Chicago Bears’ Coach Hints At Team’s NFL Draft Strategy

Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears
NFL Analysis Network

The Chicago Bears swung a deal to acquire edge rusher Montez Sweat from the Washington Commanders at last year’s NFL trade deadline, and it paid dividends.

Sweat posted 25 tackles and six sacks in nine games for the Bears, and in 17 contests between Chicago and Washington in total, he racked up 57 tackles, 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

However, as a team, the Bears accumulated just 30 sacks in 2023, which ranked second-to-last in the NFL.

It’s obvious the team needs another pass rusher, and head coach Matt Eberflus hinted that Chicago could go in that direction with its second first-round draft pick at No. 9.

“It’s important that we get that piece because you have to have the one-two punch,” Eberflus said, via Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official team website. “It can be inside as well. You look at who affects the quarterback the most, I would also argue that the inside piece is also something that we should be looking at, and it’s important that we do that. Direct line to the quarterback. When they max protect, it’s a soft spot in the protection. We’re looking at all pass rushers. It can be inside, outside, all along the line. We’re having an open mind in that regard.”

The Bears own the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft later this month and are expected to take USC quarterback Caleb Williams, but they also own the ninth pick, which, apparently, they may use to take a pass rusher.

Some have suggested that Chicago could draft an offensive lineman to help protect Williams or select another weapon for Williams in the aerial attack. However, the Bears traded for wide receiver Keenan Allen, already giving them a terrific one-two punch of Allen and DJ Moore at wide out. They also have tight end Cole Kmet, who has emerged as an impressive pass-catcher.

It would certainly make sense for Chicago to continue building its defense by taking another pass rusher to play alongside of Sweat.

We’ll see what the Bears decide to do a few weeks from now.

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