3 Combine Standouts that the Bears Must Target in the NFL Draft

Here are three standouts from the NFL combine the Bears must target in the draft.

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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With the NFL Combine over, all the focus will shift to free agency. However, there is plenty of excitement still buzz swirling around the draft, and NFL front offices won't be ignoring the incoming rookie class this week.

Many players were impressive, made a name for themselves, and improved their draft stock at the combine. The Chicago Bears took notice, and these players should be on the Bear's radar.

1. Joe Alt, T, Notre Dame

Joe Alt
NFL Combine / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

You can argue that offensive tackle is one of the more solid positions on the line and prevailing roster.

Last year, the Bears spent deluxe draft capital on one by selecting Darnell Wright. He has shown that he belongs on the team as a long-term solution. At left tackle, Braxton Jones has been a solid option as well. He was a fifth-round pick in 2022 and has clearly exceeded expectations.

Jones played every single snap of his rookie season. He was a great run blocker but had to improve his pass protection, especially on the bull rush. In year 2, he was valuable when on the field, but he also dealt with an injury and missed significant time. He is a great choice when healthy, but there is the potential to upgrade.

Joe Alt is that upgrade. If available at pick number nine, Bears general manager Ryan Poles could upgrade the second most significant position in football. Alt is a massive man who is not afraid to make adjustments and can transition into an offense smoothly. He did play tight end and moved over to tackle. He talked about his transition at the combine.

Now, the one thing that Matt Eberflus wants is a player to have versatility. Be able to adapt and play a significant role in multiple positions. Alt will only play one position in the NFL. (That we know of!) The NFL is a changing game. His size and athleticism will help him ease into the game and make an immediate impact. Alt is the prototypical player Poles would target at a position regardless of need.

Tackle is a premium position in football. With Jaylon Johnson's recent contract extension, the Bears will likely spend the rest of their cap space at other positions: free safety, defensive line, wide receiver, and running back. The Bears are also potentially trying to target either Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders or Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants. If the Bears can sign one, imagine the price to bring them aboard. The offensive firepower would allow the necessary bang and run production of a modern offense.

Two young and cost-effective tackles at a premium position would suffice. Add Braxton Jones in the mix as a swing tackle, and the position is set for years to come with elite play and allow the focus to shift to paying other positions of need.