Trevor Ruszkowski - USA Today Sports
Trevor Ruszkowski - USA Today Sports

Mel Kiper Jr. has Bears drafting surprise OT at No. 9 overall


by - Senior Editor -

The Chicago Bears are heading into the 2023 NFL Draft with high hopes of bolstering their roster with top talent.

The Bears have a number of positions to fill, and in his fourth mock draft of the year, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. believes that drafting offensive tackle Darnell Wright of the University of Tennessee would be the best decision for the team.

With the ninth overall pick, the Bears have a great opportunity to grab an instant starter, and Kiper believes that Wright is the best fit for the team.

"Chicago dropped eight spots in Round 1 but picked up a massive haul in its trade with Carolina, allowing it to keep premium picks in this draft and add future capital as well. And if it wants to add an instant starter at No. 9, offensive tackle is the position to target," Kiper wrote in his latest article. "I like Wright's opportunity with the Bears if we're strictly looking at right tackles, since Braxton Jones held his own on the left side last season.

"Wright started 27 games at right tackle in college; his tape against Will Anderson Jr. and Alabama was phenomenal. He's the best right tackle in this class. My pal Louis Riddick is a huge fan too. This is a selection to keep quarterback Justin Fields clean."

The Bears' offensive line struggled last season, and protecting their young quarterback Justin Fields will be a top priority moving forward. Adding a player of Wright's caliber to the offensive line will go a long way towards achieving that goal.

While Jalen Carter's slide down the draft board has kept him a popular pick for the Bears, Kiper believes that Wright is the best fit for the team's needs.

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