Early return not looking good for Chicago Bears and Ryan Poles

Chicago Bears, Ryan Poles
Chicago Bears, Ryan Poles / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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Chicago Bears, Roschon Johnson
Chicago Bears, Roschon Johnson / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

A look at the Chicago Bears 2023 NFL Draft picks

Anyone who thinks they know for sure what the 2023 NFL Draft class is going to accomplish is fooling themselves. Some guys who already look like studs will likely remain that way, but some players take a bit to hit their stride and sometimes a rookie could break out and then fall off — have you seen Anthony Miller or Chase Claypool?

Darnell Wright, OT (1st Round)

I was not thrilled with the Darnell Wright pick, but he is already proving me wrong. Wright hasn't been perfect, but he's a rookie. He has been one of the best rookie offensive tackles this season and has even played well against some serious talent. His best game came in Week 1 vs. the Packers and his worst was vs. the Buccaneers. He came back to the middle vs. the Chiefs in Week 3. I know many want Jalen Carter to be here based on his production, but Wright wasn't the wrong pick. He has All-Pro talent levels. My confidence level is high.

Gervon Dexter, DT (2nd Round)

Gervon Dexter has gotten off to a slow start. I chose those words specifically because he has been unable to get off the ball as quickly as many would like. The two-gap scheme in Florida played a big part in him not getting off the ball on his college film, but he hasn't improved enough at the NFL level. I've seen flashes of improvement though and we need to give him some time to develop before we can truly say he's a hit or a miss. My confidence level is probably higher than most.

Tyrique Stevenson, CB (2nd Round)

I wasn't thrilled with this pick when it happened. I thought when the Chicago Bears traded up they were going to take John Michael Schmitz. Schmitz is a center and was my top-rated center going into the draft. He has lived up to my hype for the Giants. The Bears could use a center who can dominate the trenches right now. Stevenson has some tenacity to him, but I worry about how he will hold up based on his aggressive playing style. We have already seen him banged up this season. My confidence level is more mid on Stevenson.

Zacch Pickens, DT (3rd Round)

Pickens has been hot and cold since joining the Chicago Bears. He flashed during the preseason but hasn't been present during the regular season. That's a problem. I have to wonder if having Tank Dell, who is killing it in Houston with C.J. Stroud, would have been a better pick — especially with Tyler Scott not doing much to this point. More on him later. Zach Harrison is another guy I'd rather have seen selected. Pickens has not generated a pressure yet this season. My confidence level in him is actually quite low.

Roschon Johnson, RB (4th-Round)

I gave Roschon Johnson a fourth-round grade and it appears I was right on about that. However, I wasn't thrilled with Chicago taking him only because there were a couple of other backs I thought had more homerun potential — Israel Abanikanda
and Chase Brown for example. I'll admit I was wrong. Roschon Johnson has been running hard, using great vision and I am excited to see him overtake the top running back spot.

The rest of the 2023 NFL Draft

Tyler Scott flashed in the preseason, but he has not shown up at all in the regular season. Noah Powell was making some plays vs. the Chiefs, but nothing spectacular. Terrell Smith missed a big part of the offseason but was pushing Stevenson for starting CB reps. He hasn't looked that great when seeing the field due to injuries though. Travis Bell and Kendall Williamson are not on my radar at all. Out of this group, I still am holding out hope for Tyler Scott, Terrell Smith, and Noah Powell. I'd say my confidence level is mid on all three.