NFL Mock Draft 2023: Bears pick Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson
Bears pick Anderson in NFL.com Mock Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
As NFL Mock Drafts are released, there seems to be a trend that the Chicago Bears will lean toward defense with that No. 1 overall pick.
NFL.com's Bucky Brooks released his first mock draft after the NFL Playoffs Divisional Round and he has the Bears picking Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson with the top pick.
"Head coach Matt Eberflus needs a disruptive edge rusher to make his version of the Tampa 2 defense work," Brooks wrote.
While Bears fans seem to be squarely focused on building the offense around Justin Fields, adding protection and weapons, the Bears have needs everywhere including defense.
Pass rush is chief among them after the Bears traded away Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, after breaking the team's single-season sack record.
So pass rush is a hole to fill.
Brooks' colleague Daniel Jeremiah had the Bears selecting Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter in his first mock draft with the same pick.
"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.
He's not wrong. Bears fans are dreaming of a bidding war between quarterback-needy teams, trading down and to get more picks and still potentially landing a player like Anderson or Carter.
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.
Brooks has the Cardinals selecting Carter at No. 3, but of course Anderson is off the board in his mark. If the Cardinals selected Anderson or Carter, the Bears would have whichever one remains at No. 4.
That might be the best case scenario for the Bears, second to the Texans trading the Bears and Chicago just dropping back to have their pick between the defensive stars.
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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