49ers should beware these 5 threatening NFC teams

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs past San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs past San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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Brandon Aiyuk
San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

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NFC Team No. 5: Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears? I hear you exclaim in surprise.

While the Bears were the worst team in football in 2022, it should not be overlooked that they have a quarterback of high potential in Justin Fields as well as giving him both weapons and blocking in the offseason.

They signed top guard Nate Davis in free agency and drafted tackle Darnell Wright in the first round of the NFL Draft to shore up the offensive line after trading down for a ransom from pick No. 1. In that trade, they got a legitimate No. 1 receiver in D.J. Moore from the Carolina Panthers. The team also signed D'onta Foreman, an underappreciated running back who ran well for the Panthers after they traded Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers.

Elsewhere in the draft, running back Roschon Johnson could see immediate playing time while Tyler Scott is a small but speedy receiver that could end up being the starting slot receiver.

Defensively the team made upgrades, too, making some big-name signings at linebacker in Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. They also drafted Tyrique Stevenson, a promising corner who fell due to character concerns, to fill a need at cornerback.

The one weakness Chicago has is the defensive line, which it wasn't able to shore up in free agency. The Bears did draft promising defensive tackle Gervon Dexter and EDGE Zacch Pickens to compensate for this, but they might need some experience before hitting their full potential.

The Niners shouldn't underestimate the Bears in 2023, knowing full well what could happen when Chicago upset them last season. They may not be the finished article just yet, but the team has made some excellent choices in the last few months and should be one of the big improvers in the NFC.

If the 49ers aren't careful, this is a team that could slip them up if they meet up in the playoffs.