Mel Kiper says Bears shouldn't trade past the 5th pick


As the NFL draft inches closer, many have speculated on how the Bears should attack the draft.

Do they keep the pick? Do they trade down? If so, how far?

Can you just trade down to the second pick with the Texans? How about four with the Colts?

The ideal scenario for plenty of outsiders and Bears fans is trading down but maintaining enough range to capture a potential gem from the draft. That way, the Bears get the best of both worlds. They acquire draft capital and future assets while rostering a potential star. 

So, where in the first round do the Bears' chances of drafting a star start to slip?

"I'd say you don't want to get past five," Kiper said on ESPN 1000 with Waddle & Silvy. "You're losing a defensive player that you really need upfront. And that's where I say if you get the four (pick), then you're guaranteed it. If you get the five, you probably just three quarterbacks go. You're still probably okay. But you got to be really careful."

Depending on how the draft unfolds, the quarterbacks will likely be more coveted than the top defensive prospects. Compared to recent drafts, the 2023 draft doesn't withhold the supply of potential top-tier quarterbacks, as the 2021 draft did. 

Therefore, the Bears should have the luxury of trading down in the draft while acquiring a top player they value to help their defensive front. 


Reminder – the Bears owned arguably the worst defensive front in the league last year. They recorded the fewest quarterback sacks on the season (21) and they allowed the second most rushing yards per contest. 

Finding a pass rusher or "three-technique" player to engine the Bears' defense is crucial. And the Bears have an opportunity to squash that need in the draft by way of Will Anderson, Jalen Carter (barring any tanks in his draft stock), Tyree Wilson, Will McDonald IV, etc. 

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To Kiper, however, he would take the cautionary route because he's not yet sold on the top prospects' chances of becoming stars in the NFL. 

"I don't think Will Anderson guys is the next Myles Garrett or Von Miller," Kiper said. "I've said that over and over again. I don't see the bend. I don't see the explosive first step. To me, Will Anderson's maybe a ten-sack-a-year guy, which is fine. I don't think he's 18 to 20."

Hence, the Bears' draft strategy holds important weight on the future of their franchise. 

How will they attack the draft with the golden ticket in hand? 

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