The Chicago Bears began the 2023 NFL Draft process with complete control. They ended last season with the No. 1 overall pick and appeared destined to select Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. or Georgia’s Jalen Carter.
That all changed when GM Ryan Poles traded with the Carolina Panthers. He swapped the first pick for the No. 9, wide receiver DJ Moore, and future valuable draft assets.
Now, the Chicago Bears’ draft outlook is much less clear. A variety of scenarios could unfold before they’re on the clock, making mock drafts a much more valuable exercise.
But no matter who they select with the ninth pick, recent history suggests they’ll end up with a good player.
Last year’s No. 9 pick was offensive tackle Charles Cross, who immediately emerged as one of the top young tackles in the NFL after starting all 17 games for the Seattle Seahawks. In 2021, the Denver Broncos chose cornerback Patrick Surtain. It didn’t take long to realize he had elite coverage potential. In 2019, the Buffalo Bills selected Ed Oliver, who is still a quality starter on defense despite not being as dominant as he was in college. In 2018, it was Mike McGlinchey, who was one of the Chicago Bears’ free-agent targets in March.
The 2023 NFL Draft marks the second time in the last decade that the Bears held the No. 9 pick. In 2016, they drafted Leonard Floyd, who struggled to emerge as a pass rusher during his first four seasons in Chicago but broke out over his last three with the Los Angeles Rams. Floyd has 29 sacks since 2020.
Here is the complete list of players who were drafted ninth overall since 2013:
2022: Charles Cross (OT, Seattle Seahawks)
2021: Patrick Surtain (CB, Denver Broncos)
2020: CJ Henderson (CB, Jacksonville Jaguars)
2019: Ed Oliver (DL, Buffalo Bills)
2018: Mike McGlinchey (OT, San Francisco 49ers)
2017: John Ross (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)
2016: Leonard Floyd (OLB, Chicago Bears)
2015: Ereck Flowers (OT, New York Giants)
2014: Anthony Barr (LB, Minnesota Vikings)
2013: Dee Milliner (CB, New York Jets)
The players most commonly sent to the Chicago Bears at No. 9 in mock drafts include Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr., Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, and Georgia’s Broderick Jones; all offensive tackles.
All three players have high ceilings and high floors. If the Bears end up with any one of them, there’s a good chance they’ll be the next team to enjoy solid returns from the ninth pick.