Remember all those mock drafts we wrote from January through March? Forget ‘em all. Throw ‘em away. Ryan Poles drastically changed the NFL draft landscape when he traded the Bears’ No. 1 overall pick to the Panthers in exchange for the No. 9 pick and No. 61 pick in this year’s draft, plus a 2024 first-round, a 2025 second-rounder and D.J. Moore. And so we go back to the drawing board to make new mocks with the Bears’ updated draft capital.
As always, these mock drafts aren’t an attempt to accurately predict what will happen when the picks start coming in for real on Apr. 27. That’s impossible. These mock drafts are meant to be a fun way to introduce fans to a wide variety of NFL prospects. So please, enjoy.
NO. 9 - PARIS JOHNSON JR. - LEFT TACKLE - OHIO STATE
Peter Skoronski was still on the board at nine, but Poles goes with the Buckeye instead of the Wildcat, because Johnson Jr. has something Skoronski never will: really, really long arms. Johnson Jr. measured 36 ⅛ inches at the Combine, which was second longest among all offensive linemen. Beyond the measurables, he’s an incredibly reliable player. According to PFF, Johnson Jr. only surrendered two sacks and 12 hurries last season. In 2021 when he played guard, he gave up no sacks, one hit and 13 hurries.
NO. 54 - ADETOMIWA ADEBAWORE - DEFENSIVE LINEMAN - NORTHWESTERN
After addressing the offensive line in the first round, Poles turns to the D-line in the second. Adebawore is an interesting prospect who can play inside or outside, which will allow Matt Eberflus and Alan Williams to use him in different places in a variety of packages. Adebawore has also shown the ability to beat offensive linemen with a variety of techniques like bull rushes, swim moves or pure speed coming off the edge. He’s not a flash in the pan player, either. Adebawore has produced consistently over his Northwestern career with six sacks, 31 pressures and nine TFLS in 2022; five sacks, 30 pressures and 8.5 TFLs in 2021; and two sacks, 17 pressures and six TFLs in the shortened 2020 season.
NO. 61 - LUKE WYPLER - CENTER - OHIO STATE
With their second pick in the second round the Bears go back for another Buckeyes offensive lineman. The Bears like Wypler because he’s got the athleticism required to succeed in their running scheme. The Buckeyes often deployed the same outside zone rushing attack that the Bears use, and Wypler showed great agility to get out in space and seal gaps for his running backs. Some experts say Wypler will need to beef up a little bit to pass protect reliably at the NFL level, but he never let his smaller frame hurt him too much at OSU. According to PFF, Wypler only gave up one sack, one hit and 14 pressures over his two seasons as a starter.
NO. 64 - ZACH CHARBONNET - RUNNING BACK - UCLA
This pick assumes the Bears decide not to re-sign David Montgomery, or sign another running back in free agency. There are several talented running backs in this year’s draft who could be a good fit for the Bears, but Poles decides to snag Charbonnet because Charbonnet reminds him of Montgomery. The two backs are nearly the same size (Charbonnet: 6’0”, 214 lbs; Montgomery: 5’11”, 224 lbs) and play a similar game. Like Montgomery, Charbonnet relies on his strength, contact balance and elusiveness to rack up yards, not breakaway speed. He’s an effective pass catcher out of the backfield, and is dependable in pass protection. Charbonnet’s style complements Khalil Herbert well and ensures the Bears have a well-rounded running back room.