Five 2023 NFL Draft prospects Bears should watch at Senior Bowl
Five NFL draft prospects for Bears to keep eye on at Senior Bowl originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears' offseason prep hits a new stage this week as they head down to Mobile, Ala., for the 2023 Senior Bowl.
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will be the head coach of the American Team. In addition, linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi and assistant tight ends coach Tim Zetts will also be on the staff for the American Team. Meanwhile, assistant special teams coach Carlos Polk will help coach the National Team.
Last year, the Bears drafted four players -- Velus Jones Jr., Braxton Jones, Ja'Tyre Carter, and Dominique Robinson -- who played in the Senior Bowl.
With Getsy coaching, the Bears will get an even better look at which players can help them on the field while being a good cultural fit for what head coach Matt Eberflus is building.
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Here are a few prospects the Bears should have their eyes on this week in Mobile:
Note: Since I've already written about Dawand Jones and Roschon Johnson in my first mock draft, they won't appear on this list. That's not an oversight.
Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
The Bears have a massive need for edge rushers. Even if they draft a pass rusher in Round 1, Foskey should still be on their radar if he is available on Day 2.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound edge rusher finished his final season at Notre Dame with 11 sacks, 14 quarterback hits, and 10 tackles for loss.
He has explosive speed off the edge, allowing him to disrupt the passing game quickly. He has excellent athleticism, and a high motor that would fit well with the H.I.T.S culture Eberlfus is installing at Halas Hall.
Foskey also is a special teams dynamo with several blocked punts in his career. He'd be a nice addition to a defensive front that needs to be entirely revamped this offseason.
Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
On the other side of the ball, the Bears need to get quarterback Justin Fields more playmakers in the passing game.
Rice is one of my favorite prospects in this class. At 6-foot-3, 206 pounds, Rice is a long, athletic receiver with a good frame, acceleration, and speed.
He has good ball skills and excels at making the first defender miss to rack up yards after the catch, which is something the Bears' offense had little of this past season.
The biggest thing with Rice will be negating his issue with drops and helping him transition from SMU's college offense into a pro-style attack. Still, Rice is a great athlete who has all the tools to develop into a plus receiver in the NFL. He should be high atop the Bears' board on Day 2.
Cody Mauch, IOL, North Dakota State
Mauch feels like a player many people will fall in love with as the draft process heats up.
A former walk-on tight end, Mauch bulked up 80 pounds and became an All-American offensive lineman at North Dakota State. A sixth-year senior, Mauch should be able to play right away next season. He has good size and athleticism. His quickness and footwork make him a good fit for a zone-based scheme.
Darkhorse candidate for most media coverage at the Senior Bowl is NDSU's Cody Mauch (#70).
- No front teeth
- Long flowing ginger locks
- Gained 80+ pounds after walking on as a tight end
- One of the best highlight reels of anyone in the class pic.twitter.com/01l12lfync
— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) January 30, 2023
The Athletic's Dane Brugler, one of the best draft analysts in the business, believes Mauch could end up being top of his class in a few years.
A few years from now, it wouldn't be surprising if Cody Mauch is the best center from this draft class.
Scouts want to see him play multiple positions this week in Mobile. https://t.co/SbtcWCu87M
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 30, 2023
Mauch only played tackle in college but will be an interior offensive lineman at the next level. He should see time at guard and center in Mobile.
The Bears need depth on the offensive line and are looking for a long-term answer at center and left guard. Expect Poles and Ian Cunningham to be very interested in watching Mauch this week.
Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
Expect Hall to be another fast riser in the draft process who could find his way into the first round.
An explosive edge defender with long arms who also excels at setting the edge in the run game, Hall has all the tools NFL teams look for in a pass rusher.
Big Derick Hall fan in this edge class!! Definitely a guy to watch at the Senior Bowl. pic.twitter.com/P6VlUHoj1p
— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) December 14, 2022
Kenny McIntosh, RB, Georgia
With David Montgomery's future in Chicago uncertain, the Bears should be making a list of potential Day 2/Day 3 running backs to target in the draft.
Texas' Roschon Johnson, who will also be in Mobile, should be at the top of the list, but McIntosh also has a chance to shine this week.
After sitting behind NFL backs James Cook and Zamir White, McIntosh was the Bulldogs' starting tailback this past season. At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, McIntosh has a nice mix of height, weight, and speed coveted in starting-caliber NFL backs.
He has great vision, is a patient runner, and is a weapon in the passing game, leading all running backs with 515 yards after the catch this season, per Pro Football Focus.
McIntosh needs to work on his pass protection, but he could be a nice compliment to Khalil Herbert with starter upside.
Kenny McIntosh. WHOOP. pic.twitter.com/URWvA7JgZT
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) January 12, 2023
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