The Chicago Bears are headed to Columbus
The Chicago Bears front office and scouting department will be busy at college Pro Day events over the next few weeks. The Bears have ten picks in the upcoming draft in April, and they need to land some helpful players to fill out the slowly but steadily improving roster. They witnessed a disappointing performance by defensive tackle Jalen Carter at Georgia’s Pro Day last week. The Bears are reportedly headed to one of the most essential Pro Days on this year’s circuit.
Per multiple reports, the Bears will have many representatives present at Ohio State’s Pro Day, including general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus.
Not on the credential list but also in Columbus for @OhioStateFB Pro Day—Bears GM Ryan Poles and HC Matt Eberflus. I'm told the two will also travel to Penn State's and Alabama's Pro Days together.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 22, 2023
The Chicago Bears will have 8 representatives attend today’s Ohio State pro day, per sources.
Assistant GM Ian Cunningham
OC Luke Getsy
DC Alan Williams
HC Matt Eberflus
GM Ryan Poles
Midwest Area Scout Ryan Cavanaugh
OL coach Chris Morgan
DL coach Travis Smith
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) March 22, 2023
Ohio State Players the Bears will scout
Many quarterback-needy teams will also be there to check out C.J. Stroud. Now that the Chicago Bears have dealt the first pick to the Carolina Panthers, Stroud won’t be on their radar. The Bears will have a few players that should be available when the Bears pick at the overall nine spot or in later rounds. Quarterback Justin Fields has said Jaxon Smith-Njigba would be his first choice in the draft. He’ll be someone to keep an eye out at the Pro Day, but Poles and Eberflus will likely be checking out offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. as their potential top selection.
The Bears chose not to overspend on premium positions in free agency this offseason. Poles wants to build in the trenches using the draft, and Johnson would be the perfect candidate for the offensive line. According to Lance Zierlein’s draft profile of Johnson, Johnson is better suited for a zone scheme like the one the Bears run:
Long, athletic tackle in need of additional technique work but possessing the traits to become a long-time starter on the left side. Johnson is still filling out his frame and he should get stronger. He’s much better as a move blocker than man blocker but he can bridge that gap with more coaching. He’s loose and quick in pass protection but will need to add core strength and get better with inside hands to prevent edge defenders from bypassing his anchor. Johnson’s athletic tools and position versatility are advantageous but the going could be a little bumpy early on before he settles in.
Johnson would fit what the Bears need for their offensive line. The scheme should have no issues, as Fields and Johnson played the same outside zone scheme at Ohio State. Johnson and Smith-Njigba aren’t the only players the Bears should look at. Past the draft’s first round, the Buckeyes have other options in the trenches.
- Defensive End Zach Harrison
- Offensive Tackle Dawand Jones
- Center Luke Wypler
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