Why the Chicago Bears could take Jaxon Smith-Njigba at nine in the 2023 NFL Draft

Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Justin Fields needs playmakers on the Chicago Bears roster

Smith-Njigba is the best route runner in this class, correct? I remember being one of those people that laughed at the Cincinnati Bengals passing up on an offensive tackle and taking Ja'Marr Chase. I was wrong, and if you agreed, you were as well.

The Chicago Bears traded for DJ Moore. That was a good move, but he can only do some things himself. Did you like the trade for Chase Claypool? I know I was all about it, but what if he doesn't work out? What if Darnell Mooney isn't the same? What if Moore goes down? Do you really want to see a receiving core of Velus Jones Jr, Parker Washington, and EQ in October?

You want to talk about sacks, don't you? We know Justin Fields led the NFL in sacks taken last season with 55. Did you know he was tied with someone? Can you guess who? Russell Wilson. Did I prove your point? Oh, I am not done yet. Kirk Cousins and Geno Smith finished third with 46.

Those were two playoff teams and one division winner. Daniel Jones (44) and Joe Burrow (41) were the next two players taking on the sack challenge who played for playoff teams. Matt Ryan (38) ends that slight run on playoff teams before it kicks back up with Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts, who tied Ryan with 38 taken sacks.

Oh, believe me, I love Paris Johnson Jr., but Joe Thomas didn't help the Browns win playoff games. Enough talk about QB sacks? So why should the Bears draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba? Outside of the fact that he is uber-talented? He is the best route runner in this draft class as a prospect. Ohio State is the hot team that is creating high-caliber receiving talents. When college teams become DB-U, LB-U, and OL-U, you keep drafting from those positions until they flame out. Chris Olave was great. I told you that last off-season. Garrett Wilson shocked me and was the offensive rookie of the year.