 million saved
- Jaylon Johnson – 4-year extension for $70 million
- David Montgomery – 3-year deal for $27 million
- Cole Kmet – 4-year extension for $32.4 million
- Nicholas Morrow – 2-year deal for $10 million
- Armon Watts – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
- Equanimous 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
- 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
Da’Ron Payne – 5-year deal for $95 million
The intent here is obvious. There is no way this Bears 2023 mock offseason concludes without the team seeking to solve their three-technique position. They really need an interior pass rusher. Payne has been among the most dominant in the NFL this season at that job. He has 9.5 sacks and 17 QB hits. Blocking him for 60 minutes is almost impossible. He’d be a significant step in the right direction.
Jawaan Taylor – 4-year deal for $70 million
He probably had one of the quieter great years of any tackle in the league. Taylor has only given up 14 pressures on the quarterback all season, not missing a game. He is a big part of why Trevor Lawrence has had such a huge breakout over the second half of 2023. Jacksonville may want to keep him, but they don’t have the cap space to do so, and they have a replacement in waiting with Walker Little.
Bobby Okereke – 3-year deal for $15 million
He was highly productive in his last season with Matt Eberflus in 2021. He knows this defense better than anyone, and it’s clear the Colts are about to enter a transition period. The Bears need more stability at linebacker. Okereke brings experience and proven productivity. He will have cracked 130 tackles for the second straight year by the time this season ends.
Damien Harris – 1-year deal for $6 million
The former 3rd round pick was outstanding in 2021, posting over 900 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. Unfortunately, injuries slowed him down this season. When healthy, he is a dependable back who is excellent in short-yardage situations and brings added value for his pass protection skills. He’ll add even more depth to an already strong position for the Bears.
Keisean Nixon – 1-year deal for $2 million
Nixon has established himself as one of the best returners in the NFL. He also showed flashes of improvement in coverage as a cornerback. He adds value in two areas for the Bears. He’ll bring depth to their secondary and also be able to fill their punt returner role.
Trade: #2 pick and 4th in 2024 to the Raiders for #9 pick, 2nd in 2023, 2nd in 2024, and DE Maxx Crosby
1st Round (via LVR) – Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
Landing a star pass rusher like Crosby would have been considered good enough. However, the Bears aren’t done yet. They bring the revamp to a wild conclusion by adding Wilson as well. He is the ideal Eberflus guy. Not only is he a good athlete, but he boasts 36-inch arms and plenty of power. This defense is a perfect fit for him and playing across from Crosby will mean he gets plenty of one-on-one blocks to start his career. If he develops into what he could be, this is a potential stud.
Trade: 41st pick (via LVR) and 3rd in 2023 to Bills for 30th pick, 5th in 2023, and 7th in 2024
1st Round (via BUF) – Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC
Poles understands how much help the offensive line needs. He’s stated from the beginning he wants powerful, violent blockers up front. Tone-setters. Vorhees lives up to his last name because he legitimately tries to kill everyone he comes across. The guy is a road grader that blows open holes for his running backs. While not an elite athlete, he moves well enough in space and can handle himself in pass protection. A plug-and-play starter at guard.
Trade: #56 pick to Saints for 3rd in 2023, 4th in 2023, 5th in 2023, and 5th in 2024
3rd Round (via NO) – Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
People will pick on Flowers because he’s shorter (5’10) and doesn’t carry much weight. That doesn’t seem to have stopped him from dominating for three years. He is fast, athletic, and has a natural playmaking instinct. His route-running is one of his biggest strengths. Defensive backs often aren’t ready for it. The Bears could deploy him inside or outside to find mismatches. He also has experience as a gadget player in the running game.
4th Round – Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland
An athletic cornerback with a tenacious streak. He plays physically despite his 5’11 frame and works best in a zone system. So he’s a good fit. He also gets his hands on the football a lot, posting four interceptions and 21 passes defended in the past two seasons. His arrival would give Chicago more depth at a critical position and somebody who can play inside and outside.
4th Round (via NO) – Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State
He is not unique in any category but also not weak in any either. Hutchinson has size, length, athleticism, and decent speed. He’s also an adequate route runner. He has the awareness and hands to track the ball and make difficult catches. His production has improved in each of the past three seasons, and it shows on film too. It feels like his best football is still ahead of him.
5th Round – Olusegun Oluwatimi, C, Michigan
His size and athleticism won’t wow anyone. Yet he has enough of both to handle most defensive linemen he faces. He moves well and showcases plenty of intelligence on the field. Blitzes and stunts rarely catch him off guard. Quickness won’t beat him often. It’s power that may give him problems from time to time. Still, he has starter ability and can play right away if needed.
5th Round (via BUF) – Tuli Tuipulotu, DL, USC
He can best be described as a tweener. He’s not quite big enough to be a defensive tackle and not quite long enough to be a defensive end. Still, one thing remains certain. Tuipulotu creates havoc in the backfield. His 12.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss prove that this season. This Bears 2023 mock offseason would be remiss if it didn’t take advantage of grabbing such a productive player this late.
5th Round (via NO) – Byron Young, DT, Alabama
People constantly talk about the three-technique and its importance. This is true. Still, one thing remains inescapable. They can’t stop the run. You need defensive tackles that can do that too. Young made that his specialty at Alabama. He’s big, strong, and hard to move off his spot. He may never develop as an interior pass rusher, but he’ll bring instant value in obvious running situations.
5th Round (via BAL) – Ji’Ayir Brown, S, Penn State
The Bears did pretty well the last two times they’ve drafted Penn State safeties (Adrian Amos and Jaquan Brisker). So why not go for a third time? Brown is on the shorter side but has established himself as an instinctive ballhawk with nine interceptions and three forced fumbles across two years. His inconsistent tackling and matchup issues with tight ends or bigger receivers are the big concerns.
7th Round – Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati
If Pace were two inches taller, he’d probably go in the top 100 picks. Being 6’0 will drop him on many boards. That is unfortunate because the guy is a vacuum cleaner when it comes to finding the ball. He has 306 tackles, 20 sacks, an interception, and three forced fumbles in his college career. If the Bears can look past his average length, he can be somebody that outplays his draft position.