This coming offseason, the Chicago Bears will have some specific areas of need. Over the course of this season, the offensive line has definitely improved. But, in the spring, it's a unit that could see some changes.
One of the biggest areas that will wind up being a need is at center. I would venture to guess the Bears will part with both Cody Whitehair and Lucas Patrick, thus going in a younger direction.
One of the very best interior linemen in the 2024 class has indeed declared for the draft, too.
Oregon's Jackson Powers-Johnson made it official, announcing he would forego his senior season in exchange for turning pro. The Ducks big man also became the fifth unanimous All-American in school history.
Powers-Johnson has a background in wrestling (h/t Pro Football Focus) thus giving him a firm, strong base and core to work with. His movement skills and versatility, position-wise, are also desirable traits to have for a lineman. Being able to play multiple positions, and play them well, gives him an edge on other guys at his spot.
He moves very well, which would fit perfectly for the Bears who have a running quarterback in Justin Fields and like a zone scheme (at least, for now). We'll see if Luke Getsy is let go and what happens if a new offensive coordinator comes in; that, in reference to both Fields' future and scheme.
Powers-Johnson currently projects as a second-round pick, but it's very early in the pre-draft process. Guys like this could easily make their way into the first round with a strong Combine performance. They could also wind up falling with a less-than-stellar Combine.
Regardless, the Bears may be in position to draft him. At the moment, they do not have a second rounder. However, the odds of the Bears ending up with the first overall pick are very high. At that point, Chicago could trade that pick for a second year in a row, netting a huge draft haul that is most likely to include a second rounder, just as the Panthers' package did earlier in the year.
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