Chicago Bears 2023 Draft Picks Analysis & Grades

By Ha Kung Wong

Twitter: @FBGarbageTime

Round 1

Pick 10 (10)
Darnell Wright – OT – Tennessee

The Bears didn’t have a great right tackle option opposite left tackle Braxton Jones, who started all 17 games in his rookie season.  Although we all knew the Bears would draft a tackle in the 1st round, it was at least mildly surprising to me they didn’t draft the higher profile and potentially more versatile Peter Skoronski.  That’s not to say Darnell Wright doesn’t make sense as he’s been flying up the draft boards since the beginning of the off season.

Wright, a 6-foot-6, 330-pound lineman, appeared in 47 games with 42 starts over 4 seasons with Tennessee.  Wright started at right tackle as a freshman and sophomore, moved to left tackle for 13 starts in 2021 and then back to the right side in 2022 where he held off opponents like Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr., Clemson’s Bryan Bresee, LSU’s BJ Ojulari and Florida’s Brenton Cox Jr. and earned unanimous first-team All-SEC honors.  In fact, Wright didn’t allow a single sack in 2022, and allowed just 8 total pressures.

He played in the Senior Bowl in January on the American Team which was coached by Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, so it’s not surprising he was on the Bears’ radar.  And at the combine, Wright ran a fast-for-his-size 5.01 40-yard dash, a 29″ vertical and a 9’6″ broad jump which put him near the 98th percentile among offensive tackles, further cementing him as one of the top tackles in the draft.

Although his arm length (33 ¾) suggests he could slide to left tackle if necessary, his best season at Tennessee was at right tackle, where he also excelled in the run game, which should be a good fit for Justin Fields.


Round 2

Pick 22 (53)
Gervon Dexter Sr. – DT – Florida

The Bears certainly have needs along the defensive line, but having to wait to pick left them with limited options as defensive linemen flew off the board.  Taking Gervon Dexter at 53 isn’t terrible, but certainly does feel like a bit of a reach as he only had 4.5 sacks in the past two seasons at Florida.  Part of the reason is the off-cited slow reaction to the snap which limits his as a pass-rusher.  But that doesn’t mean Dexter doesn’t have potential.

At 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, Dexter put on a show at the combine, notching a 4.88 40-yard dash, further underscoring his explosiveness.  And he was an incredible solid run defender in college who often required double teams.  Finally, he has tons of power and can develop into a better pass rusher with better snap recognition.  It’ll take some time to properly grade this pick, but for now I’ll be cautiously optimistic.


Pick 25 (56)
Tyrique Stevenson – CB – Miami

The Bears continue to build their secondary with a solid CB pick in Tyrique Stevenson.  Stevenson broke up 24 passes and intercepted 3 passes over four college seasons and had just a 78.4 passer rating against in his last season.  He’s a slightly older prospect who will be 23 before the preseason, but he did well at the combine, measuring 6-0 3/8 and 198 lbs. and putting up a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash. He has some inconsistencies but is one of the most physical press-man corners in this draft. He’s better in man coverage than he is in zone coverage but should be able to play either outside or in the nickel.  Interestingly, he also played in the Senior Bowl on the American Team, so apparently, OC Luke Getsy had some say with the drafting process.


Round 3

Pick 1 (64)
Zacch Pickens – DT – South Carolina

Zacch Pickens is the 3rd player selected who played on the American Team at the Senior Bowl, and he’s a solid one.  In 2021, Pickens recorded 28 tackles, 6 assists while making 22 stops, adding 14 total pressures, which included 8 QB hurries, one QB hit, and 5 sacks.  In 2022 Pickens totaled 31 tackles, 12 assists, and 22 stops, adding 19 total pressures, which included 13 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and 3 sacks.

He has a great step off the line and is a nice combination of explosiveness and power.  He can play both 3-technique and 1-technique, bringing versatility to the interior. Pickens has a disruptive first step that helps him both against the run and as a pass rusher.


Round 4

Pick 13 (115)
Roschon Johnson – RB – Texas

During that 2019 season with the Texas Longhorns, the 6’0″, 219-pound Roschon Johnson piled on 123 rushing attempts. But then, Bijan Robinson joined the team and Johnson became a complementary piece.  That being said, it was entirely a bad thing, as Johnson is one of the most powerful runners in this class and actually tied with Robinson in rate of missed tackles forced per attempt among the Big 12 last season. In total, he forced 139 missed tackles and, very importantly, only fumbled once during his entire career.  With less wear in college, but plenty of experience playing high caliber competition, he has plenty of potential and could grow into an every-down back.  Add in D’onta Foreman and Khalil Herbert, as well as Justin Fields, and the Bears are going to be tough to stop on the ground.

Roschon Johnson Rushing & Receiving Stats
Rush Rush Rush Rush Rece Rece Rece Rece
Year School G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD
*2019 Texas 13 123 649 5.3 7 23 158 6.9 1
*2020 Texas 10 80 418 5.2 6 8 51 6.4 1
2021 Texas 12 96 569 5.9 5 11 83 7.5 0
*2022 Texas 12 93 554 6.0 5 14 128 9.1 1
Career Texas 392 2190 5.6 23 56 420 7.5 3


Pick 31 (133)
Tyler Scott – WR – Cincinnati

Tyler Scott may be just 5’10”, 177-pounds but he ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at the combine and has been clocked 4.29-seconds.  Add that speed to an impressive 39.5-inch vertical and you have a guy who can take the top off defenses and go up and get those 50/50 balls.  The Bears already have DJ Moore from the trade with Carolina added to Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney, so it was an immediate need to grab a WR early, but taking a player like Scott is not only terrific value but will help put multiple vertical threats on the field.

Receiving & Rushing Table
Rece Rece Rece Rece
Year School G Rec Yds Avg TD
*2020 Cincinnati 4 3 20 6.7 0
*2021 Cincinnati 14 30 520 17.3 5
*2022 Cincinnati 12 54 899 16.6 9
Career Cincinnati 87 1439 16.5 14


Round 5

Pick 13 (148)
Noah Sewell – LB – Oregon

Noah Sewell has some family in the NFL. His brother, Nephi, spent the majority of last season on the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad, and everyone knows his brother, Penei, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2021 draft.  So there’s some pedigree here.

Sewell excels as a blitzer and was solid at Oregon with 20.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks over 3 seasons.  He’s one of the best off-ball linebackers in the draft and has plenty of potential with some time and coaching, particularly with Tremaine Edmunds to learn from.

Noah Sewell Stats
Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack Def Def Fumb
Year School G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int PD FR
*2020 Oregon 7 28 20 48 6.5 2.0 0 0 0
*2021 Oregon 14 53 61 114 8.5 4.0 1 5 0
*2022 Oregon 12 24 32 56 5.5 1.5 1 4 1
Career Oregon 105 113 218 20.5 7.5 2 9 1


Pick 30 (165)
Terell Smith – CB – Minnesota

Minnesota’s Terell Smith is arguably a top-10 CB in the draft yet managed to slip all the way to the 5th round, making him a solid value.  He started slow in college, but had an excellent fifth season, setting career highs in tackles for loss (4.5), sacks (two) and interceptions (two) while breaking up 5 passes and piling up 38 total tackles.  That being said, there’s some growth required before he reaches his potential, so the jury is still out on how he’ll do in the NFL.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack Def Def Fumb
Year School G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int PD FR
*2018 Minnesota 11 34 9 43 2.0 0.0 1 8 0
*2019 Minnesota 5 7 2 9 0.0 0.0 0 1 0
2020 Minnesota 1 3 0 3 0.0 0.0 0 0 0
*2021 Minnesota 7 11 5 16 0.0 0.0 1 2 1
*2022 Minnesota 13 34 4 38 4.5 2.0 2 5 0
Career Minnesota 89 20 109 6.5 2.0 4 16 1


Round 7

Pick 1 (218)
Travis Bell – DT – Kennesaw State

The Bears added their third interior defender, and the first ever NFL Draft pick by Kennesaw State, Travis Bell.  He’s got plenty of power with 30 bench press reps at his pro day and brings some upfield explosivity.  Bell likely just provides depth to the Bears’ defensive line at this point, being slightly undersized but big on hustle plays.


Pick 41 (258)
Kendall Williamson – CB – Stanford

Kendall Williamson has some potential as depth for the Bears.  He had 50 tackles in 2022 (2.5 for a loss) and had one interception along with 3 pass breakups last season.