Updated Mel Kiper mock draft: Bears use first-round choice on defense.

On Tuesday, Mel Kiper, a master of the NFL Draft, issued his updated mock draft following the conclusion of free agency. In it, he suggests that the Bears should use the ninth overall pick to strengthen their defensive unit.

According to Kiper, the Bears must no longer use their pick on a top receiver because they already have Keenan Allen. This is because the Bears have Keenan Allen. 

Instead, general manager Ryan Poles has the option of shifting his attention to either the offensive line or an edge rusher to pair with Montez Sweat. Kiper forecasts that the former will occur, with the Bears selecting Jared Verse of Florida State at the ninth overall pick.

"Verse's testing numbers at the combine were impressive, even if I didn't love his 2023 tape," Kiper stated in his article. 

There were moments when he was not consistent, but at 5 feet 4 inches tall and 254 pounds, he possesses the whole set of tools necessary to be a destructive pass-rusher at the next level, provided that he is able to put everything together.

The Bears have made a few shrewd moves this offseason, and if their rookie quarterback comes in and plays well, they could be challengers in the NFL North."

At the conclusion of the previous season, Verse concluded his time at

Florida State with a total of 41 tackles, nine sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

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