All eyes were on Chicago in the months leading up to the NFL Draft. Well, until the Bears traded the first overall pick to Carolina, that is.
The Bears ultimately traded down to the 10th pick to select offensive tackle Darnell Wright with the Eagles moving up to draft defensive tackle Jalen Carter.
Chicago passing on Carter was questioned by some due to its need for talent on the defensive side of the ball. However, the Bears helped fill those gaps on the second day of the draft.
670 The Score’s Danny Parkins of the Audacy Original Podcast “1st & Pod” explained why the Bears ended up with a need-based draft in 2023.
“Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens … those were like the definition of drafting-for-need picks, and I can’t hate on it,” Parkins said (23:15 in player above). “I don’t think it can be overstated how little talent there is on the Bears' defensive line. So I am always a ‘best player available at a position of need’ and when you have a defensive head coach and you pass on Jalen Carter, you need to give him some young bodies with some upside for the defensive line.”
Chicago selected Dexter out of Florida with the 53rd overall pick then drafted Pickens out of South Carolina 11 picks later. The Bears are hoping they can beef up the defensive line.
They then picked up the other Texas Longhorns running back, Roschon Johnson, in the fourth round along with wide receiver Tyler Scott out of Cincinnati to help give their young quarterback some weapons.
“I actually thought that as the draft went on it got more and more sensible,” Parkins concluded. “But it was strictly a need-based draft for the Bears.”
Parkins was among those who didn’t love trading down with Carter on the board at the time. However, Wright should be able to help protect Fields for years to come and the Bears picked up those two young bodies for the defensive line that Parkins talked about.