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Bears Draft Wrap-Up

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Bears earn high marks for 2023 draft class


NFL analysts were impressed with what general manager Ryan Poles and the Bears accomplished in the 2023 draft.


Here are some of the grades they received:

Doug Farrar, USA Today: A

They started this draft by trading down with the Eagles and still getting Wright, the best offensive tackle in this class. Wright is coming off a season in which he erased Will Anderson Jr., BJ Ojulari, and Bryan Bresee, so he projects pretty well to the NFL. On the other side of the line, Dexter is a formidable athletic prospect with some technique work to do, and Zacch Pickens is another guy with hybrid size who can get things done on the move. General manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus clearly have a type here.

Tyrique Stevenson is a nice developmental cornerback, but it's the third day where the Bears' draft REALLY gets interesting. Roschon Johnson probably would have been a second-day guy were he not backing up Bijan Robinson, Tyler Scott is one of the more underrated receivers in this class, Noah Sewell is a fine two-down linebacker who can thump, and Terell Smith is a big cornerback who locked his opponents down in 2022 to the tune of an opponent passer rating of 68.2.

This is a great combination of guys who are ready to contribute, and guys who need a bit of work, but were drafted about where they should have been. A great haul for a team under construction.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: A

GM Ryan Poles didn't do anything sneaky. He had to jump on the offensive tackle early to better protect Justin Fields and then focus mostly on replenishing the defense on every level. The front seven may have three new starters soon in Dexter, Pickens and Sewell. Watch out for Stevenson's shutdown potential, too. Poles also didn't forget to further upgrade the power running game with Johnson and add more big-play receiving pop with Scott.

Danny Kelly, The Ringer: A

The Bears added a massive amount of sheer size to both sides of the trenches. Chicago grabbed a mauling offensive tackle in Tennessee's Darnell Wright in the first round, giving quarterback Justin Fields a talented pass protector who can also help open up holes in the run game. Chicago turned around on day two and addressed the defensive line, taking a pair of two-gapping block-eaters in Gervon Dexter Sr. (Florida) and Zacch Pickens (South Carolina), to add some much-needed beef to a run defense that gave up 157 rushing yards per game (second worst) and a league-worst 31 rushing touchdowns in 2022. The team also added a pair of highly athletic, aggressive corners in Miami's Tyrique Stevenson and Minnesota's Terell Smith, adding to their up-and-coming cornerback group that already includes Kyler Gordon, Jaylon Johnson, Kindle Vildor and Jaylon Jones. I also liked their selection of Texas running back Roschon Johnson in Round 4, giving the team a rock-solid and versatile back who breaks tackles, catches the ball well, and excels in pass protection. Add in Cincinnati receiver Tyler Scott, a speedster with running back-like toughness after the catch, and the Bears got better this weekend.

Rob Maaddi, Associated Press: A

Moved down one spot and got OT Darnell Wright (10) to anchor the O-line. DL Gervon Dexter Sr., RB Roschon Johnson, WR Tyler Scott, LB Noah Sewell and CB Terrell Smith are among an impressive haul.

Chad Reuter, A-

Day 1 grade: A

Day 2 grade: B

Day 3 grade: A

Chicago received a bounty from the Panthers for the No. 1 pick, then traded down one spot in the first round while still getting the lineman it needed in Wright. Dexter and Pickens bolster the defensive line when on their game and Stevenson could start as a rookie.

Johnson looks like a power back but can avoid defenders as well as run through their tackle attempts. Scott's agility and burst after the catch made him a nice fourth-round find. Sewell is a much better football player than his fifth-round status might indicate. Smith has the athleticism and cover skills to contribute as a rookie.

Darnell Wright, Gervon Dexter Sr., Tyrique Stevenson, Zacch Pickens, Roschon Johnson, Tyler Scott, Noah Sewell, Terell Smith, Travis Bell and Kendall Williamson. See photos of all the new Bears rookies selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Carmen Vitali, Fox Sports: A-

I spent a lot of time talking about how former offensive lineman and current general manager Ryan Poles could wait to get a tackle given his evaluation acumen for the position, but the Bears didn't take any chances. They went into the draft wanting Tennessee's Darnell Wright and they got him. He'll likely round out the offensive line at right tackle, giving Fields a solid bubble of protection.

My favorite pick of the draft for the Bears, though, may be Miami cornerback Tyrique Stevenson. He's an incredibly smart player who tries to isolate receivers and can anticipate their options and routes. If that doesn't work, he's big, fast and long at 6-foot and nearly 200 pounds and can play physical to get his hands on the ball one way or the other.

Luke Easterling, Athlon Sports: B+

Biggest Steal: WR Tyler Scott (4th Round, No. 133 overall)

After trading down from No. 1 overall and getting a massive haul, the Bears kept helping Justin Fields with this year's best right tackle prospect in Darnell Wright, as well as fourth-round steals in running back Roschon Johnson and wide receiver Tyler Scott. Wright should make an immediate impact, and both Johnson and Scott have the upside to challenge for meaningful reps despite crowded depth charts.

Tyrique Stevenson gives this defense another young playmaker in the secondary, and solid value at his second-round slot. Noah Sewell and Terell Smith were both solid Day 3 picks who should help immediately on special teams.

Include the additional future picks and DJ Moore as part of this class, and you've got a massive win for Fields and the Bears moving forward.

Mel Kiper, ESPN: B+

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.

Running back Roschon Johnson (115) played behind Bijan Robinson at Texas, but Johnson probably would have started at most other FBS schools. He is powerful between the tackles. Tyler Scott (133) is a slot wideout who runs after the catch like a tailback. Linebacker Noah Sewell (148) was a tackling force in college, and now he'll get to try to blitz past his brother, Penei, in the NFC North. Terell Smith (165) is my 14th-ranked cornerback, and the Bears got him a round later than I had him going.

I like what general manager Ryan Poles is building in Chicago, and 2024 draft capital he acquired combined with another step forward from quarterback Justin Fields means this team will challenge in the NFC quickly – just not this season.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: B+

Best Pick: Fourth-round running back Roschon Johnson is the type of back who can come in and push for carries right away. Would it shock anybody if he were a starter in a year or two? It wouldn't shock me.

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