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Bears trade back with Texans, land defensive stud in PFF's new mock draft

By Alyssa Barbieri,


The Bears are sitting atop the 2023 NFL draft with the first overall pick, which they’re expected to trade and accumulate additional draft capital.

There are a number of teams that appear to be suitors for Chicago, but the Colts have been the popular team in mock drafts everywhere.

Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema shared his latest mock draft projections for the first round, where he had the Bears trading back from No. 1 — only with the Texans, not their divisional rival.

In this scenario, Chicago acquires additional draft compensation while also landing a dominant three-tech in Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter at second overall to make Matt Eberflus’ defense go.

When Bears general manager Ryan Poles addressed his team’s draft approach in his post-season press conference, he emphasized three areas: pass rusher, offense and cornerback — “premium positions.” Pass rusher doesn’t just mean edge rusher, either, and a three-technique defensive tackle is paramount to Matt Eberflus’ defensive scheme. In a trade-down, the Bears can recoup the early second-rounder they lost in the Chase Claypool trade while still having their choice of any non-quarterback.

Following some hints and connecting a few dots leads me to believe the Bears will have Georgia’s Jalen Carter, who earned pass-rushing grades of 88.9 and 90.0 the past two seasons, at the top of their board.

If the Bears can find a way to trade back and still land a generational talent on defense, like Carter, it’s a win.

But when looking at the compensation — a 2023 first (No. 2), 2023 second (No. 34), 2024 fourth — it’s hard not to wonder if this is the best option for Chicago. The Colts, for example, would have to shell out a lot more to move up three spots. In that position, the Bears could still land Carter or Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.

Although, if this is the only offer Chicago is handed — which seems unlikely — it’s still a deal you’d expect Poles to take.

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