Why Chicago Bears will definitely draft a center in 2023 NFL Draft


The Chicago Bears did not announce their plans for the offensive line yet. For the most part, they have kept saying that they will let the best five work it out after the draft. However, Ryan Poles did give a hint about his plans when he was asked about the plans for Nate Davis.

He did not say where Davis would play but did say that Cody Whitehair would probably be leaving guard to play center. That sent up alarms for fans, but perhaps for the wrong reason. Sure, Whitehair will be playing center, but if anything that decision says the Chicago Bears are drafting a center this year.

Chicago Bears will draft a center in 2023

Cody Whitehair has plenty of center experience, and at his bes he is not a bad option. We are not living in 2017, though and he is not likely to be at his best. Whitehair was solid from 2016-2020, but his best days are probably behind him.

He has had leg injuries that plagued him throughout two of the last three seasons. The only season he was not banged up was 2021, and he was looking like a shell of his old self. So, Whitehair is 31, he missed five games last season, he was even worse in 2021, and he could save the team $10M if they move on from him. Sure, he is the answer.

He is the temporary answer. If the Chicago Bears walk away from the draft weekend with somebody that they think can start day one, they could release Whitehair as early as that Monday after the draft. Ryan Pace did that with Charles Leno after drafting Teven Jenkins, and this happens often.

The team could move into the summer, and see if the rookie can beat Whitehair, then try to deal Whitehair before the cut-down day. The team could obviously keep Whitehair, redshirt the rookie and then move on next season as well.

The reality is that by making Whitehair aware of these things now, they can enter the draft without having to force it. If a run goes on centers right before their second-round pick, they may take a more developmental guy. It takes away the stench of desperation around them. Still, they are sitting in a nice range, and a few options could be available.

John Michael Schmitz, Luke Wypler, and Joe Tippman could all be in that range. Beyond that, Cody Mauch, and Tyler Steen played center at the Senior Bowl. Ricky Stomberg, Juice Scruggs, Olu Oluwatimi, and Jake Andrews highlight guys who could jump in with day three picks.

Mocking top 9 picks in 2023 Draft. dark. Next

It is clear the Chicago Bears will draft a center, the only question is when?