Bears draft grade: Noah Sewell, fifth-round pick

Grading Bears fifth-round pick: Noah Sewell originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears invested heavily in their linebacker corps in free agency, and continued to add to the position on day three of the 2023 NFL Draft. With the No. 148 overall pick in the draft the Bears added Noah Sewell from Oregon.

Sewell continues the trend of players with impressive traits coming to Chicago. He’s got 4.64 speed and hits with authority. Sewell’s best season was 2021 when he led the Ducks with 114 tackles and added 8.5 TFL. His production took a step back last year however, and he finished the year with just 56 tackles and 5.5 TFL.

One could say Sewell’s best trait is his ability to affect the QB in the pass rush. His highlight tapes are filled with effective blitzes, and he finished his college career with 7.5 sacks in 33 games. Using linebacker blitzes was a big part of Alan Williams’ game plan when Roquan Smith was in the fold, but when the Bears traded Smith to the Ravens, they were left without an impactful blitzer at the position.

Sewell also comes from a football family and two of his older brothers play in the NFL. Penei was a top-10 pick in 2021 and plays tackle for the Lions. Nephi was an undrafted free agent last year, but he saw the field in four games as a linebacker for the Saints. Sewell has another brother, Gabriel, who plays linebacker in the USFL for the Philadelphia Stars.

The knock on Sewell from scouts is that he can be a little shaky in pass coverage. Considering the Bears signed Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards to free agent deals this year, Sewell projects to be a backup as a rookie, but he could compete with Jack Sanborn for snaps at the strongside position. The only other knock on the pick right here is that the Bears’ linebacker unit is already pretty solid, while other positions like defensive end could use some extra help.

Grade: B-

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