NFL draft: Our questionable picks from the Bears’ 2023 rookie class
The Chicago Bears welcomed 10 new rookies to the roster during the 2023 NFL draft, which included top selection, offensive tackle Darnell Wright.
General manager Ryan Poles focused primarily on defense, which makes sense given the number of holes. In all, Chicago added three defensive tackles, two cornerbacks, one offensive tackle, one running back, one wide receiver, one linebacker and one safety.
Poles has garnered praise for a solid draft. While his draft class didn’t feature any sexy picks, it addressed the team’s biggest needs and got great value on the third day of the draft.
Over the next few days, our Bears Wire staff will be sharing their thoughts about the 2023 rookie class. Next up: We share our questionable picks by Poles.
Alyssa Barbieri: LB Noah Sewell
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I actually think the Bears got great value with Sewell in the fifth round, especially considering many had him pegged as a first-round talent after the 2021 season. But if we’re talking about picks that surprised us, this was the one. After everything Chicago did to overhaul the linebacker position this offseason, this felt like a selection that could’ve been used to add some depth at other positions. But I’m nitpicking because I have to choose a questionable selection, and I’d love nothing more than for Sewell — who’s an impactful run stuffer — to develop into an impact player down the line.
Brendan Sugrue: CB Terell Smith
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There’s an argument to be made about why the Bears chose another cornerback after Tyrique Stevenson. It’s a premium position and it makes sense to go after the best player available. But one could argue the Bears unlocked a few decent undrafted players last year like Jaylon Jones and Josh Blackwell. Will Smith be an upgrade over them? He also doesn’t fit the type of player profile they have been targeting in the draft. He was benched, missed time due to injury, and had an up-and-down career at Minnesota. At that stage in the draft, it’s tough to nitpick certain selections but an argument can be made that the Bears should have looked elsewhere.
Ryan Fedrau: RB Roschon Johnson
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I’ll be the one to say it, Roschon Johnson is a questionable pick to me. It’s not a bad pick, but Johnson was a back-up to Bijan Robinson in college. If he was drafted to replace David Montgomery, my concern is, can he come in and carry the load of a starter after being a back-up for the last 4 seasons? He carried the ball 392 times in 4 seasons. He doesn’t even average 100 carries per season. Montgomery was carrying the ball over 200 times in each of his 4 years with the team, similar to his college numbers.
Nate Atkins: LB Noah Sewell
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Sewell would be a first-round pick 20 years ago. He’s a big-bodied run-stopper who can rush the passer. But today linebackers must cover tight ends and receivers – Sewell can’t. I’m curious to see the Bears plan for him.
Jarrett Bailey: WR Tyler Scott
USA Today Sports
I addressed this in my grade of the pick, but there were just better receivers available. Parker Washington would have been a better fit.
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