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What analysts think Bears will do with No. 9 pick


Several NFL analysts have updated their mock drafts since the start of the league year, reflecting the Bears' blockbuster trade in which they sent the No. 1 pick to the Panthers in exchange for receiver DJ Moorere and four draft choices. Here's what 14 analysts think the Bears will do with the No. 9 selection they obtained from Carolina:

Charlie Campbell, Walter Football (March 20)

Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: The Bears landed Justin Fields a No. 1 receiver in D.J. Moore via the trade down with Carolina. Down here at No. 9, Chicago can pick up a left tackle for Fields. The Bears might have a shot at Jalen Carter, but even if he doesn't slide to them, landing a left tackle to help protect Fields is a good value and upgrade. Skoronski impressed as Northwestern's replacement for Rashawn Slater. Skoronski was dominant in 2022, allowing one sack all season and very little pressure. He 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.

Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network (March 18)
Pick: Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness
Comment: There's a reason you see Lukas Van Ness projected in Round 1, even when his pass-rushing arsenal is relatively raw. At 6'5", 272 pounds, with 34" arms and sub-4.6 speed, his athletic profile doesn't come around often. He can generate dominating power off the edge, but he also has the leverage acquisition and hip flexibility to maximize his traits.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports (March 20)
Pick: Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter
Comment: There is a lot going on in Jalen Carter's world, so it is difficult to say where he is going to be picked. The talent suggests that he could be long gone by now. The Bears traded back and could still theoretically take the player they initially wanted at No. 1 overall.

Kevin Fishbain, The Athletic (March 21)
Pick: Bears trade down from 9 to 16 with Commanders and take Georgia tackle Broderick Jones
Comment: I'm mocking a scenario in which Jones is there at 16 and would be the first tackle taken by the Bears in Round 1 since Gabe Carimi in 2011. Poles and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy — who were among the Bears' contingent in Athens for Georgia's pro day last week — can decide who makes the switch to the right side of the line between Braxton Jones and Broderick Jones, but they'd be in potentially great shape with young, bookend tackles on rookie deals.

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 (March 21)
Pick: Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: While the Bears could be in play for a defensive lineman here -- particularly if Jalen Carter drops -- I see offensive tackle as their biggest hole after their moves in free agency. They could have their choice of the class' tackles here. Johnson played both tackle spots and right guard for the Buckeyes, and he already has blocked for quarterback Justin Fields. Chicago needs to keep supporting Fields and get him a stellar lineman with this pick, and it could still address the defense with its two second-round picks (Nos. 53 and 61) and early third-rounder (No. 64).

Todd McShay, ESPN (March 11)
Pick: Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski
Comment: This is the risk of trading all the way back to No. 9; three edge rushers are already off the board. So Chicago might pivot instead to the offensive line -- one of its other big needs -- as it goes all-in on Justin Fields.

Cam Mellor, Pro Football Network (March 21)
Pick: Bears trade up from 9 to 7 with Raiders and take Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: The Chicago Bears have enough draft capital to move around and secure their preferred players at big areas of need. They move up two spots here to grab the top tackle on the board, jumping the OT-needy Atlanta Falcons in the process. Paris Johnson Jr. played one year at left tackle in Columbus and looked every bit the part. Johnson is big and athletic, and at his best when on the move paving the way for skill players in space — something Justin Fields should quickly be able to take advantage of.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (March 22)
Pick: Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson
Comment: Their defensive line needs a lot of help heading into this draft. Tyree Wilson might end up being the best edge player in this class. He does have a foot injury that has limited his offseason work some.

Josh Schrock, NBC Sports Chicago (March 21)
Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: With Jalen Carter gone, Ryan Poles takes the best left tackle in the draft and moves Braxton Jones to the right side. Johnson is a 6-foot-6, 313-pound tackle with 36 1/8-inch arms. He has all the physical tools you want in a tackle and has the athleticism to get out wide in the Bears' zone-run scheme.

Kyle Stackpole, CBS Sports (March 20)
Pick: Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Comment: The Bears are making moves! First they trade the No. 1 overall pick to the Panthers for two firsts, two seconds and a proven wide receiver in DJ Moore. Then they go out on Day 1 of free agency and lock down two of the best available linebackers in T.J. Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds in addition to solid guard Nate Davis. They've already filled some holes, but there's more work to be done. And with their newly acquired No. 9 selection, the Bears give Justin Fields a familiar weapon in Jaxon Smith-Njigba, a route-running savant with elite agility skills.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (March 22)
Pick: Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness
Comment: Van Ness is a young, long and athletic outside pass rusher with plenty of size. Perfect addition to the Bears defense.

Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network (March 22)
Pick: Georgia tackle Broderick Jones
Comment: While many have Paris Johnson Jr. as OT1, I actually think Jones is the best prospect and has the most upside.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (March 20)
Pick: Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Comment: No team has been busier 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.