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What analysts predict Bears will do with No. 1 pick

Chicago Bears
27 Jan 2023, 00:37 GMT+10

Larry Mayer

The NFL Draft is still three months away, but it's never too early to peruse mock drafts. Here's what 10 analysts are predicting the Bears will do with the No. 1 overall pick:

Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated (Jan. 23)

Pick: Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter

Comment: Bears GM Ryan Poles helped build a defense in Kansas City whose best player was a disruptive, interior war daddy. Bears coach Matt Eberflus was in Indianapolis when the Colts traded for that kind of guy, DeForest Buckner, and built his final defense as coordinator there around his talents. Carter, to be sure, is that kind of guy. I've heard him compared to Fletcher Cox. I've heard him compared to Ndamukong Suh. He has that kind of potential, and in this case would give Chicago's GM and coach a familiar baseline to build off on defense.

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Bucky Brooks, (Jan. 23)

Pick: Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson

Comment: Head coach Matt Eberflus needs a disruptive edge rusher to make his version of the Tampa 2 defense work.

Luke Easterling, Draft Wire (Jan. 19)

Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and take Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter

Comment: What a win for the Bears, who move down three spots, load up on additional picks (at least this year's second-rounder and next year's first-rounder, likely more), and still land one of this year's top overall prospects at a huge position of need. Carter is a disruptive force at the point of attack and would give the Bears an immediate cornerstone around whom they can rebuild their once proud defense.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports (Jan. 19)

Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and take Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter

Comment: [The Bears] would probably love the chance to take Will Anderson Jr. but the opportunity to trade back, pick up additional draft capital and still land one of the elite defensive talents is an ideal situation.

Vinny Iyer, Sporting News (Jan. 25)

Pick: Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson

Comment: The Bears, picking first overall for the first time since 1947, shouldn't need to consider QB with the passing and running ceiling of big-armed Justin Fields. The ideal scenario is trading down for extra first-down selection power with a team looking to jump the Texans for a particular franchise QB. If the Bears stay, they should look to get familiar defensive pop. Getting this cornerstone pass rusher and active all-around playmaker is great call. Anderson would give them a new Khalil Mack after also saying goodbye to Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith on the second level.

Daniel Jeremiah, (Jan. 20)

Pick: Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter

Comment: I'm sure the Bears would love to trade out of this pick. If that option isn't available - or the offers fail to meet their asking price - Carter would be an immediate difference-maker on all three downs.

Mel Kiper, ESPN (Jan. 25)

Pick: Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter

Comment: I thought long and hard about a trade here, with the Colts, Raiders and Panthers as the top candidates to move up for a quarterback. And if I'm Chicago general manager Ryan Poles and I can move down a few spots, add premium picks and still get my choice of the best defensive prospects, I'd make a deal. It takes two teams to make a trade, however, and that's never a guarantee. For now, let's stick with the Bears keeping this pick.

Carter, an explosive interior pass-rusher and run-stuffer, gets the nod over Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. on my Big Board. He's the best player in this draft, a Day 1 starter in the middle of this defense.

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus (Jan. 9)

Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 4 with Colts and take Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter

Comment: This has turned into an absolute dream scenario for the Bears. Head coach Matt Eberflus gets the best defensive tackle prospect of the PFF college era (since 2015 draft). Carter is the three-technique they've been looking for, one who earned a 91.0 run-defense grade and a 90.0 pass-rushing grade in 2022.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (Jan. 25)

Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 7 with Raiders and take Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson

Comment: Simpson can become the quarterback of the Bears defense. He has that type of high-end athletic skill set. In the trade back, the Bears get this pick from the Raiders along with their 2023 picks in Round 2, Round 3 and Round 5, a 2024 first and third, plus a 2025 first and fourth.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (Jan. 23)

Pick: Bears trade down from 1 to 2 with Texans and take Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson

Comment: The Bears moved on from Robert Quinn before the trade deadline so they'll be in the market for an edge rusher this offseason, and Will Anderson is in the same pre-draft conversations as Chase Young and Nick Bosa when it comes to best non-QB players in a class.

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