Longtime Bears beat writer Brad Biggs posted his first mock draft for the Chicago Tribune Monday. He has Chicago selecting an offensive tackle not named Johnson or Skoronski.
Instead, Biggs sends the Bears Georgia’s Broderick Jones.
“GM Ryan Poles can go with a lineman on either side of the ball and declare he has filled a pressing need,” Biggs wrote. “As a former offensive lineman — and having made only one major addition in free-agent guard Nate Davis — it seems smart to stay on the O-line. Jones is a redshirt sophomore with a sturdy frame and good athleticism. Bears coaches can sort out which side he’ll play on.”
Jones’ upside may be the highest of the big three offensive linemen at the top of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Chicago Bears may decide to bet on that potential. Johnson is a safe and traditional offensive tackle prospect. Skoronski profiles as an All-Pro guard. However, neither has as much juice and pop as Jones
Indeed, Broderick Jones’ athletic traits scream long-term left tackle. But with Braxton Jones on the roster and manning the left side, whoever is selected at No. 9 will undoubtedly begin their career as a right tackle.
As Biggs pointed out, Bears coaches will figure out how and where they’ll use each tackle if one is added in the first round. Until then, it’ll be a good problem for the Bears.