Skip to main content
Advertising | The Official Website of the Chicago Bears

NFL analysts predict what Bears will do with No. 9 pick


With the NFL Draft now just two weeks away, here's what analysts are predicting the Bears will do with the ninth pick in the first round:

Alyssa Barbieri, Bears Wire (April 10)

Pick: Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter
Comment: Carter is believed to be the best prospect in this draft class, but his off-field issues and poor pro day performance has many predicting he could fall to the Bears at No. 9. That's what happened in this scenario. But would Chicago take a risk on Carter? That's what GM Ryan Poles and his staff have to figure out, which is why they hosted Carter on a Top 30 visit. There's no denying the talent, but that visit was about getting to know the player. Poles and his staff are being cautious about bringing the wrong person into the locker room as the Bears are still a young, impressionable team. But they're also in need of talent, and Carter is everything Matt Eberflus is looking for in a disruptive 3-technique. Character is huge for Poles and Eberflus. So, if Carter does indeed fall to ninth overall and the Bears draft him, it would speak volumes about Carter the person.

Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune (March 26)
Pick: Georgia tackle Broderick Jones
Comment: GM Ryan Poles can go with a lineman on either side of the ball and declare he has filled a pressing need. 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.

Bucky Brooks, (March 28)
Pick: Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski
Comment: The polished technician would be a plug-and-play starter for the Bears at either tackle spot.

Charlie Campbell, Walter Football (April 10)
Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: Skoronski was dominant in 2022, allowing one sack all season and very little pressure. He was also showed improved strength and power as a run blocker. Skoronski could be a plug-and-play starter at guard or right tackle in the NFL. He might prove to be a starting left tackle.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football (April 11)
Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: Peter Skoronski is an athletic tackle who has kept his quarterback clean. He can play every position up front, though his short arms may have him end up at guard.

Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network (April 8)
Pick: Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: The Bears appear to have four starters penciled in, with Braxton Jones, Nate Davis, Cody Whitehair, and Teven Jenkins. All Chicago needs is a right tackle, and Paris Johnson Jr. could be the guy there. Johnson has already proven he can play on both the left and right side, and his elite explosiveness-length mix grants him absurd power capacity at the point of attack.

Jordan Dajani, CBS Sports (April 10)
Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: The Bears need to keep Justin Fields on his feet if they want to find success moving forward. With Skoronski, the question will be, is he a tackle or guard? Matt Eberflus has some options.

Nate Davis, USA Today (March 22)
Pick: Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez
Comment: The 6-1, 197-pound All-Pac-12 performer had four INTs and seven passes defensed in 2022 and showcased his explosive athleticism at the combine, running a 4.38 40-yard dash, posting a 41½-inch vertical leap and broad jumping 11 feet, 1 inch.

Eric Edholm, (March 27)
Pick: Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: I don't know if Johnson is one of GM Ryan Poles' blue-chip prospects or not. But after the Bears did not sign one of the top free-agent tackles, they draft a long, athletic, smart and versatile prospect.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports (April 4)
Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: Chicago needs to upgrade its interior offensive line as well as right tackle. Peter Skoronski has positional flexibility.

Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire (April 4)
Pick: Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon
Comment: Receiver and offensive line will be temptations for Bears general manager Ryan Poles with the ninth overall pick, and for good reason. But if Witherspoon is still on the board here, it would be tough to pass him up on a short trip to Halas Hall. Witherspoon may well be the best cornerback in this class.

Eric Froton, NBC Sports (April 11)
Pick: Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness
Comment: With additional selections at 52, 61 and 64 overall, Chicago will be able to address multiple positions of need in the late second round as well. Accordingly, I think Chicago adds havoc-creating base defensive end Lukas Van Ness (6'5/272) into their rebuilding 4-3 front.

Kevin Hanson, Sports Illustrated (March 23)
Pick: Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: The Bears have added high future picks—first- and second-rounders in 2024 and '25, respectively—to their draft capital following their trade with the Panthers. While that provides GM Ryan Poles greater flexibility in the future, adding DJ Moore via the trade with Carolina and then Johnson with this pick would put Justin Fields in a better position to succeed in the upcoming season. Johnson is ideally suited to play left tackle, given his combination of size, length and athleticism, but he started at both right guard ('21) and left tackle ('22) for Ohio State.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News (April 12)
Pick: Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: The Bears can look up the road to Evanston to provide Justin Fields with a major pass protection upgrade after already getting him a new No. 1 wide receiver in DJ Moore. Skoronski, who had a great Combine from his running through his smooth positional drills, can deliver as their immediate starting left tackle with his smooth quickness and athleticism on the edge.

Daniel Jeremiah, (March 21)
Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: I love this pick for the Bears. Skoronski would be an immediate upgrade at right tackle for Justin Fields.

Mel Kiper, ESPN (April 11)
Pick: Tennessee tackle Darnell Wright
Comment: Chicago dropped eight spots in Round 1 but picked up a massive haul in its trade with Carolina, allowing it to keep premium picks in this draft and add future capital as well. And if it wants to add an instant starter at No. 9, offensive tackle is the position to target. I like Wright's opportunity with the Bears if we're strictly looking at right tackles, since Braxton Jones held his own on the left side last season. Wright started 27 games at right tackle in college; his tape against Will Anderson Jr. and Alabama was phenomenal. He's the best right tackle in this class. This is a selection to keep quarterback Justin Fields clean.

Rhett Lewis, (April 11)
Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: The Bears clearly signaled their intention to build around Justin Fields as their QB1 when they traded out of the first pick. So, how do you best support the third-year signal-caller? With playmakers and protectors. They got the former in the trade with Carolina, adding an established stud in receiver D.J. Moore. Now they snag the latter, picking the best offensive lineman in this class in Skoronski. Staying in the state of Illinois, the Northwestern product offers position versatility along the line, giving Chicago flexibility in simply getting its best five players out in front of Fields.

Todd McShay, ESPN (April 4)
Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: The Bears could address the edge rush -- perhaps with Van Ness. However, they need to maximize quarterback Justin Fields, and that means protecting him. I like the Nate Davis addition at guard, but Teven Jenkins probably isn't the answer at tackle opposite Braxton Jones. Jenkins is a better fit on the interior. And while there are concerns about Skoronski's 32¼-inch arm length, his quickness, balance and snap in his hands stand out.

Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network (April 4)
Pick: Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: We don't need much explanation for this. Chicago is going all-in on Justin Fields, and nothing at this point is more important than upgrading the offensive line. Paris Johnson Jr. has experience at right guard and left tackle.

Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network (April 12)
Pick: Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: The Bears decided Justin Fields is their future and secured a big-time receiver, DJ Moore, in trading the first pick to Carolina. They now have to protect Fields' blind side, and Paris Johnson Jr. is a big-time left tackle prospect.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (April 6)
Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: They need to get more help up front for Justin Fields, and Skoronski would bring versatility. He can play guard or tackle, which brings value. I think he looks more like a guard, but he could also play right tackle.

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus (April 4)
Pick: Tennessee tackle Darnell Wright
Comment: Teven Jenkins flourished so much at guard that kicking him back out to tackle would be doing him a disservice. Wright comes as the most experienced right tackle in the draft and gives Chicago a scary offensive line in the run game.

Chad Reuter, (March 24)
Pick: Texas running back Bijan Robinson
Comment: I don't blame teams avoiding running backs in the top 10 because of how many injuries occur at the position -- but the Bears could make an exception for Robinson. His combination of power, speed, shiftiness and receiving ability make him a potential star in the Christian McCaffrey mold.

Brad Spielberger, Pro Football Focus (March 27)
Pick: Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: After the first few waves of free agency, one thing seems certain: Whether offense or defense, this Bears pick will be a trench player. Johnson is a versatile offensive lineman with the size and athleticism to play on the inside or at tackle, with his 36 1/4-inch arms landing in the 97th percentile among tackles. The former Ohio State teammate of Bears quarterback Justin Fields started in 2021 at right guard before moving to left tackle, but he's a perfect fit in this scheme wherever Chicago ultimately puts him, with great movement skills at the second level for Chicago's outside-zone rushing attack.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (April 12)
Pick: Tennessee tackle Darnell Wright
Comment: In this scenario, the Bears are content with adding a secondary receiving option on Day Two but adore the plug-and-plug capabilities of Wright.

Ian Valentino, Pro Football Network (April 1)
Pick: Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey
Comment: There hasn't been a bigger winner from the offseason circuit than Calijah Kancey. The Pitt defensive tackle invokes comparisons to Ed Oliver and Aaron Donald for more reasons than just being an undersized defender for the position. His explosiveness is rare, and similar to why I have Carter still going No. 3, the value of a disruptive tackle is too great to pass up on a star player at the position. The Chicago Bears could justify taking an edge rusher, offensive tackle, or cornerback here. But Kancey can help transform their defensive front, which received a nice set of upgrades at linebacker with Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards in free agency.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (April 1)
Pick: Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: Few teams have been as busy this offseason than the Bears, who added talent on both sides of the ball, including guard Nate Davis, tight end Robert Tonyan, defensive end DeMarcus Walker (7.0 sacks with the Titans in '22) and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. There's still a need at right tackle and edge rusher but with many of the top free-agent offensive linemen already signed elsewhere, and since this draft class is deeper at EDGE than OT, Chicago takes Paris Johnson Jr. here. He played LT last season at Ohio State and was the RG during the '21 season. Protecting Justin Fields is Priority No. 1, and they can circle back at pick No. 53 (or even 61) to get that pass rusher.

Lance Zierlein, (April 4)
Pick: Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness
Comment: A big-time athletic tester with upside, Van Ness has the potential to play multiple spots along the defensive front. His best football is still ahead of him.