Mel Kiper Jr.

Mel Kiper gives Bears high grade for 2023 NFL Draft class

ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. issued his 2023 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams, including the Chicago Bears, who can proudly hang Kiper’s report card inside Halas Hall.

Kiper gave the Bears and GM Ryan Poles a B+ for their 2023 draft class.

“Chicago had been connected with Darnell Wright (9) for months — I matched this one in my two-round mock draft — mostly because of its gaping void at right tackle,” Kiper wrote. “Wright is the best right tackle in this class, a 333-pound lineman who started 42 games in college. He is ready to play right now.”

In their post-draft press conference, the Chicago Bears took the assessment of Wright’s skill set one step further, saying they ranked him as the best offensive lineman in the 2023 NFL Draft. He ended up being the second drafted; Paris Johnson Jr. was selected No. 6 by the Arizona Cardinals.

So, why not an A from Mel Kiper? The longtime mock drafter thought Chicago reached a round early on defensive linemen Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens.

“I was more down on two of its Day 2 picks, as I mentioned Friday, but I get building through the trenches,” Kiper wrote. “It’s just that both Gervon Dexter (53) and Zacch Pickens (64) were a round early based on my rankings. Some of this had to do with getting ahead on the DTs early in a thinner-than-normal class, but I’m grading each class on value, and so the Bears have to get dinged.”

If getting dinged results in a B+? Chicago Bears fans will take it.

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