NFL draft analyst Dane Brugler has the Bears selecting Tennessee Vols wide receiver Cedric Tillman with the No. 53 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
If we’re talking true “X” WRs I’m not sure there’s a better one in the class than Cedric Tillman.— JC (@JCJDynasty) January 15, 2023
Body control like this on the boundary for a guy at 6’3 215lb is special.
Tillman already working on getting two feet in during his college days too#NFLDraft2023 pic.twitter.com/NyjqWAvVPk
Tillman entered the 2022 season as a projected first-round draft pick after catching 64 passes for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021.
The Las Vegas native got off to a quick start in 2022. Tillman caught nine passes for 162 yards and the game-winning touchdown in Tennessee’s overtime win against Pittsburgh in week two of the 2022 season.
Hendon Hooker ➡️ Cedric Tillman 🙌— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) September 11, 2022
No. 24 Tennesse beats No. 17 Pittsburgh 34-27 in OT ‼️pic.twitter.com/T4NHHJjZja
Unfortunately for Tillman, he suffered an ankle injury the week after the Vols’ win against Pittsburgh.
That ankle injury forced Tillman to miss Tennessee’s wins against Florida, LSU, Alabama, and UT-Martin. He battled his way back to play against Kentucky, Georgia, and South Carolina.
It would’ve been easy for Tillman to sit out the rest of the season instead of risking further injury to his ankle. But he did everything he could to get back on the field for the Volunteers.
Tillman has elite size and decent speed (he should run the 40-yard dash in the 4.4 to 4.5 range). And he showed last season that he can have success in the SEC, which is widely regarded as the best conference in college football (Tillman was actually the leading returning wide receiver in the SEC in 2022).
If the Bears can draft Tillman in the second round, they should jump at the chance. Quarterback Justin Fields needs weapons. And Tillman is a guy who would pair nicely with Fields’ ability to throw the ball down the field.
Sounds like a match made in heaven.
Featured image via Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports