Bears Draft Target: Braeden Daniels
James Snook - USA Today Sports

Bears Draft Target: Braeden Daniels

by - Senior Writer -

After finishing the 2022 season with a 3-14 record, the Chicago Bears have the No.1 pick in the NFL draft, in addition to seven other selections. The Bears may also use that No. 1 pick to their advantage and trade back into the first round to potentially acquire more picks.

Although that does come with the risks of losing the best player in the draft, when you look at the Bears and their current position, it is what is best for this franchise. You also have to consider the needs of this team, as they need help at virtually every position not named QB.

Trading back is an advantage for them as the teams they trade with will most likely target Bryce Young or CJ Stroud, whom the Bears will not pick. As long as Will Anderson Jr or Jalen Carter is the pick for the Bears whenever they pick, the first round would be a win for Chicago, especially if they add additional picks.

If the Bears trade with another team to acquire another first-round pick, look for them to target another need which happens to be the offensive line again. Despite making some moves last offseason, the offensive line still needs to be addressed despite some younger players showing promise in 2022. Adding Utah offensive lineman Braeden Daniels would be a nice pickup for the Bears, as he should help solidify the line for years.

Not only is Daniels durable, playing 43 games with the Utes, but he is versatile, which the Bears would love to have. Daniels played all five positions on the offensive line during his time in Utah and played all of them equally well. That means should you draft this guy, you could put him at whatever position has an opening and let him run with it.

Although he did move around a lot, Daniels spent most of his time a the tackle positions, although his arm length makes him more suitable to play guard or center in the NFL. That is a position the Bears need to address, but he would need to put on some weight if he wants to play on the inside.

At 6-4 and 297 pounds, Daniels is undersized for offensive linemen, especially one that thrives at the tackle position. Over his 43 career starts, 32 came at the tackle positions, while the remaining 11 games were on the interior portion of the line. Last season saw Daniels make 14 starts at the tackle position, where he earned all Pac-12 Honors.

One of the things you notice when watching him play is his incredible athleticism. His excellent lateral movement and quickness off the snap is a big reason he has become so versatile, as he uses that quickness to make up for his lack of size. While he has played more tackle than anything, Daniels is one of those guys you could use as a swing tackle while also giving him a chance to earn a starting guard spot.

As expected, Daniels possesses some weaknesses, and the major one comes from his overall size as a player. Daniels is small for an offensive linemen and is under 300 pounds. However, given his frame, he may be unable to support additional bulk, limiting his versatility in the NFL.

While Daniels is a great blocker, he tends to struggle against power rushers, as his lack of size directly results from that. His pad level could be more consistent, sometimes allowing smaller defenders to overwhelm him. That is one of those technical flaws that can be addressed in the NFL, but it is still a concern many teams have when looking at Daniels.

Daniels will likely immediately impact the team that drafts him. He was a key contributor to a Utah offensive line that ranked 11th in rushing yards per game and only allowed one sack per game. For a team that led the NFL in rushing yards per game last season, he is the perfect fit for their system, especially when you look at the injuries they had on the line last year.

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