Chicago Bears Draft: 7 Positional needs in the 2023 Draft
By Evan Bruner
Chicago Bears Draft Need No. 2: Offensive Tackle
If all else fails, the Bears need to ensure Justin Fields escapes the 2023 season intact. He took more hits than any quarterback in football a year ago, and no one wants to see a repeat of that next season.
Signing Nate Davis and letting go of Sam Mustipher were huge steps for the unit. With that said, the line is still far from ready for the regular season.
The Bears have only addressed the interior offensive line and left the tackle positions untouched. Even if the Bears are satisfied with Braxton Jones’ development, he still needs a compliment.
Besides, there are multiple players in this draft that are far better prospects than Jones was coming out of Utah State.
Paris Johnson Jr.
Despite only having one year of tackle play in college, Johnson checks just about every box. He protected C.J. Stroud’s blindside well in 2022.
It’s only right for him to play for another legendary Buckeye quarterback at the next level. Johnson isn’t the most polished tackle, but he has all of the tools to develop into a high-end left tackle.
At first glance, Skoronski is exactly what the Bears are looking for. A hometown kid with some of the best tape of any lineman in college football over the last three years.
The problem is size and length. Skoronski would have the shortest arms of any tackle in the NFL. This, at the very least, makes the move to guard a real possibility.
Normally this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Skoronski still projects well as a guard at the next level. However, given the already imbalanced ratio between guards and tackles in Chicago’s locker room, a guard offers far less value.
Still, Skoronski does the little things well and appears to be the most refined tackle prospect in this class.
In many draft circles, the tackle class is discussed as Skoronski, Johnson, and everyone else, but Georgia’s Broderick Jones is far closer to those two than he is to the rest of the field. What Jones lacks in pro-readiness and technique, he more than makes up for with his power and explosion.
Additionally, he appears to need more work as a run blocker than a pass blocker, giving him an underrated floor. Jones has physical tools that can’t be taught and an upside that even Johnson and Skoronski may not be able to match.