Marcus Spears says Bears helped themselves the most in NFL draft

ESPN analyst says Bears helped themselves the most in NFL draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Hardly anyone interested or analytical of the Chicago Bears was critical of their 2023 NFL draft performance.

The Bears made big improvements in the trenches, as expected, highlighted by Darnell Wright, Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens. They also looked to the outside, upgrading at wide receiver and cornerback.

Marcus Spears, an ESPN analyst, joined in the majority of complimenting Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears on the job they did at this year's draft.

"As I dove through the picks, I really really liked what they did, especially at the line of scrimmage with their first pick in Darnell Wright, an offensive tackle out of Tennessee. A big, physical, grinder," Spears said on ESPN. "Kinda the same mindset as Matt Eberflus, the head coach for the Chicago Bears, likes to play with."

The Bears showed their appreciation for players' character in this draft, as Spears alluded to.

They went after players who bring a certain tenacity, grit and nastiness to their game. Wright is the biggest culprit of these traits. He's a mean, nasty, tone-setting offensive tackle, with a knack for anchoring and lower-body stability.

Poles found a couple of mean defensive tackles in Dexter and Pickens. The Bears were pleasantly surprised both SEC tackles fell to them where they did in the draft. (Dexter in the second round; Pickens in the third round.)

From a logistical standpoint, the front office crossed off most of their needs for the roster, too.

"Obviously, getting some help for Justin Fields in protection and also a run game I'm sure they want to continue to establish," Spears said. "On the defensive side, not only some big fellas who can push the pocket but can defend the run in a division where you're gonna have to do both."

Poles and Eberflus stuck to the script on draft night. They didn't take any chances, including that of selecting Jalen Carter, the defensive tackle from Georgia.

Most speculated the Bears were open to taking him. But, they traded down from the No. 9 pick to the No. 10 pick to allow the Philadelphia Eagles the chance at taking Carter.

In turn, the Bears stuck to high-character players with exceptional athleticism and unique skill sets. This draft class looks promising from the beginning. The Bears even had the most prospects on The Athletic's Dane Brugler's "beast" list.

"I like what Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears did," Spears said. "Kinda taking it back to old-school football at the line of scrimmage. But also with some super athletic big men up front that can play multiple positions."

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