Trevor Ruszkowski - USA Today Sports
Trevor Ruszkowski - USA Today Sports

ESPN's Todd McShay thinks Bears got the steal of the 2023 NFL Draft

by - Senior Editor -

The Chicago Bears made a big splash during Day 2 of the NFL draft for their defensive line needs by selecting South Carolina defensive tackle Zacch Pickens.

And according to one of the NFL's draft gurus, the Bears got an absolute steal.

ESPN's NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay recently praised the pick of Pickens and called him the "steal of the draft" for the Bears.

"Matt Eberflus' defense relies on a good, penetrating 3-technique up the middle, and that's Pickens," McShay wrote. "Getting him in the third round is solid value. We're talking about a unit that totaled 20 sacks in 2022, last in the NFL. And while Pickens had only 2.5 sacks last season, his explosion, first-step quickness, and power suggest he can be more disruptive than his numbers suggest."

McShay thinks that Pickens has the potential to be a starter, sooner than later.

"Pickens is a different kind of player, is a good fit in Chicago, and will be key in this defensive scheme. I think he'll be an impact starter in no time. Getting him in the third round is solid value," McShay wrote.

Pickens played four years at South Carolina, recording 131 total tackles and 7.5 sacks in 43 collegiate games. He's known for his physicality in the run game and his high ceiling as a pass rusher.

The move is expected to bolster the team's defensive line, which struggled to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks last season with only 20 sacks.

The former Gamecock will have the opportunity to showcase his skills and prove that McShay's high praise was justified during the upcoming rookie minicamp.

The Bears will be hoping that he will be a piece of the puzzle that can help turn their defensive struggles around and make them competitive again in the NFC North.

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