NFL mock draft: Chicago Bears beat writer Sean Hammond’s first 2023 mock

Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski warms up before a game against Maryland, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in College Park, Md.

The NFL draft is less than a month away. The NFL’s biggest offseason event begins with the first round on April 27 and runs through April 29.

The Bears and general manager Ryan Poles already made a big splash when they traded away the top pick to the Carolina Panthers. The Bears now sit at No. 9 overall on the draft board. They remain in great position to grab one of the top talents in the draft, particularly if the quarterbacks draw a lot of attention.

Shaw Local Chicago Bears beat writer Sean Hammond provided his first mock draft of the first round. Draft night always comes with surprises. There are certainly a few surprises in this mock.

Note: The Miami Dolphins had their pick forfeited, so this year’s first round has only 31 picks.

TeamPlayer, CollegePositionAnalysis
1. PanthersBryce Young, AlabamaQBUltimately, it will be hard for the Panthers to pass on the former Heisman Trophy winner. Young can play, regardless of his size.
2. TexansC.J. Stroud, Ohio StateQBThe Texans shouldn’t overthink it. Stroud had ridiculous production in college and faces fewer questions than other QBs available here.
3. CardinalsWill Anderson, AlabamaEdgeThe Cardinals are in perfect position to select the best defender in the draft. This one’s a no-brainer.
4. ColtsWill Levis, KentuckyQBColts GM Chris Ballard has to get this pick right. Anthony Richardson could turn out to be the best QB of this bunch, but I’m not sure Ballard is willing to take the risk.
5. SeahawksTyree Wilson, Texas TechEdgeThis is a clear position of need for the Seahawks. Wilson should help improve their defense immediately.
6. LionsJalen Carter, GeorgiaDTCarter is such a force on the field that it’s hard to imagine him slipping too far. The Lions have a need at defensive tackle.
7. RaidersChristian Gonzalez, OregonCBWith Jimmy Garoppolo in the mix, the Raiders don’t have to grab a young quarterback now.
8. FalconsBijan Robinson, TexasRBThis would be both surprising and incredibly on brand for an organization that is obsessed with running the football, even though it doesn’t necessarily need a running back.
9. BearsPeter Skoronski, NorthwesternOT/OGThe Bears would love it if Skoronski dropped to them at No. 9. Take the top lineman. Figure out his position later.
10. Buccaneers (trade via Eagles)Anthony Richardson, FloridaQBThe Bucs begin life after Tom Brady by making a splashy trade on draft night. Richardson remains in Florida and can play behind Baker Mayfield for a year.
11. TitansParis Johnson, Ohio StateOTEven after signing Andre Dillard during free agency, the Titans need more help at their tackle spots.
12. TexansJaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio StateWRThe Texans will need their new quarterback to throw to somebody. How about the guy he has been throwing to for the last two years?
13. JetsBroderick Jones, GeorgiaOTThe Jets need more bodies to help protect their new quarterback.
14. PatriotsDevon Witherspoon, IllinoisCBBill Belichick would somehow get his hands on a player who is arguably the best cornerback in this draft.
15. PackersMichael Mayer, Notre DameTEIt would be ironic if Green Bay finally drafted a first-round receiver, but tight end feels like a bigger need.
16. CommandersJoey Porter Jr., Penn StateCBWith so many QBs going high, some positions are bound to slip. In this scenario, that looks like cornerback.
17. SteelersBryan Bresee, ClemsonDTThe Steelers need more big bodies in the middle. Bresee is exactly that.
18. LionsBrian Branch, AlabamaSThe Lions grab the draft’s top safety to pair with free agent addition C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
19. Eagles (via trade with Buccaneers)Lukas Van Ness, IowaDE/DTThe NFL’s best defensive line adds the most intriguing defensive lineman. Is he a tackle or an edge rusher? Whatever he is, the Eagles could probably unlock him.
20. SeahawksJordan Addison, USCWRWith their second pick, the Seahawks look to find additional weapons for Geno Smith.
21. ChargersZay Flowers, Boston CollegeWRThe Chargers look to add speed for QB Justin Herbert.
22. RavensQuentin Johnston, TCUWRThere’s a mini run on receivers here. The Ravens try to entice Lamar Jackson with a new weapon.
23. VikingsKelee Ringo, GeorgiaCBWith Patrick Peterson gone, the Vikings look to find an instant starter at cornerback.
24. JaguarsNolan Smith, GeorgiaEdgeThe Jaguars should be thrilled if Smith is still on the board here. They need help getting after the quarterback.
25. GiantsDeonte Banks, MarylandCBThe Giants address one of their most pressing defensive needs.
26. CowboysJahmyr Gibbs, AlabamaRBWith Ezekiel Elliott gone and Tony Pollard returning from a major injury, the Cowboys could use another back.
27. BillsDarnell Wright, TennesseeOTThe Bills find a hulking tackle for their offensive line.
28. BengalsDalton Kincaid, UtahTEWith Hayden Hurst gone, the Bengals need a starting tight end who can contribute immediately.
29. SaintsMyles Murphy, ClemsonEdgeThe Saints get the help they need on the edge. Murphy is a steal at No. 29.
30. EaglesB.J. Ojulari, LSUEdgeThe Eagles keep looking to replenish along the interior.
31. ChiefsJalin Hyatt, TennesseeWRThe Chiefs add some serious speed to the wide receiver position.
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.