2023 NFL Mock Draft

Chicago Bears land elite pass rusher in latest 2023 NFL Mock Draft

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler published his first 2023 NFL Mock draft of the season Wednesday, and for Chicago Bears fans, it’s a dream-come-true scenario.

With the second overall pick, Brugler sends the Bears a rare pass-rushing prospect in Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr.

Although quarterback Justin Fields is steadily progressing, the Bears are trending toward a top-three pick, which would be a positive in the long run. Will Anderson has the talent and intangibles to be a cornerstone player and defensive game-wrecker, both as a shutdown run defender and disruptive pass rusher off the edge.

If the draft plays out like this, it would be the first time in more than two decades that the first two players drafted were from the same college team. Penn State’s Courtney Brown (Cleveland Browns) and LaVar Arrington (Washington Redskins) went 1-2 in 2000.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic

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I wrote about Anderson in Bears Talk’s first 2023 NFL Draft player evaluation here. You can check it out with a premium subscription.

Anderson reminds me quite a bit of Micah Parsons, who’s taken the NFL by storm since joining the Dallas Cowboys as the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. While I don’t think Anderson is quite as twitchy as Parsons, his impact as a pass rusher will be very similar.

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