"Envisioning the Ideal 2024 NFL Draft for the Chicago Bears"

Vince Carbonneau
April 25, 2024  (1:42 PM)

Caleb Williams in action
Photo credit: USC Nation

The 2024 NFL draft has arrived, and the Chicago Bears are poised to introduce a fresh group of rookies to their squad.

Ryan Poles, the team's general manager, aims to bring in key players to bolster the roster. Although the Bears have only four picks in this draft, Poles has expressed no interest in trading back to acquire more. Fortunately, two of these selections are top 10 picks, including the first and ninth overall.
The team has identified several roster needs, notably at quarterback and pass rusher, and plans to enhance weapons and protection for the new quarterback.
Here, we explore the optimal scenarios for the Bears in this draft.
**Select Caleb Williams First Overall**
On April 24, 2024, in Detroit, Michigan, USC quarterback Caleb Williams made an appearance at the Play Football Prospect Clinic at The Corner Ballpark. It's virtually certain that the Bears will select Caleb Williams as their first pick. The team has made no secret of their intention to draft Williams after spending considerable time with him during his pro day and a Top 30 visit. Williams has even begun practicing with his future wide receivers, DJ Moore and Keenan Allen, which underscores his imminent arrival in Chicago.
**Secure a Top Three Wide Receiver**
Ideally, one of the top three wide receivers—Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, or Rome Odunze—would be available when the Bears make their ninth overall pick. Given the likely draft-day upheavals, it's possible that Odunze, already a friend of Williams, will be the one joining the team. The two even traveled together to Detroit for the draft and have been practicing together recently.
**Acquire a Disruptive Three-Technique Player**
If a premier wide receiver isn't available, the Bears might focus on defense, specifically an interior pass rusher, as indicated by Poles in his pre-draft press conference. A potential target could be Byron Murphy II from Texas, an explosive three-technique defender that would greatly complement the team's defensive line. Illinois' Johnny Newton is also a viable option, particularly if the Bears decide to trade down while still aiming for a top defensive lineman.
**Add a Productive Edge Rusher**
The draft could also see the Bears opting for an edge rusher at the ninth pick. The draft board's layout will heavily influence their choice, with Dallas Turner, Jared Verse, and Laiatu Latu being top prospects in this category. Given the team's current need for pass rushers, it wouldn't be surprising to see them enhance this area, whether at the ninth pick or through a trade.
**Strengthen Pass Protection**
Although the consensus leans towards a wide receiver or pass rusher at the ninth pick, an offensive tackle could be a strategic choice. Despite Braxton Jones's solid performance as the starting left tackle, Poles is keen on enhancing competition and depth within the tackle group. Olu Fashanu, a former high school teammate of Williams, is a name to watch. His addition would not only solidify pass protection but also reunite him with Williams, adding a personal layer of trust to the line.
APRIL 25   |   43 ANSWERS
"Envisioning the Ideal 2024 NFL Draft for the Chicago Bears"

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