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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Alyssa Barbieri

Bears 2023 NFL draft primer: How to watch, mock drafts, picks and analysis

The 2023 NFL draft is here, and we’ll soon meet the new rookie class of Chicago Bears.

General manager Ryan Poles will get his second crack at building through the NFL draft, where he’s armed with 10 draft picks. That includes four inside the top 64, including the No. 9 pick. This will be the first time that Poles gets to make a first-round pick.

Ahead of the 2023 NFL draft, we’re bringing you our Bears Draft Primer, where we’ve collected all of our 2023 NFL draft coverage — from prospects for every round of the draft, team needs, our predictions for Chicago’s first pick and everything in between.

The Basics

Tom Pennington/Getty Images
  • What: 2023 NFL draft
  • Where: Kansas City, Mo.
  • When: 
    • Thursday, April 27, 7 p.m. CT: Round 1
    • Friday, April 28, 6 p.m. CT: Rounds 2-3
    • Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m. CT: Rounds 4-7
  • TV: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network
  • Stream: fuboTV (try it for free)

Bears' 2023 draft picks

Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images
Round 1 No. 9
Round 2 No. 53 (from BAL) No. 61 (from SF via CAR)
Round 3 No. 64
Round 4 No. 103 No. 133 (from PHI)
Round 5 No. 136 No. 148 (from NE via BAL)
Round 6
Round 7 No. 218 No. 258 (compensatory)


Bears' biggest positional needs

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Edge rusher: Chicago had the league’s worst pass rush in 2022, where they totaled just 20 sacks in 17 games. The fact that rookie safety Jaquan Brisker led the team in sacks (4) says everything you need to know about the lack of a pass rush up front.

Defensive tackle: The Bears had the worst defensive line in the NFL least season, and defensive tackle Justin Jones was probably the only player worth bringing back as a starter. Chicago signed Andrew Billings to a one-year deal in free agency, where he’ll serve as the 1-technique as part of the defensive line rotation.

Offensive tackle: Considering the offensive line’s struggles to keep Justin Fields upright last season, the Bears need to shore up the tackle position. Right now, Braxton Jones is penciled in at left tackle, and the belief is Chicago will address tackle with that No. 9 pick.

Cornerback: Cornerback is a premier position that Poles will look to upgrade. Jaylon Johnson is entering the final year of his rookie deal, where he appears poised for an extension. Kyler Gordon is coming off an up-and-down rookie year where he started putting it together in the final stretch. But outside of those guys, the Bears need a solid CB3 for this defense.

Bears Wire Staff predicts Chicago's first pick

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Final mock draft round-up

What the Bears should and shouldn't do in NFL draft

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


  • Trade back from No. 9, if possible
  • Take Jalen Carter at ninth overall, if available
  • Draft an offensive tackle first
  • Take your best player available at No. 9
  • Draft a cornerback
  • Add more weapons for Justin Fields


  • Trade up from No. 9
  • Wait to take an offensive tackle
  • Forget the need at cornerback
  • Ignore addressing depth at key positions

Takeaways from assistant GM Ian Cunningham's pre-draft presser

AP Photo
  1. Bears have 6 to 8 players at top of their draft board
  2. Bears taking best player available approach
  3. Trade back from No. 9 a “case by case” scenario
  4. Bears believe Jalen Carter fits H.I.T.S. principle
  5. What the Bears are looking for in an offensive tackle
  6. Don’t necessarily rule out Bijan Robinson

Read our detailed takeaways here

Projected starting offense

QB Justin Fields LT Braxton Jones
RB Khalil Herbert LG Teven Jenkins
WR DJ Moore C Cody Whitehair
WR Chase Claypool RG Nate Davis
WR Darnell Mooney RT Rookie
TE Cole Kmet


Projected starting defense

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
DE DeMarcus Walker DT Justin Jones
DT Andrew Billings DE Trevis Gipson/Rasheem Green/Rookie
WLB T.J. Edwards MLB Tremaine Edmunds
SLB Jack Sanborn CB Jaylon Johnson
CB Kyler Gordon CB Kindle Vildor/Rookie
FS Eddie Jackson SS Jaquan Brisker


Projected starting special teams

Michael Reaves/Getty Images
K Cairo Santos
P Trenton Gill
LS Patrick Scales


We preview the draft on our Bears Wire Podcast

Follow The Bears Wire Podcast:
Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

And our Bears Bingo Card for the NFL draft to follow along:

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