Chicago Bears

USA Today 2023 mock draft sends Bears plug-and-play OT in Round 1

The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday, April 27, and despite Round 1 inching ever closer, it’s still anyone’s guess who the Chicago Bears will select at No. 9.

If you’re in the bucket of Bears fans advocating for the best player available, you may hope DL Jalen Carter slides or CB Christian Gonzalez is the pick. If you’re more into GM Ryan Poles filling roster needs, then offensive line will rank at or near the top of your list.

In the latest 2023 NFL mock draft from USA Today, roster needs win out. The Chicago Bears select Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr. in the first round.

“With a stated dedication to prioritizing premium positions, new general manager Ryan Poles might be drawn to an offensive tackle as he contemplates the options for using his bounty from the trade back from No. 1,” USA Today’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz wrote. “Though Johnson was a backup for the Buckeyes during Justin Fields’ junior season at Ohio State, he could get the chance here to be a long-term pass-protecting solution for his friend and former teammate. “

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