Mock draft roundup: Who do experts think Bears will select at No. 9?

Northwestern offensive linemen Peter Skoronski (left) and Vince Picozzi participate in a position drill during Northwestern's Pro Day, Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in Evanston.

The NFL draft is right around the corner, a little more than a month away. In a blockbuster trade with the Carolina Panthers, the Bears sent the No. 1 overall pick to Carolina in exchange for a package of draft picks and receiver DJ Moore.

Now, the Bears’ top pick in the 2023 draft sits at No. 9 overall. General manager Ryan Poles has an opportunity to grab a really talented prospect. There still is a chance he could trade down again, too.

Poles told NBC’s Peter King that the idea of trading down twice, once with Houston at No. 2 and again with Carolina at No. 9, intrigued him because in such a scenario he could wind up with three first-round picks in 2024. Even at No. 9, that’s still on the table. If there’s a team looking to move up from the late teens or early 20s into the top 10, that could cost a first-round pick next year.

Poles said last week that he felt there are six or seven top-rated prospects on the board. If none falls to No. 9, Poles could absolutely be a seller.

As of right now, however, the Bears will pick ninth. So what will they do with that pick? Here’s what some draft pundits from around the country think the Bears will do.

Mel Kiper, ESPN

The pick: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State

Writes Kiper: “They could have their choice of the class’ tackles here. Johnson played both tackle spots and right guard for the Buckeyes, and he already has blocked for quarterback Justin Fields. Chicago needs to keep supporting Fields and get him a stellar lineman with this pick.”

Read Kiper’s full mock here.

Todd McShay, ESPN

The pick: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

Writes McShay: “This is the risk of trading all the way back to No. 9; three edge rushers are already off the board. So Chicago might pivot instead to the offensive line -- one of its other big needs -- as it goes all-in on Justin Fields.”

Read McShay’s full mock here.

Daniel Jeremiah,

The pick: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

Writes Jeremiah: “I love this pick for the Bears. Skoronski would be an immediate upgrade at right tackle for Justin Fields.”

Read Jeremiah’s full mock here.

Sports Illustrated

The pick: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

Writes Sports Illustrated’s NFL Draft Bible: “After trading out of the first overall pick and adding a receiver for their franchise quarterback, the Bears can now focus on a big need - the trenches. Skoronski is easily the best offensive lineman in the 2023 NFL Draft class and can immediately step in and protect their star passer.”

Read Sports Illustrated’s full mock here.

CBS Sports

The pick: Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech

Writes CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco: “Their defensive line needs a lot of help heading into this draft. Tyree Wilson might end up being the best edge player in this class. He does have a foot injury that has limited his offseason work some.”

Read CBS Sports’ full mock here.

Sporting News

The pick: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

Writes Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer: “Skoronski, who had a great Combine from his running through his smooth positional drills, can deliver as their immediate starting left tackle with his smooth quickness and athleticism on the edge.”

Read Sporting News’ full mock here.

The Athletic

The pick: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

Writes The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain: “Maybe tackle isn’t his long-term position, but considering how important it is to protect against the league’s great three-techniques, I see no harm in using a top-10 pick on someone who could be a Pro Bowl guard. Either way, he has the tools to be a starter for a decade.”

Read The Athletic’s full mock here.

The 33rd Team

The pick: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

Writes The 33rd Team: “Carter’s draft process has included an arrest for racing and reckless driving chargers, which he plead no contest to, and an underwhelming pro day where he was out of shape and unable to complete positional drills. Still, his talent is undeniable, and the Bears need the pass rush help.”

Read The 33rd Team’s full mock here.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.