Could Chicago Bears draft a cornerback high in 2023 NFL draft?
The discussion around the Chicago Bears has typically been about the trenches. Will they take a defensive lineman or an offensive lineman? Will it be left tackle or right tackle? These are the main questions. One position flying under the radar may be cornerback.
Peter Schrager of NFL Network released his mock draft and had the team taking Christian Gonzalez. Beyond that, Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon is expected to be selected in the same range. Could the team take either?
Will Chicago Bears draft a cornerback in round one of 2023 NFL draft?
There is an argument to be made that either could be the best player on the board. If that is the case, the team may go that route. However, it is harder to see than other spots. In the middle of the second round, the difference between your top player at one position and another could be 20 spots on your big board. In the top ten, the team will probably have the top tackle and potentially the top player in Jalen Carter around. That already makes it tough for a cornerback here.
The team drafted Kyler Gordon and while he is not a bust, if the team did draft a cornerback in the top ten, his role would be reduced significantly. Are they ready to do that? If they are drafting to replace Kindle Vildor that is just a part-time player who is only out there in nickel. Nickel is prevalent in the NFL, and they need to upgrade this spot, but it is not the biggest need.
The team has not invested enough in the trenches whether it was the last draft, or this year in free agency. Forcing a need in round two when the best player by leaps and bounds is a cornerback is one thing. Passing on someone like Jalen Carter or Paris Johnson is much more questionable when they are great prospects and also in positions of need. Those players do not fall to round two, but cornerbacks can, we saw that last year.
One thing the Bears learned the hard way is that as much as they like Kyler Gordon, he is only as good as his pass rush. If the best player is a cornerback, so be it, but it is hard to see how the board breaks that way, and it is harder to see the team continue to not touch the trenches when they have a chance to find a difference maker in round one.