The 2023 Senior Bowl is scheduled to kick off its week of practices on Tuesday, January 31, in Mobile, Alabama. The Chicago Bears scouting department will be in full force over the three days of practice sessions.
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and four members of the Bears’ coaching staff will be at the all-star game, too. Getsy was named head coach of the American team last week. As a result, Getsy will have an up-close look at many of the top senior prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, including several wide receivers who could be an upgrade for the Bears next season.
OTHER 2023 SENIOR BOWL PREVIEWS: RB | Edge
There’s no doubt wide receiver will rank high on general manager Ryan Poles’ list of needs entering the 2023 NFL Draft. Free agency could provide some help, but with an underwhelming group of veterans expected to hit the open market, the NFL draft is the more likely way Poles and the Bears will add weapons for quarterback Justin Fields.
The big-name wide receiver competing at the 2023 Senior Bowl is SMU’s Rashee Rice. He’s a popular late-first-round pick in mock drafts right now after a 2022 season that totaled 96 catches for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns. He checks the production box, and his size exceeds the position’s minimums: 6003, 203 pounds.
Rice is a solid but unspectacular athlete who runs quality routes as a three-level target. His thick frame allows him to break tackles and pick up yards after the catch, and he reminds me quite a bit of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. While not as twitchy of an athlete as Aiyuk, he has a similar projection as a quality No. 2 receiver with No. 1 upside as he develops as a pro.