How the Chicago Bears trading for this position sets up the perfect 2023 NFL Draft
Chicago Bears should go Paris Johnson over Broderick Jones
Recently, several draft "experts" have been leaning toward identifying Broderick Jones as the OT who should be drafted before Paris Johnson. I very much do not agree with this. Some point out that Jones with more experience will play better at LT than Paris Johnson during their rookie season.
This is important because Justin Fields needs as much of an edge as he can get in his third year as an NFL QB. I believe this is a case where the long-term consideration overrules the short-term concern. Paris Johnson's size and multi-phased athleticism set up for him to become one of the absolute best left tackles in the entire NFL. The ceiling for Paris Johnson at the most important position on an offensive line is just too high for a smart GM to take a pass on drafting him.
There are three other factors in Paris Johnson's favor. Number one he has the mentality to dominate the guy he is blocking and plays hard to the whistle. Number two is he is very intelligent. The last factor is that by all accounts he is a hard worker to the point of obsession. Virtually, every great NFL player was also one of the most hard-working players.
Two examples of this are Walter Payton and Peyton Manning. Both were legendary in their work habits. However, Paris Johnson's intelligence might be a touch more important than the other two parts of his game. His intelligence could very well result in him being a true leader on the team. Quality leadership in a player does not just help the player, it helps his teammates.
It would be short-sighted to choose Broderick Jones over him because Paris only played one year as a left tackle. If I were the Bears I would strongly prefer going to sleep at night knowing that Justin Fields is my QB and Paris Johnson is his blindside protector for the next 10 years or more.
The reason is that Justin and Paris could very well project down the road as a top 10 QB and a top 5 LT. Given that both of these players have rare skills for their respective positions, it is even possible, they could also project to being a top 5 QB and a top 3 LT. When you look at this from every angle, it is easy to conclude that it is worth the risk of Justin dealing with some growing pains from Paris as he improves his game as a rookie.