The Chicago Bears go on the clock in the 2023 NFL Draft in just three days and the rumors are swirling. What they will do with the ninth overall pick remains unclear. But there has been plenty of smoke around several key rumors including one that bucks current conventional wisdom.
Bears Draft Rumors: Latest Buzz on Chicago’s Plan for No. 9 Pick
The Experts’ Expectations
NFL.com senior draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah appeared on ‘The Season with Peter Schrager’ on April 20. He delivered a rather surprising revelation.
“Somebody told me don’t sleep on Bijan Robinson with the Chicago Bears at No. 9,” Jeremiah said.
The Bears did let 2022 starter David Montgomery leave in free agency. Meanwhile, Robinson led the Big 12 with 1580 rushing yards and had 18 touchdowns for the Longhorns last season. He added another 314 yards and two scores catching 19 passes out of the backfield en route to winning the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top back. Robinson was also named a consensus All-American.
Fill in the blank:
Bijan Robinson is the best RB prospect since _________ pic.twitter.com/DLR9fJFE2y
— PlaymakerU (@playmakerU) April 20, 2023
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Robinson amassed 2707 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns over his last two seasons in Austin. But the Bears already have Khalil Herbert who proved to be serviceable as a fill-in starter last season. They also signed D’Onta Foreman away from the Carolina Panthers this offseason.
Still, it would be the highest a back was taken since Saquon Barkley was selected second overall by the New York Giants in 2018. None of the four runners taken in the first round since then have been taken before pick No. 24 and no back was drafted in the first round last year.
There is another option that is gaining steam, according to ESPN draft expert Todd McShay.
.@McShay13 hints at why the Ryan Poles isn't done trading back.
— ESPN 1000 (@ESPN1000) April 20, 2023
Of course, a trade back would almost certainly take the Bears out of the running for the current betting favorite to land in Chicago with the ninth overall pick.
The Sharp Money
Wright closed last week tied as the consensus market favorite to be the Bears’ pick at No. 9. The other option is unquestionably the draft’s most polarizing prospect in Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter.
Less than 1 week until #NFLDraft2023! So here is what the market thinks who will be drafted at picks 1-10. Percentages are the vig removed probabilities according to @DKSportsbook that a player will be picked at the corresponding position. Data as of today and subject to change. pic.twitter.com/J816WKikAb
— Sebastian (@mrcaseb) April 21, 2023
Carter has been called the most talented prospect on the board but a string of questionable decisions – one of which involved the loss of two lives – has put red flags next to his name. At No. 9, it is a wonder if the Bears general manager Ryan Poles would be comfortable taking a player who seems like such a high risk.
The Bears have had Carter out for multiple visits, however, and the talent of the 6-foot-3, 300-plus pounder is undeniable.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2023
Chicago needs help in enough places to make it nearly impossible to nail down even a specific position group even this close to the draft. To that point offensive linemen Peter Skoronski of Northwestern and Paris Johnson Jr. of Ohio State are also popular guesses.
“Knowing the scouting tree that Poles is coming from, I’d think it’ll be Paris,” an AFC exec tells Breer. “It’s the size, the length, just having a pass-blocking left tackle, it matches up.”
Breer notes that the Bears’ board is Johnson and Skoronski – presumably in that order — and if both are gone then Poles will turn to the defensive line. That could mean that, if all three are available, Carter is still third in his eyes.