5 questions that will determine the Bears 2023 NFL Draft approach

Chicago Bears, Jalen Carter
Chicago Bears, Jalen Carter / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Chicago Bears, Peter Skoronski
Chicago Bears, Peter Skoronski / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Chicago Bears Question No. 1: Can Peter Skoronski be an NFL tackle?

What has quickly become one of the more fascinating discussions in the entire draft will undoubtedly affect the Bears' draft process. Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski is one of the most polished players in the draft and has high-end tape with athletic testing to match. He projects as a day-one starter and could very well be the first offensive lineman off the board.

However, things can never be that easy. Any lineman with Skoronski’s level of technique and production is bound to come with a defect. In this case, it’s arm-length. Skoronski measured in with 32 1/4 inch arms at the NFL combine in February, which would have been the shortest of any starting offensive tackle in 2022.

These measurables have cast doubt on Skoronski’s viability at tackle in the NFL, as players with shorter wingspans generally play on the inside. For most teams, the arm length wouldn’t be that significant. It may hinder him at tackle, but even if Skoronski is moved to guard, he still projects as a high-level one, making him worth an early first-round pick. 

For the Bears, though, putting another guard on the line won’t suffice. The team already has more guards than they need, and spending a top-ten pick on an interior offensive lineman won’t resolve any of their pre-existing issues.

In essence, while most of the league can afford the luxury of taking Skoronski without knowing if he’s an NFL tackle, the Bears most certainly don’t. If they are confident the former Wildcat can overcome his length and be a solid tackle, he will make a great selection at nine. If not, they will be forced to go in a different direction.