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ESPN analysts praise Bears draft class

Bears rookie offensive lineman Darnell Wright
Bears rookie offensive lineman Darnell Wright

Multiple ESPN analysts have lauded the Bears' 2023 draft class. Here's a sampling:

• Matt Bowen, a former NFL safety, chose the Bears rookie class as the one that will have the biggest impact in the league this season.

"The Bears added depth and talent at premium positions, with a couple of potential Day 3 steals," Bowen wrote. "Darnell Wright is your Day 1 starter at right tackle. Both Gervon Dexter Sr. and Zacch Pickens have the traits to create interior disruption on the defensive front, and corner Tyrique Stevenson brings a physical play demeanor to the secondary. Plus, running back Roschon Johnson and wide receiver Tyler Scott could factor into the offensive game plan as rookies."

• Eric Moody identified Wright, a tackle from Tennessee, as his favorite pick of the draft.

"This pick filled a huge hole along the offensive line for a Bears team that allowed the fourth-most sacks last year (58)," Moody wrote. "Wright is a plug-and-play starter for Chicago and has a physicality unmatched by any other offensive linemen selected in the first round."

• Mike Clay named Johnson as the midround pick that will have the most fantasy football value in the NFL in 2023.

"Johnson has a terrific size at 6-foot, 219 pounds and was super-efficient at Texas," Clay wrote. "I love him as a sleeper to take on a big role in what could be a breakout offense."

Jason Reid believes that Scott will be the midround selection that will have the most fantasy value this season.

"The speedy wideout is among the newcomers Chicago will rely on to help QB Justin Fields take a big step forward," Reid wrote. "He had 1,419 yards and 14 touchdowns in his last two seasons at Cincinnati."

• Matt Miller ranked the top 100 picks in the draft, based on value—where players were drafted versus where they were ranked pre-draft—scheme fit, how the selections addressed a need and whether additional assets were gained or lost in draft-day trades to acquire the prospects.

There are six Bears on Miller's list, tied for second most with the Rams and Texans behind only the Colts' 7. That includes four in the top 50, tied with the Steelers for the most.

63 players, including the Bears' 2023 draft class, were on the fields at Halas Hall this weekend for a pair of rookie minicamp practices.

Here are the Bears Miller ranked in the top 100:

16. Darnell Wright, OT, Chicago Bears (Pick 1-10)

Miller's pre-draft ranking: No. 20

"The Bears can roll with Braxton Jones at left tackle -- a favorite of mine from the 2022 draft -- after trading down twice and grabbing the best right tackle in the draft at No. 10 overall. Wright will be a foundational piece of the offensive line, but I'm also looking at the extra selections the Bears picked up to continue building."

27. Tyler Scott, WR (Pick 4-133)

Miller's pre-draft ranking: No. 57

"The selection of Scott at No. 133 was one of the best value picks when graded against my pre-draft rankings, where I had him No. 57 overall. Scott's speed and vertical ability will work well in a wide receiver room that offers diverse skill sets, and his ability as a return man will also boost the Chicago special teams unit."

44. Terell Smith, CB (Pick 5-165)

Miller's pre-draft ranking: No. 77

"Smith came at an almost 90-spot value when he was drafted in the fifth round. His speed at cornerback is easy to spot on film, and he has huge developmental upside."

46. Roschon Johnson, RB (Pick 4-115)

Miller's pre-draft ranking: No. 86

"A do-it-all running back with awesome special teams ability and leadership skills, Johnson could be this year's Dameon Pierce as a third-day back who ends up a lead ball carrier."

68. Gervon Dexter Sr., DT (Pick 2-53)

Miller's pre-draft ranking: No. 89

"The Bears didn't add a starting-caliber defensive tackle in free agency, making it the team's biggest need on defense heading into the draft. Dexter is an upside player who wasn't used to his full potential at Florida. But in Chicago, he'll be tasked with lining up at 3-technique and using his great first-step speed to disrupt the quarterback."

82. Tyrique Stevenson, CB (Pick 2-56)

Miller's pre-draft ranking: No. 88

"The Bears have thrown a lot of draft picks at the secondary, but the outside cornerback spot opposite Jaylon Johnson remains open because Kyler Gordon is at his best on the inside."