Chicago Bears 2023 NFL Draft: Bears address the trenches and trade down in full mock

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Bears, Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu
Chicago Bears, Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears Draft Pick No. 188: Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, OT

The next five on the board:
Eric Gray RB
McClendon Curtis G
Ja'Von Hicks S
Bryon Young DL
Mekhi Blackmon CB

You have yet to hear of Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, have you? Don't worry; we hadn't heard much about Braxton Jones or Ja'Tyre Carter either last draft season. Aumavae-Laulu is a bit of a reach here, and I could see drafting my next prospect ahead of him, but it's round six. So I took a big swing at a big man. I wouldn't have had Aumavae-Laulu on my radar, but when the Chicago Bears brought in Dwand Jones, Darnell Wright, and Wayna Morris, I realized they were looking at traditional right tackle-styled players as well.

Morris would have been a great find, but he drafted before I could get to him much earlier than I wanted. Aumavae-Laulu is slower than Morris and Wright but faster and smoother in space than Jones. Aumavae-Laulu is 6'5 1/2" and 317 pounds with just under 35" arms. He can anchor like Wright, and if he trimmed some fat off could move better, if not the same. Aumavae-Laulu was the number one JUCO transfer. He stayed an extra year to work on his craft, so he is a bit raw.

Much like Braxton Jones, Aumavae-Laulu could become a top rookie offensive lineman at the NFL level with proper coaching. More would want a plug-and-play tackle, but you can only get some of what you want in one draft. The Chicago Bears would have two first-round picks next season. There will always be the next best draft prospect. Good teams find talent all over the draft. Suppose the Bears can hit on Skoronski as they should and develop Aumavae-Laulu into a stud. They would be set on the offensive line.