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

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Chicago Bears, JL Skinner
Chicago Bears, JL Skinner / Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears Draft Pick No. 103: JL Skinner, S

The next five on the board:
Henry To'oTo'o
Nick Herbig
Tyjae Spears
Israel Abanikanda
Owen Pappoe

The Colts, under Matt Eberflus, loved drafting safeties. They went from Clayton Gathers and Malik Willis to drafting Khari Willis and Julian Blackmon. Skinner would keep the trend alive. Eddie Jackson is great, but all great things come to an end. Eberflus wants his defensive players to be as versatile as humanly possible. Skinner is different enough from Jaquan Brisker to make a case to be drafted by the Bears. We know Brisker as the hard-hitting box safety, but he is a hybrid. JL Skinner would fit the box mold better than Brisker.

Skinner is 6'4" and 209 pounds. He doesn't possess that deep long speed but can accelerate very quickly. Skinner is a read-and-react safety that thrives in zone-based schemes. Remember the Brisker sideline interception? Skinner can do that while packing a punch when playing downhill. Having two universal safeties that can play in space in this scheme is exactly what Matt Eberflus wants. Skinner can also line up in the slot and rotate to his zone while reading the quarterback's eyes.

The Chicago Bears would have two universal safeties that could play deep in the box and the slot. The defensive back depth chart would look like this next season:

LCB: Jaylon Johnson, Kindle Vildor
RCB: DJ Turner, Jaylon Jones
SCB: Kyler Gordon, Josh Blackwell
Saf: Eddie Jackson, Elijah Hicks
Saf: Jaquan Brisker, JL SKinner

That is a much improved Chicago Bears defensive back core. Replacements are only being tossed to the fire if they earn the job. The Bears' depth is much better for injuries. You may have yet to see the vision, but keep reading; you will.