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

Could the Bears land the draft’s top offensive tackle?

Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. plays against Michigan State, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich.

It’s finally here. The 2023 NFL Draft begins Thursday.

The weeks and months of guessing what will happen are over. It’s time to sit back, relax and watch the chaos unfold.

The Bears and general manager Ryan Poles hold the No. 9 overall pick. There’s any number of directions they might go.

The first round feels unpredictable this year. Shaw Local Chicago Bears beat writer Sean Hammond took a crack at it anyway. This is his third mock draft. Read his first one here. His second one is available here.

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

TeamPlayer, CollegePositionAnalysis
1. PanthersBryce Young, AlabamaQBAt this point, anything else would be a surprise.
2. TexansC.J. Stroud, Ohio StateQBThe Texans have been tight-lipped about this pick. The need at QB outweighs all others.
3. CardinalsWill Anderson, AlabamaEdgeThe top defender is available at No. 3. The Cardinals don’t overthink this one.
4. ColtsAnthony Richardson, FloridaQBThe Colts take a big swing at QB. It has its risks, but it’s a swing for the fences.
5. SeahawksTyree Wilson, Texas TechEdgeSeattle acquires a top pass rusher for their defense.
6. LionsJalen Carter, GeorgiaDTThe Lions take the controversial defensive tackle from Georgia, bolstering their defensive line.
7. RaidersDevon Witherspoon, IllinoisCBThe Raiders are the first team to take a cornerback, and they go with a playmaker in Witherspoon.
8. FalconsBijan Robinson, TexasRBThe Falcons don’t need a running back, per se. But they would have a tough time passing on Robinson.
9. BearsParis Johnson, Ohio StateOTThe Bears should be perfectly happy taking the top tackle in the draft. Johnson has the length the Bears want.
10. Buccaneers (via trade with Eagles)Will Levis, KentuckyQBThis trade makes too much sense for both parties involved. The Bucs need a long-term plan at QB.
11. TitansPeter Skoronski, NorthwesternOG/OTAn interior O-lineman is exactly what Tennessee needs. Skoronski is the best one in the draft.
12. TexansChristian Gonzalez, OregonCBWitherspoon and Gonzalez are 1A and 1B at cornerback. Houston would love it if either fell to No. 12.
13. PackersMichael Mayer, Notre DameTEIn a really talented tight end class, Green Bay would love to take the first one off the board.
14. PatriotsNolan Smith, GeorgiaEdgeBill Belichick goes with the best player available and lands a top pass rusher.
15. JetsBroderick Jones, GeorgiaOTThe Jets find someone to protect their new QB.
16. CommandersJoey Porter Jr., Penn StateCBPorter becomes the third cornerback taken. Washington addresses its biggest need.
17. SteelersDarnell Wright, TennesseeOTThe Steelers get a tackle who might be the best right tackle in this draft.
18. LionsLukas Van Ness, IowaEdgeThe Lions find an edge rusher to pair with Aidan Hutchinson.
19. Eagles (via trade with Buccaneers)Brian Branch, AlabamaSThe Eagles trade back and land the No. 1 safety in the draft.
20. Chiefs (via trade with Seahawks)Zay Flowers, Boston CollegeWRThe Chiefs jump past the division rival Chargers to grab one of the top receivers.
21. ChargersJordan Addison USCWRJustin Herbert gets a new weapon in Los Angeles.
22. RavensEmmanuel Forbes, Mississippi StateCBThe Ravens are in prime position to address one of their biggest needs.
23. VikingsDeonte Banks, MarylandCBWith only five picks, the Vikings could be a trade down candidate. Or they could use this pick on a cornerback.
24. JaguarsMyles Murphy, ClemsonEdgeThe Jaguars add some more firepower on the defensive line.
25. GiantsJoe Tippmann, WisconsinCThe Giants have a glaring need at center and the chance to take the first center off the board.
26. CowboysCalijah Kancey, PittsburghDTDallas will look at a running back or tight end here, but they can also find those positions later.
27. BillsDrew Sanders, ArkansasLBSanders is a long-armed linebacker who the Bills could use to rove the middle of the defense.
28. BengalsDalton Kincaid, UtahTEThe Bengals will be happy if Kincaid is still on the board at No. 28.
29. SaintsFelix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas StateEdgeAnudike-Uzomah would give the Saints a much-needed boost along the defensive line.
30. EaglesJahmyr Gibbs, AlabamaRBThe Eagles haven’t selected a running back in the first round since 1986. But they’ve rarely had two first-round picks.
31. Seahawks (via trade with Chiefs)Quentin Johnston, TCUWRThe Seahawks trade back and still land a receiver they can feel happy with.
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.