In the third round, the Bears go defense, first with selecting Auburn edge rusher Derick Hall at no. 65.
The Bears’ biggest defensive weakness this past season came up front with their defensive line. Whether it was getting pressure on the quarterback or their Achilles heel, stopping the run, this line was atrocious.
Since trading Khalil Mack and letting go of Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman, they haven’t been the same. Hall is a powerful, quick edge rusher who is excellent at stopping the run. He’ll step in and start right away, attempting to change the feel of this line in 2023
The Bears make a trade just a few picks later in order to land a stud linebacker, Jack Campbell out of Iowa. Pairing Campbell with Jack Sanborn gives the Bears two old-school, hard-nosed linebackers for the foreseeable future.
Over his last two seasons with the Hawkeyes, Campbell was a tackling machine. He totaled 265 tackles, 9.0 for a loss, a pair of sacks, four interceptions, seven passes defensed, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and a couple of defensive touchdowns.
The Bears’ run defense improves immensely after the third round, grabbing both Hall and Campbell. Now, it’s on to building more of the trenches in later rounds.