Bears mock draft roundup 2.0: draft picks, prospects, analysis


On Sunday, the Bears were officially eliminated from playoff contention after they lost at home, 28-19, to the Green Bay Packers. 

With that, the focus of the season quickly shifted to the Bears' offseason, where they look to have a promising and advantageous draft position. 

RELATED: NFL mock draft roundup: Bears draft picks, prospects, analysis

As of this writing, they have the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL draft. However, with four games remaining for the Bears, there's the possibility they won't land the second position. 

There are a plethora of ways the draft order could go. If they lose out, the worst pick they could receive is the No. 3 overall selection. If they win one, the worst they can do is the seventh pick. 

MORE: Chicago Bears projected 2023 draft selection, scenarios

It's early to conjure up draft possibilities, but let's take a look at who national pundits have the Bears drafting with the second pick this week. I think you'll find there's a common theme to their findings. 

The Athletic
Bears select: Will Anderson Jr. (Edge, Alabama)

"Although quarterback Justin Fields is steadily progressing, the Bears are trending toward a top-three pick, which would be a positive in the long run. Will Anderson has the talent and intangibles to be a cornerstone player and defensive game-wrecker, both as a shutdown run defender and disruptive pass rusher off the edge."

Sporting News
Bears select: Will Anderson Jr. (Edge, Alabama)

"Should the Bears pick second like they are set to do now, they won't need to consider QB at all with the passing and running ceiling of big-armed Justin Fields. But they do need to get familiar pop in the defense and getting this cornerstone pass rusher in give them a new Khalil Mack is a no-brainer, after also saying goodbye to Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith on the second level in the middle of the season."

Pro Football Network
Bears select: Will Anderson Jr. (Edge, Alabama)

"Enter Will Anderson Jr., an Alabama pass rusher who will finish his career as one of the most successful edge rushers in college football history. Anderson lives in the backfield, and Bears fans will see a player they haven’t seen since Richard Dent on the 80s squad."

* * *

At this point in the season, taking Will Anderson Jr. out of Alabama is a no-brainer for Poles & Co. 

While I agree with this consensus, it's difficult to forget maybe the more likely outcome (hypothesizing at this point the Bears have the second overall pick) and the more desirable one, is the Bears trading down. 

Certainly, this draft has talent at the quarterback position. But, it's top-heavy. Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud are likely top-five picks. After that, most prognosticate Will Levis will be taken outside the top 10. 

There are plenty of quarterback-hungry teams in the first round of the draft. The Seahawks, Lions, Panthers, Colts and Falcons can all rationalize taking a signal caller in the first round. 

That's great news for the Bears.

As of the present day, they already have theirs in the form of Justin Fields. The second-year quarterback has put on a spectacle amid a losing season. He's proven his big, accurate arm and is on pace to break Lamar Jackson's single-season quarterback rushing record.

Hence, the Bears need not draft a quarterback in the first round, or in the draft. Therefore, throwing the bait of a No. 2 overall pick into the shark-infested waters poses a lucrative opportunity for the front office. 

Let's not forget, trading down is a promising market. 

Back during the 2021 NFL draft, the 49ers gave up three first-rounders and a future third-round pick to move up to the No. 3 pick to take Trey Lance. The Bears did the same for Justin Fields. The Dolphins did the same for Jaylen Waddle. 

RELATED: Schrock: Winning more important than draft slot for Fields, Bears

Anderson Jr. would be a steal for the Bears and a much-needed piece to one of the weakest pass-rushing groups in the business. 

But, the Bears could load up on ammo for the rest of their roster, if they concede a high enough draft pick. 

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