Can Chicago Make Bijan Robinson Work at 9?


The Chicago Bears are in a unique spot at No. 9 overall. They still have quite a few needs at premier positions, but the best available player at that spot could be a running back. Could Chicago get away with taking Bijan Robinson, and addressing other needs later on? This 2023 Bears NFL Mock Draft explores that possibility.

In this scenario, simulated trades were active among other teams via the Mock Draft Simulator, but the Bears held steady and did not make any moves.

Latest Chicago Bears 2023 NFL Mock Draft

RB Bijan Robinson, Texas | Round 1, Pick 9

Sure, running backs don’t matter. But elite playmakers do. The Bears have a hyper-elite rushing threat already with Justin Fields. Imagine if they had a hyper-elite RB to go along with him — putting defenses in a painful game of tug-of-war on each snap.

David Montgomery was good — let’s not get it twisted. But the presence of Bijan Robinson in the Bears’ backfield would go beyond that of a normal starting running back. Robinson is uncommon. There’s no other way to put it. He’s an elite athlete at 5’11”, 215 pounds, whose rare lateral agility, flexibility, and balance are rivaled only by his borderline telepathic understanding of angles and running lanes.

MORE: Top 10 Running Backs in the 2023 NFL Draft

Robinson will enter the league and become a top-tier back right away, and he’s an exceptional receiving threat to boot. It’s not Robinson alone that makes this pick worth it, of course. But having Fields and Robinson in the same backfield is lethal. The things the Bears could do with their RPO, option, and play-action game would have linebackers hanging up the pads before the half.

DT Gervon Dexter, Florida | Round 2, Pick 53

When you think of a Matt Eberflus defensive tackle, the mold that comes to mind is a long, athletic 3-technique who can cause problems against both the pass and the run. At 6’6″, 310 pounds, with a 31″ vertical and a 9’2″ broad jump, Gervon Dexter fits that athletic profile well.

MORE: Top 2023 NFL Draft Prospects

For his size, Dexter is surprisingly streamlined on tape, and he can forklift through blockers with his functional strength and power. He’s still developing with his hand usage, but Dexter has the natural build to obstruct in the run game and channel energy as a pass rusher.

EDGE Zach Harrison, Ohio State | Round 2, Pick 61

Length and athleticism are similar traits that Eberflus covets on the edge, just as he does at defensive tackle. Dayo Odeyingbo is one such example from Eberflus’ time with the Colts. Odeyingbo measured in at 6’5″, 276 pounds, with over 35″ arms. Indianapolis took him in Round 2, and in 2022, he broke out with five sacks.

Zach Harrison is a similar high-upside investment available in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s listed at 6’5 1/2″ and 274 pounds, with massive 36 1/4″ arms. At that size, he’s a truly elite athlete with rumored 4.4 speed and a vertical over 40″. Harrison hasn’t yet developed into a dominant producer with his dominant traits, but in the hands of Eberflus, a door forward could open.

OT Wanya Morris, Oklahoma | Round 3, Pick 64

It’s been a productive offseason for the Bears. They have their franchise QB, a strong starting LB trio, and a new standout at guard in Nate Davis. But one glaring need that remains evident is right tackle. Chicago needs an upgrade there, and Wanya Morris could grow to be that.

Morris, a former five-star recruit, clearly has the talent. He’s a massive 6’5″, 307-pound blocker with 35″ vines for arms, and his 1.73 10-yard split exemplifies his dangerous explosiveness off the snap. An elite athlete with elite reach, to go with tense physicality and drive as a run blocker, Morris has the upside to be a high-level starter.

CB Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville | Round 4, Pick 103

Cornerback isn’t necessarily a major need for the Bears. There’s room to upgrade on the boundary, but Jaylon Johnson is solid, and Kyler Gordon is a growing player with potential. Even if Chicago keeps those starters, however, they need a high-level slot CB. Kei’Trel Clark projects as such with his superb closing burst, play recognition, and physicality.

WR Michael Wilson, Stanford | Round 4, Pick 133

The Bears have constructed a respectable starting WR trio with DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney, and Chase Claypool. Yet, they can still use depth and rotational utility. Michael Wilson perfectly fits that need at the bottom of Round 4.

MORE: List of Chicago Bears Draft Picks in 2023 NFL Draft

Injuries may cloud his stock, but Wilson’s a crisp route-running technician at around 6’2″, 216 pounds, who fits Luke Getsy’s desired mold with his frame.

EDGE Isaiah McGuire, Missouri | Round 5, Pick 136

This is a high-risk strategy at the EDGE position — doubling up on raw but high-upside prospects. But as long as the Bears can develop them, it could pay off tenfold. Like Harrison, Isaiah McGuire is a size-athleticism menace with awesome power capacity at 6’4″, 268 pounds. He’s explosive, high-energy, and has the bend to turn the corner, too.

TE Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan | Round 5, Pick 148

Particularly in a Bears’ offense that now has Fields and Robinson, it makes sense to invest in a strong 12-personnel package. Alongside Cole Kmet, Chicago adds Luke Schoonmaker in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Schoonmaker is an elite blocker, who doubles as an elite athlete (9.75 RAS at 6’5″, 251) with untapped receiving upside.

DT Kobie Turner, Wake Forest | Round 7, Pick 218

It’s never a bad idea to seek out variety in a DT rotation. Earlier in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Bears added their long obstructing piece in Dexter. Now, they get a well-leveraged disruptor in Kobie Turner. At around 6’2″, 290 pounds, Turner is extremely dense, compact, and explosive, with the wicked hand quickness and urgency to capitalize on opportunities.

OL Brent Laing, Minnesota-Duluth | Round 7, Pick 258

With their final selection in this Bears 2023 NFL Mock Draft, Chicago adds depth to their interior offensive line. Brent Laing projects well at both guard and center, and showed off his versatility at the East-West Shrine Bowl. Despite measuring in just under 300 pounds, he was able to use his core strength to stymy rushers and improved through the week.





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