The Chicago Bears really don’t have a lot of options when the NFL Draft opens later this month.
The team entered the offseason with as many asset-acquiring resources as any team we’ve ever seen. They filled some holes, but still are among the worst teams in the entire league when it comes to the offensive and defensive lines. Specifically, their offensive line, which features a gaping hole at offensive tackle and several question marks.
With that, I used the Pro Football Focus Mock Draft Simulator to help get a somewhat unpredictable look at the draft and I used five of the first six picks on linemen.
11. Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
The Bears have put themselves in a position where they basically have to take an offensive tackle with their first pick. They can’t rely on getting a starter in the second round and going into the season with Larry Borom competing with Alex Leatherwood would be nothing short of malpractice. The good news is I was able to move back a couple of spots, exchanging the ninth, 64th and 103rd picks for the 11th, 41st and 72nd. All three of the consensus top offensive tackles were still available at 11 and I went with Jones because I like his fit with the Bears better.
41. Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Northwestern
This pick will not be possible if the Bears aren’t able to get another pick inside the top 50 and, to be honest, even then it might not work out. Adebawore blew up the Combine, but it was really the Senior Bowl that put him on everybody’s radar. While Northwestern played him at end, he’ll fit better as a three-technique defensive tackle in the NFL. The league has never seen a 280-pounder who runs a 4.49 rushing from the inside.
53. Joe Tippmann, C, Wisconsin
Widely considered among the best centers in the draft, Tippmann would have the ability to compete for a starting job immediately with the Bears. Six-foot-six centers are pretty rare, but Tippmann’s ability to get to the second level makes him a good fit for the Bears.
61. Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
Here is where the draft got a little wonky.
Ideally, the Bears would spend their first four picks on linemen, but Brents could round out the team’s secondary perfectly. While six-foot-three corners are often stiff, Brents showed the ability to bend with a 6.63 three-cone drill time at the Combine. That went with a 41.5-inch vertical jump and 11-foot-six broad jump. His 40 time of 4.53 wasn’t ideal, but he also had 34-inch arms and the explosive attributes should be good enough for him to succeed in the NFL. He showed ball skills with four interceptions last year. He’d be a steal here.
72. Isaiah McGuire, Edge, Missouri
Out of the edge players available, McGuire met all the criteria we’ve seen previous Matt Eberflus teams target as he checks in at six-foot-four, 268 pounds, with 33 7/8-inch arms and a vertical jump of 36.5. He had 8.5 sacks and 14 TFLs at Missouri last year.
133. YaYa Diaby, Edge, Louisville
Like McGuire, Diaby fits the physical requirements at six-foot-three, 263 pounds, 33 7/8-inch arms and a vertical jump of 37 inches. He also put up a 4.51-second 40-yard dash time at the combine. He is raw but put up nine sacks and 14 TFLs last year.
136. Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion
This is a fun prospect who measured six-foot-seven at the combine with 34-inch arms, but still showed agility with a 6.87 three-cone time. He put up a 4.55-second 40-yard dash and a 40-inch vertical jump at 255 pounds.
That said, he’ll need a lot of work. He’s athletic, but that doesn’t always translate to the field and needs to fill out to be able to block at the next level. He’ll likely red shirt as a rookie, but this pick is all about the future.
148. Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton
The Bears always seem to end up with Ivy League players and could use more competition at wide receiver. Like Kuntz, this is probably going to be a red shirt year for Iosivas, but at six-three, 205 pounds with a 4.43-40-yard dash, he’s worth a long look.
The Bears will probably need a new WR3 in 2024 since both Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool are in contract years.
218. Cameron Young, DL, Mississippi State
Young is big (313 pounds) and athletic (5.1-second 40-yard dash). The Bears need more depth on the defensive line, so he is worth the pick here.
258. Evan Hull, RB, Northwestern
The Bears have two backs who have shown they can carry the rock, but Hull brings a pass-catching option to the team. He caught 55 passes for the Wildcats last year and has shown enough as a runner to take a chance on here.