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What analysts predict Bears will do with No. 1 pick


Several NFL analysts have updated their mock drafts since the Combine concluded. Here's what they think the Bears will do with the No. 1 pick:

Dane Brugler, The Athletic (March 7)

Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and 4 to 9 with Panthers and take Iowa defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness
Comment: For the Bears, this would be an outstanding scenario. By trading down twice, Chicago would own five picks in the top 64 this year (Nos. 9, 35, 53, 61 and 64) plus two additional first-rounders in the 2024 NFL Draft. The storylines for this pairing would be fun. Van Ness grew up a Bears fan, living just outside of Chicago (Barrington, Ill.), and his girlfriend is the younger sister of Bears tight end Cole Kmet. More importantly, the Iowa defensive lineman is a promising player with the traits to be a disruptive force from multiple alignments. General manager Ryan Poles believes in building for the long term, so adding an ascending talent like Van Ness and draft capital via multiple trade downs would fit the profile.

Nate Davis, USA Today (March 7)
Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and take Texas Tech defensive end Tyree Wilson
Comment: The 6-6, 271-pound All-American had seven sacks and 14 TFLs in 10 games in 2022, his season cut short by a broken foot that was surgically repaired and prevented him from working out at the combine. (Wilson said he's already running again and "close to 100%.") He still has ample room to reach his full potential, and his future growth would theoretically coincide with a Bears team that ought to be on the upswing given the cap room and draft capital Poles has. Wilson should fit nicely into the four-man fronts most frequently employed by Chicago coach Matt Eberflus.

Jamie Eisner, Draft Network (March 8)
Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and take Clemson edge rusher Myles Murphy
Comment: Once again, the legal issues facing Carter at the moment complicate his draft stock. If Ryan Poles and Co. don't feel comfortable taking the Georgia DT, then they may pivot to the next-best defensive player on the board, Myles Murphy. Murphy has the size and versatility to make an impact anywhere.

Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire (March 6)
Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and take Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson
Comment: If the Bears do trade down from the first overall pick, Job One should be to give Justin Fields more and better protection. Johnson gave up two sacks, no quarterback hits, and 12 quarterback hurries in 449 pass-blocking reps last season, and he's as plug-and-play as you'll find among left tackles in this class. The Bears must plan for help right now on Fields' blind side, so perfect fit there.

Matt Fitzgerald, Barstool Sports (March 7)
Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and 4 to 9 with Panthers and take Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Comment: Justin Fields and JSN have discussed reuniting in the NFL ever since the former was drafted by the Bears. On the heels of a couple trade-downs and with multiple second-round picks now in the chamber, GM Ryan Poles should take a swing on Smith-Njigba in this scenario. Fields needs help and already has built-in chemistry with JSN, who I think is WR1 in this class.

Vinny Iyer, Sporting News (March 6)
Pick: Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.
Comment: The Bears, picking first overall for the first time since 1947, shouldn't need to consider QB with the passing and running ceiling of big-armed Justin Fields. The ideal scenario is trading down for extra first-down selection power with a team looking to jump the Texans for a particular franchise QB. If the Bears stay, they should look to get familiar defensive pop. Getting this cornerstone pass rusher and active all-around playmaker is great call. Anderson would give them a new Khalil Mack after also saying goodbye to Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith.

Charles McDonald, Yahoo Sports (March 8)
Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and take Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter
Comment: Jalen Carter's "slide" ends here. Carter has a lot of questions to answer about his role in a tragic, fatal car crash in January, but blue-chip players are difficult to find. The Bears take a risk here on an elite talent.

Todd McShay, ESPN (March 7)
Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and from 4 to 7 with Raiders and take Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski
Comment: There were already questions about whether Skoronski fits better as a tackle or guard at the next level, and his 32¼-inch arm length measurement at the Combine will keep that chatter alive. Offensive tackles ideally have 34-inch length or more. But he is sudden, almost always balanced in his set and powerful. And the explosion showed up in his vertical (34.5 inches) and broad jump (9-foot-7), both second-best among offensive linemen. Plus, only three sacks over 33 career starts were attributed to him at Northwestern. Alternatively, this would of course be a perfect fit for Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter if Chicago is comfortable with its homework on the still-unclear off-field situation, after Carter was arrested for reckless driving and racing last week. I had Carter landing with the Bears at No. 4 in my last mock, but there's too much we don't know right now about what's next for him.



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Glynn Morgan, NBC Sports Chicago (March 8)
Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and from 4 to 9 with Panthers and take Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones
Comment: The unfortunate events surrounding defensive tackle Jalen Carter (Georgia), along with the tag deadline and the onset of free agency, could provide opportunities for the Bears to possibly trade down twice to the ninth spot. Jones possesses excellent size (6'5", 311 lbs) and impressive arm length, enabling him to sting and neutralize power rushers with extreme prejudice. He may very well be the most athletically gifted offensive line prospect in the 2023 draft class.

Kyle Stackpole, CBS Sports (March 8)
Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and take Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.
Comment: Will Anderson Jr. said Khalil Mack is a player he likes to "model" his game after, which makes sense considering the two had almost identical combine measurements and testing results. The Bears would be thrilled if Anderson can perform at a similar level to one of the best defensive players of the past decade.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (March 8)
Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and take Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.
Comment: Anderson gives me serious Khalil Mack vibes, which makes this perfect for the Bears, particularly after trading back. In the trade, the Bears get this pick, the Colts' selections in Round 2 and Round 4 along with a 2024 first-round pick and third-round pick, plus a 2025 second-round choice.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (March 8)
Pick: Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.
Comment: The Bears moved on from Robert Quinn before the trade deadline so they'll be in the market for an edge rusher this offseason, and Will Anderson is in the same pre-draft conversations as Chase Young and Nick Bosa when it comes to best non-QB players in a class.

Lance Zierlein, (March 7)
Pick: Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.
Comment: The quarterbacks put on a show at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, thus increasing the critical position's supply and inherently lowering the demand for the No. 1 pick. Add in the current uncertainty surrounding Jalen Carter, and Chicago ultimately stays put and grabs this draft's top edge rusher.