Chicago Bears NFL Draft

Bears look west for wide receiver help in latest 2023 mock draft

Chicago Bears wide receivers have to feel disrespected by the early cycle of 2023 mock drafts. Almost all of them have the Bears selecting a wideout, including the latest from Pro Football Network.

This time, the Bears choose USC’s Jordan Addison with the eighth overall pick. 

“Transferring to USC for his junior season in college, Jordan Addison is likely to cement himself as a top-10 pick, with Caleb Williams throwing him the football in 2022,” PFN’s Cam Mellor wrote. “A season after dominating with Kenny Pickett, Addison will reap the benefits of a future NFL signal-caller at his disposal with the Trojans. Addison, the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner, has incredible short-area speed that he uses to defeat defenders off the line, break off his routes, and create natural separation.”

Addison and Ohio State’s Jaxson Smith-Njigba are the two most popular names associated with the Chicago Bears in mock drafts right now, but there are a handful of other wide receivers who will challenge for early first-round consideration in 2023. LSU’s Kayshon Boutte and TCU’s Quentin Johnston will be among the first receivers chosen next April and will be on the Bears’ shortlist.

Regardless of how much confidence the Chicago Bears have in their 2022 roster, adding a blue-chip prospect like Addison — or any of next year’s quality wide receivers — is an upgrade. It’s also smart business. With the way wide receiver contracts have exploded in the NFL, locking up a likely starter for five years on a rookie deal is smart salary cap management.

As for the 2022 Bears wide receivers, it’s a group that includes Darnell Mooney as the go-to guy and a bundle of players with upside. Veteran Byron Pringle was added in free agency and rookie third-round pick Velus Jones Jr. has exciting playmaking traits. 

But until Chicago’s pass-catchers prove they’re worthy of more respect, it’ll continue to be a position of need in 2023 NFL mock drafts. 

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