Another NFL Mock Draft 2023 has Bears picking Georgia's Jalen Carter

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Another Mock Draft has Bears picking UGA's Jalen Carter originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Another day, another 2023 NFL Mock Draft. But one thing seems to be constant, pundits have the Chicago Bears prioritizing defense.

This time it's Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer released his and has the Bears selecting Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter with the first overall pick.

"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," Breer wrote.

"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."

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah also had the Bears selecting Carter in his first mock draft with the same pick. His colleague Bucky Brooks had the Bears still focused on defense, but picking Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson with the top pick.

With the departure of defensive lineman Akiem Hicks and pass rushers Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, there are needs all over the defensive line.

Bears fans would likely be content if the draft came and went with Poles selecting a defensive stud with the No. 1 overall pick, but are holding out hope that first-overall pick can be flippsed into more assets to help build around quarterback Justin Fields.

Namely, protection along the offensive line and adding some weapons in the receiving game.

"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," Jeremiah wrote.

There is a possibility the Bears could have their cake and eat it too.

Hypothetically speaking, if the Bears were to trade that No. 1 pick to the Colts, who used it on either Bryce Young or CJ Stroud, they could still land Anderson or Carter. If the Texans draft whichever quarterback the Colts passed on at No. 2, assuming they still select a quarterback. That leaves Anderson and Carter both on the board still with the Bears owning the fourth overall pick.

Brooks has the Cardinals selecting Carter at No. 3, but of course Anderson is off the board in his mark. Jeremiah has the inverse, the Cardinals selecting Anderson because he has the Bears picking Carter. If the Cardinals selected Anderson or Carter, the Bears would have whichever one remains at No. 4.

Perhaps the more ideal situation would be the Texans trading up from No. 2 to secure the QB they want, and then the Bears could select the defensive player they want.

The Bears still have free agency between now and the NFL Draft, and that could drastically change the Bears' needs in the draft.

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