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Chicago Bears fans suffered through a tough 2022 season, but now comes the reward: The top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. There are several ways for the team to go with the Bears’ No. 1 pick. That includes trades, drafting defensive help, or even taking a quarterback. Here we’ll look at the franchise’s options for that top pick and do a Bears mock draft for 2023 for the first three rounds.

Bears No. 1 pick: The options

When the Houston Texans stunned the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18, the No. 1 pick conveyed to the Chicago Bears. After not having a first-rounder last season (thanks to the trade-up for Justin Fields the year prior), the Bears are now in the driver’s seat of the 2023 NFL Draft.

This year, there are three quarterbacks that teams could consider with a top-five pick. Bryce Stroud of Alabama, Will Levis of Kentucky, and C.J. Stroud of Ohio State are all viable prospects at the top of the draft.

If the Bears aren’t sold on Justin Fields, they could take their pick of those three signal-callers. However, the team has used two top-11 selections on QBs (and traded up for both) in the last six years. They need to give Fields a chance, especially after his (relatively brief) flashes of brilliance in 2022.

That means picking the best non-QB available with the Bears’ No. 1 pick is the next option. Alabama edge-rusher Will Anderson Jr. and Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter are those players.

Bears general manager could take his favorite of those two first, or he could trade back (maybe even twice) to No. 4 and still get one of those players. Trading back to the Colts’ spot would mean the Colts and Texans both take QBs, the Arizona Cardinals take Anderson or Carter at No. 3, and the Bears get the other at No. 4.

Bears mock draft 2023: Three-round mock

Bears mock draft 2023, Bears No. 1 pick, Chicago Bears, 2023 NFL Draft
(L-R) Andre Carter II, Chicago Bears logo, Jalen Carter | Dustin Satloff/Getty Images; Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images; Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Now that we know Chicago’s options at No. 1, let’s look at the best plan of attack in this three-round Bears mock draft for 2023. In this mock, we’ll assume the Bears stay at the top of the 2023 NFL Draft, even though trading back to Nos. 2 or No. 4 is ideal for Bears general manager Ryan Poles.

Round 1, Pick 1: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

With the Bears’ No. 1 pick, they can’t go wrong with Jalen Carter or Will Anderson Jr. Both are potential difference-makers on defense, but Carter is a unique talent in the middle. The Georgia Bulldogs big man is 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, and is the best interior defensive line prospect since Aaron Donald.

In 2014, NFL teams let Donald slip to No. 13. In 2022, the Bears won’t let Carter get to No. 2, and they’ll build another dominant Chicago D around him.

Round 2, Pick 53: Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army

Army EDGE Ander Carter II is a fascinating player for several reasons. On the field, he has 15.5 sacks in his junior season but just 0.5 in his (injury-plagued) senior year. However, the 6-foot-7, 260-pound pass-rusher projects well to the next level.

Off the field, he got grandfathered into going to the NFL thanks to President Biden’s 2023 omnibus appropriations bill, instead of having to serve his two-year military commitment right away, per

For Chicago’s purposes in this Bears mock draft for 2023, Andre will be a great fit next to Jalen (nor relation) on the D-line.

Round 3, Pick 64: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse

The Bears allowed 58 sacks in 2022, the fourth-most in the league. The offensive line actually played better than expected this season, but Ryan Pole needs to keep building it with young talent in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Matthew Bergeron is 6-foot-5, 322 pounds, and turned heads at the Senior Bowl. He can play left or right tackle and maybe even guard in the pros. That size, talent, and versatility is a perfect fit for the Bears to plug in somewhere on the line (ideally replacing Riley Reiff at right tackle).


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