The term “free agency frenzy” applies well to the Chicago Bears and their approach to the open market over the last week or so. General manager Ryan Poles has opened the checkbook for several players — nine, to be exact — who will all pay dividends in 2023.
Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is the big get, but he isn’t alone in the newcomers who will help reshape the Bears’ lineup. TJ Edwards (LB), DeMarcus Walker (DL), and Andrew Billings (DL) round out the defensive upgrades, while Nate Davis (OG), D’Onta Foreman (RB), and Travis Homer (RB) are quality additions on offense. And don’t forget about the trade that acquired DJ Moore from the Carolina Panthers. He, alone, will change the entire dynamic on offense.
But for all the upgrades Poles has made, there’s still a lot of work to do. He’ll use the 2023 NFL Draft to add foundational pieces to the Chicago Bears roster, and now that many of the key free agent signings are already in place, it’s worth running a three-round mock draft to see what kind of haul the Bears might pull.
Let’s get after it.
Round 1, Pick 9: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
One of the biggest concerns Bears fans have after the first wave of free agency is the team’s lack of investment at right tackle. With big names like Mike McGlinchey, Jawaan Taylor, and Kaleb McGary all options at the start of free agency, Poles’ lack of urgency at the position suggests he’s targeting a right tackle in the first round.
Enter Paris Johnson Jr. His natural position is left tackle, but he has experience on the right side. He’d be a fantastic choice in Round 1 because there’s a chance he’d unseat Braxton Jones on the left side — Jones can shift to the right. No matter the outcome, he’d pair with Jones to form the best young tackle duo the Bears have had in many years.
Round 2, Pick 54: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
This pick seemed like a reach before the NFL Combine. Now, the Chicago Bears must hope Adebawore makes it out of the first round.
Adebawore is a strong candidate to be a trade-up target for Poles and the Bears. His athletic traits for a 280-pound defender are rare, and that’s not hyperbole. He moves at a rate of speed that’s unlike any player of his size who’s entered the league in a long time. And he’s not just an athlete; he’s an explosive defender with an extremely high ceiling as a three-tech in the NFL. And the Bears happen to need one of those.