How would this prospect fit the Bears? Alabama Edge Dallas Turner

Could the Bears look to add an elite edge rusher with the No. 9 overall pick?

Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner (15) celebrates after a defensive stop during the first half of the Rose Bowl CFP NCAA semifinal college football game against Michigan Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

While Caleb Williams to the Bears at No. 1 overall in the NFL draft feels like a formality at this point, what the Bears do with their second draft pick at No. 9 overall is up in the air. It will depend heavily upon what the teams ahead of them in the draft do.

With the No. 9 draft pick, general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus could look to fill needs at receiver, edge rusher or offensive tackle. Those are three premium position where the Bears still need to improve. They also could look to move up or down the draft board through trades.

Shaw Local is taking a look at a number of potential prospects who could fit the Bears’ needs at No. 9. Here’s what Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner brings to the table and how he might fit in Chicago.

Position breakdown

Chicago Bears defensive end Montez Sweat celebrates after stopping the Detroit Lions on 4th down late in their game Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Probably the most important move that Poles made in the past year was trading for defensive end Montez Sweat. The Bears surrendered a second-round pick in the trade deadline deal (which wound up becoming the No. 40 overall pick in this year’s draft), but in the process the team acquired a monster of a pass rusher. In nine games, Sweat led the Bears with six sacks. Even when he wasn’t sacking the opposing quarterback, his presence helped the Bears improve their turnover rate. He was the biggest reason why the Bears were among the best defenses in football during the second half of the season.

And now he needs a running mate.

Veteran DeMarcus Walker probably would be the other starter at defensive end if the season began tomorrow. But Walker totaled only 3.5 sacks in 17 games last season, and the Bears undoubtedly want to infuse some youth at the position. Veteran Yannick Ngakoue started 13 games for the Bears last season, but he is a free agent.

The Bears could be poised to add a pass rusher with one of their premium draft picks later this month.

What Turner brings to the table

Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Poles and Eberflus love length on the edge, and that’s exactly what Alabama’s Dallas Turner provides. His 6-foot-2, 247-pound frame sports 34 3/8-inch long arms. While he’s not exceptionally tall for the position, the Florida native has some of the longest arms of any edge rusher in this draft. Turner’s dad played professional basketball overseas, and Turner was a high-level basketball player before giving up the sport to focus on football ahead of his junior year of high school.

At Alabama, Turner latched onto pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. and learned everything he could from the player who eventually became the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 draft. With Anderson in the pros in 2023, Turner led Alabama with 11 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. Turner is an explosive pass rusher who also will be an asset against the run. He was a team captain for Alabama in 2023, which NFL coaches will love.

Will Turner realistically be on the board at No. 9?

Possibly. It’s not a slam dunk, but it’s possible Turner is there when the Bears pick at No. 9. This draft could feature seven or even eight offensive players before any defenders are off the board. That could play into the Bears’ favor at No. 9.

But the Atlanta Falcons, who sit just ahead of the Bears at No. 8, likely will be in the market for either a pass rusher or a cornerback. The Falcons focused heavily on their offense in free agency, adding quarterback Kirk Cousins and receiver Darnell Mooney, among others. They seem likely to go defense at No. 8.

The Chargers at No. 5, the Giants at No. 6 and the Titans at No. 7 are somewhat wild cards, although edge rusher is not the biggest need for any of those three teams. There’s probably a 50-50 chance Turner is available when the Bears pick.

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.