The Bears are fresh off an exciting trade deadline, and while two great players have been shipped out, the Bear’s future looks bright. They have well over 100 million dollars in cap space this offseason and eight draft picks in the 2023 draft. While there are nine games left in the season, most Bears fans have their eyes on the 2023 off-season, and for a good reason. Nine games is a long time to wait, so let’s get into a midseason mock draft.
*Round 1, Pick 13: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
The Bears are slated to have the 12th pick in the draft through eight games this season. I traded back to 13 with the Packers (I know, ugh) and got picks 13 and 74 for picks 12 and 131. The fact that Jalen Carter was here at 13, after a trade back, is incredible value. The 6’3” 310 lb lineman is a perfect addition to the Bear’s defensive line. He has 11.5 TFL and three sacks in his first two years at Georgia. Carter is a beast and a great addition to a weak defensive line.
Round 2, Pick 56: Emil Ekiyor Jr., OL, Alabama
Emil Ekiyor Jr. is a 6’3”, 310 lb guard who starts on Alabama’s offensive line. Alabama’s offense has been stellar this season as the number four scoring offense and number 12 rushing attack. Ekiyor Jr. is an explosive player that can prevent the interior defensive line from getting to the quarterback. He could come in and compete for a spot on the Bear’s line right away.
*Round 3, Pick 74: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Aton Harrison is 6’5” and 315 lbs. He played nine games his freshman year and let up only one sack on over 170 pass-blocking snaps. He also started 12 games in his sophomore year. Some project him to be a first-round pick or an early second-round pick. He has good power and length and is great in pass protection. Another great offensive lineman that can compete for a starting role, especially with the Bear’s lack of talent at tackle.
*Round 3, Pick 75: Owen Papppoe, LB, Auburn
I traded the 73rd pick to the Saints for the 75th and 2024 fourth-round pick. Pappoe is 6’1”, 225lbs, and ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash and a 40-inch vertical. He is an incredible athlete who can fill the Bear’s need at linebacker. He has over 220 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and seven sacks in his four-year college career. He is a raw talent, but with that kind of athletic talent, it’s hard to let him slip by.
Round 4, Pick 108: Andrew Vorhees, OL, USC
Andrew Vorhees is a little older at 24 years old, but he is a monster at 6’6” and 325 lbs. He has a high motor and can be moved around the offensive line if needed. He can sometimes be unpolished, letting his hands slip to the outside of the defender’s pads. He is another raw prospect but has the physical tools and could be a steal in the fourth round.
Round 5, Pick 139: Devon Witherspoon, DB, Illinois
Devon Witherspoon is a 6-foot, 180 lbs defensive back who can earn a starting spot right away on the Bears. So far this season, as a junior, he has earned himself the highest-rated coverage corner and the number-one-graded cornerback in the county by PFF. He has a whopping 12 passes defended this season alone, and he has 25 in his four years at the University of Illinois. He also has 140 tackles, nine being for loss, one sack, and three interceptions in his career. He is an absolute steal in the fifth round. He would round out the Bear’s secondary and could probably earn the third cornerback spot over Kindle Vildor. He would be a great pickup and a talented addition without having to use high draft capital.
Round 5, Pick 156: A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
With the Bear’s recent trade for WR Chase Claypool, I don’t have the Bears picking a receiver until the fifth round. And as far as fifth-round receivers go, A.T. Perry is a great one. Standing 6’5” and weighing 205 lbs, he is on the lighter side but uses it to his advantage. He can fly in space and has a tremendous catch radius due to his 34” arms. He also has incredible body control and elite catching instincts. He has over 550 yards receiving and five touchdowns this year for Wake Forest. He has the ability to be an outstanding receiver, but needs to polish up some things. The most significant question mark is how his game can translate to the NFL, but if it does, the Bears will have themselves another steal in the fifth round.
Round 7, Pick 207: Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pittsburgh
Israel Abanikanda is a 2022 breakout star. He has over 1000 yards rushing on 5.5 yards per carry and 16 touchdowns. He can be explosive in open space and break through tackles to get to said space. He is a strong and decisive runner and can find the lane quickly. He isn’t as great at shedding tackles, especially in the backfield, but he has tremendous upside for a seventh-rounder. Whether the Bears resign David Montgomery or not, Abanikanda would be a great addition to an already strong running back group.