Todd McShay

Todd McShay dubs Zacch Pickens Bears’ best value pick in 2023 NFL draft

The NFL Draft is about more than just hitting on first-round picks. The best teams find quality starters in the middle rounds, and the Chicago Bears hope some of their middle-round picks will emerge as key contributors in 2023 and beyond.

ESPN’s Todd McShay published a list of his favorite value selections from the 2023 NFL Draft, and for the Bears, he chose South Carolina defensive lineman Zacch Pickens.

Chicago selected Pickens in the third round.

“Matt Eberflus’ defense relies on a good, penetrating 3-technique up the middle, and that’s Pickens,” McShay wrote. “We’re talking about a unit that totaled 20 sacks in 2022, last in the NFL. And while Pickens had only 2.5 sacks last season, his explosion, first-step quickness and power suggest he can be more disruptive than his numbers suggest. A great performance at the combine boosted his stock, too. He ran a 4.89-second 40 and jumped 9-foot-8 in the broad jump at 291 pounds. I’d like to see a more diverse pass-rush move arsenal, and he’s still leaving some opportunities to make plays out there, but the potential is really good. That burst and power up the middle will define his pro game.”

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