Bears land top defensive prospect in Daniel Jeremiah’s first 2023 mock draft

The Chicago Bears are sitting pretty with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, which gives general manager Ryan Poles plenty of leverage. Whether that entails trading back (perhaps multiple times) or staying put remains to be seen.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah shared his first 2023 mock draft, where he has the Bears selecting Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter with the first pick. But Jeremiah notes that move is assuming Chicago doesn’t trade out of No. 1, which seems unlikely, if possible.

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.

The Bears have a number of holes after Poles overhauled the roster, and that includes the defensive line, which was arguably the biggest weakness. While Justin Jones was the best defensive lineman this season, Chicago could look to add someone with star potential, like Carter.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus has stressed the important of the three-technique as “the engine that makes everything go” for his defense, and Carter would certainly fit the bill.

Carter and Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. have been popular names mentioned in conjunction with the Bears, which makes sense given the struggles off the edge and in the trenches. And if they do remain in the top five — be it because they stay at No. 1 or trade back — Carter or Anderson appear to be the pick.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire