The what could have been 2023 NFL draft for Chicago Bears
Now that the 2023 NFL Draft has come and gone the focus will be on the players that the Chicago Bears drafted. However, after spending months discussing all of the possible scenarios it is impossible to just move on without considering what could have been.
We will always look back on draft classes and debate after the fact, but knowing what we know right now, who were some of the best options for the Chicago Bears?
Chicago Bears Draft Darnell Wright
Other options: Jalen Carter, Peter Skoronski, Broderick Jones
The only three options that fans should be paying attention to down the road are Jalen Carter, Peter Skoronski, and Broderick Jones. Where the Bears sat, those three along with Darnell Wright are the only legitimate choices that we can look back on.
For Carter, the decision obviously came down to off of the field. For Skoronski, it appears they viewed him as a guard the entire way, and for Broderick Jones, the question was left tackle against a right tackle.
Chicago Bears Draft Gervon Dexter
Other Options: Tuli Tuipulotu, Rashee Rice
There were only two picks made between the Chicago Bears taking Gervon Dexter, and then trading up for Tyrique Stevenson. It makes you think both players were graded about the same. Rashee Rice would not have made sense, but Bears fans who are worried about the edge rusher depth would have considered Tuli Tuipulotu.
Chicago Bears Draft Tyrique Stevenson
Other Options: John Michael-Schmitz, O'Cyrus Torrence, Juice Scruggs
The Chicago Bears traded up for this pick so you knew that they had conviction. However, at the moment they made the move my initial thought was that John Michael-Schmitz was coming off of the board. Seeing him go one pick later will make this a big what-if, especially if the Bears struggle at center.
O'Cyrus Torrence had to be close to the best player available, and even if the Bears soured on JMS, the reality that Juice Scruggs went before their next pick as well shows that this is probably the pick they had to make on a center, if they were going to go that route.
Chicago Bears Draft Zacch Pickens
Other Options: Tyler Steen, Byron Young, Zach Harrison
If the Chicago Bears wanted to beef up the lines, Tyler Steen, a potential swing tackle who could slot into multiple spots was a choice. Byron Young is just another interior defensive line option, and then there is Zach Harrison. If the Bears wanted to go with an edge rusher instead of an interior defensive lineman.
Chicago Bears Draft Roschon Johnson
Other Options: Colby Wooden, Carter Warren, Isaiah McGuire
If they went with someone like Harrison Tuipulotu earlier on the edge, they could have circled back for Wodden, who mainly would be an interior defensive lineman. Carter Warren could compete at left tackle, and Isaiah McGuire would have been the best edge rusher at this point.
Chicago Bears Draft Tyler Scott
Other Options: KJ Henry, Darius Rush, Jaquelin Roy, Cameron Mitchell
If the Chicago Bears did not go pass catcher, they may have been looking cornerback. We know that they drafted two, but one question Bears fans may want to ask is whether they would rather have John Michael-Schmitz and Darius Rush, or Tyler Scott, and Tyrique Stevenson. If the Bears wanted an edge rusher in this round, the name was KJ Henry, and if they passed on the interior defensive line earlier, they could have went with Jaquelin Roy here.
Chicago Bears Draft Noah Sewell
Other Options: Olu Oluwatimi, Jordan McFadden
This is the second stop on our quest to find out when the Chicago Bears could have gone with a center. Considering this is a depth linebacker, the Bears had better hope that Olu Oluwatimi does not become a long-term option at center or this may not look good.
Chicago Bears Draft Terrel Smith
Other Options: Robert Beal, Payne Durham, Asim Richards, Warren McClendon, Davis Allen
The Chicago Bears going with cornerback depth over tight end depth at this spot may tell you that the team sees Cole Kmet in the long-term future. It also says the Bears had Smith graded higher, but if they were going to go tight end this was the spot.
Chicago Bears Draft Travis Bell
Andrew Vorhees, Nesta Jade Silvera, Alex Fosyth
The best options here were another DT, an injured offensive lineman, or Alex Forsyth, who is a center, but dropped this far because he has long-term medical concerns.
Chicago Bears Draft Kendall Williamson
Jalen Redmond, Thomas Incoom, TJ Bass,
These were some of the top UDFAs according to ESPN. Redmond is another defensive lineman. If anything this shows us that interior guys were all around in this draft, so it will be interesting to see if any of these day-three guys end up better than Pickens or Dexter, showing the Bears could have waited to double-dip. Incoom would have given them some edge depth, and Bass is a nice depth lineman.