How does Chicago Bears new draft pick Noah Sewell fit?

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears were sticing to their best player available philosophy when they selected Noah Sewell in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL draft. It is easy to see how Sewell could be their highest-graded player, but it is tougher to see how he will fit with the team.

Chicago Bears draft Oregon LB Noah Sewell

The Chicago Bears went out of their way to spend up and bring in two of the best linebackers on the free agency market. That is after many fans thought the team found a gem in UDFA Jack Sanborn. Noah Sewell is only a fifth-round pick, but Jack Sanborn has to be nervous considering his previous draft capital.

The reality is that when you watch Sewell, he would be best deployed as a SAM linebacker in the Chicago Bears defense. He is best running downhill and attacking. This will serve well on special teams, but also when the team may want to roll with three linebackers. When they do, Tremaine Edmunds is the MIKE and T.J. Edwards is the WILL, the question will be whether it is Sanborn or Sewell in the SAM role.

Some may think that Sewell can put on a few pounds and move to the edge because of his pass-rush skills. While that may be a feature of what he brings, it is hard to see that change coming full-time. Still, that does reinforce the idea that the Bears would probably rather have Sewell on the field for his pass rush than Jack Sanborn. If you think back to Sanborn and what he did as a rookie, his best players were downhill against the run and then blitzing. That is what Sewell is best at.

The reality is that Edwards and Edmunds will play almost all of the snaps and the third linebacker will get in for a rare play here and there when they are forced to go heavy. More than anything, Sanborn and Sewell will make the roster and have real roles on the team due to their special teams.

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Still, this has officially become the camp battle to watch as the Chicago Bears decide which linebacker is the starting SAM and which will be the fourth man in the rotation, which means likely not seeing defensive playing time at all.