Grading the Bears' 2023 Rookie Class

Now that the NFL regular season is in the books, it's time to look back at the Chicago Bears' 2023 draft class. So, how did the 10 rookies fair in their first year of professional football?

OT Darnell Wright was selected 10th overall by the Bears at the 2023 NFL Draft.
OT Darnell Wright was selected 10th overall by the Bears at the 2023 NFL Draft. / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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Noah Sewell, LB (R5, Pick 148): C-

Noah Sewell was one of the tougher rookies to grade because he just didn't see that much playing time.

A fifth-round selection out of Oregon, Sewell only played 27 snaps on defense compared to 270 on special teams. While there's nothing wrong with being a special teamer, he potentially could've seen more defensive opportunities had a knee injury not limited him to 13 games.

Sewell only finished with nine tackles and a forced fumble, meaning he shouldn't have an issue improving on those numbers if he sees more playing time next season. In the meantime, it's clear that his rookie campaign just wasn't special.

Terell Smith, CB (R5, Pick 165): B+

Terell Smith was one of the more pleasant surprises during the 2023 campaign. After all, expectations aren't usually that high for prospects picked towards the end of Round 5.

Nevertheless, Smith didn't let his draft position stop him from putting on a show as a rookie. The ex-Minnesota product broke up six passes while forcing a fumble and recording 49 tackles in 12 games (4 starts). He also only allowed a 61.0% completion rate when targeted and missed just two of his tackle attempts. PFF even graded him as the Bears' fourth-best secondary player in coverage. targeted

Considering how he was also PFF's No. 39-graded cornerback out of 128 eligible options, it's safe to say that Smith will only get better with each season. Bears fans should be excited about his future.