Chicago Bears

ESPN’s Mike Greenberg says Bears will take Jalen Carter in 2023 NFL Draft

When the Chicago Bears held the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, most mock drafts predicted they’d take Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter. Then came the trade with the Carolina Panthers and Carter’s off-field concerns, and the Carter-to-the-Bears narrative all but died.

Perhaps, it’s about to be revived.

ESPN’s Mike Greenberg joined the Waddle & Silvy Show Wednesday and passed along this nugget of intel from Kansas City, the host city of the NFL Draft.

“(The Bears) are going to take Jalen Carter,” Greenberg said. “I’m telling you what the buzz is everywhere here … all of the buzz is Jalen Carter is going nine to Chicago.”

Greenberg admitted he isn’t an NFL insider but confirmed everyone he’s spoken to shares the same opinion: Jalen Carter will slide, and the Chicago Bears will take him with their first-round pick.

Carter to the Bears makes a ton of football sense. He’s arguably the top non-quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he plays the most important position in coach Matt Eberflus’ defense. Plugging Carter into the 3-tech role would instantly transform Chicago’s defensive front. The Chicago Bears’ defense struggled against both the run and the pass in 2022; it was one of the worst all-around units in the NFL.

General manager Ryan Poles took steps in free agency to upgrade that side of the ball. He signed linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and TJ Edwards, and defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker will bring intensity and power to the front seven. But more reinforcements are needed for the Bears’ defense to become a playoff-caliber group.

Jalen Carter isn’t just a reinforcement; he’s a transformational talent. And if the Chicago Bears are fortunate enough to call his name in the first round, it’ll make the 2023 offseason one of the most successful in recent franchise history.

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