Later on in round five, the Bears finally snag themselves a linebacker. Jack Sanborn should be back as a starter in 2023, but beyond him, the other two starters are unknown. North Carolina State’s Payton Wilson could come in and compete for one of those jobs, though.
Wilson is 6-foot-4 with an athletic build and he can get around in space quickly. Playing with a high motor, Wilson excels against the run — are we noticing a theme, here? He projects as an outside linebacker with limited coverage ability, but again, we’re focused mostly on helping against the run. The only big downside is a tough injury history. If Wilson stays healthy, he could compete for a starting job on the outside.
Many successful teams across the NFL are able to use multiple tight ends often, and the Bears need to find a second guy to pair with Cole Kmet. Giving Justin Fields a couple of capable pass-catchers at the position would be a huge win, and someone like Cincinnati’s Josh Whyle would be the perfect find in Round 5.
At 6-foot-6, Whyle has towering size but also runs great routes. He’s a true pass-catching tight end that controls his body well. But, he’s also an underrated blocker; an area he’s developed over time. Giving Fields Kmet and Whyle in certain formations could be lethal, especially in the red zone.