Mel Kiper Grades the Chicago Bears' 2024 NFL Draft Picks

Vince Carbonneau
April 28, 2024  (3:23 PM)

Rome Odunze in action
Photo credit: ESPN

As the dust settles on the 2024 NFL Draft, the consensus among analysts is that the Chicago Bears under General Manager Ryan Poles have made significant strides in transitioning from a rebuilding phase to potential contenders. Renowned NFL draft expert Mel Kiper has also weighed in with his evaluations, giving a nod to some of the Bears' strategic choices, though with a more reserved enthusiasm compared to other pundits.

The Bears' decision to select quarterback Caleb Williams as the number one overall pick was widely anticipated and broadly endorsed. Kiper concurred with the majority, praising the pick alongside the Bears' selection of wide receiver Rome Odunze at number nine, both of whom are expected to revitalize Chicago's offense.
"Williams, who topped my Big Board, is a standout talent poised to thrive with a strong supporting cast, including new addition Rome Odunze," Kiper noted. "Their synergy should yield immediate results for the Bears, marking a strong kickoff to their draft."
However, Kiper critiqued the Bears for their limited draft capital, which restricted their ability to address needs comprehensively on both offense and defense. The prior acquisition of Montez Sweat, which cost a second-round pick, though beneficial, limited their drafting power. Kiper's focus was strictly on the draft performance, not the broader roster strategy.
"The Bears faced limitations in enhancing both their offensive and defensive lines due to a shortage of picks," Kiper pointed out.
Kiper also highlighted some of the Bears' later draft choices, like offensive tackle Kiran Amegadjie, who is recovering from a quad injury, and noted their potential despite some reservations about the depth of the selection. "Amegadjie's physical attributes are promising, though his recent injury raises concerns," he remarked.
Additionally, the selection of punter Tory Taylor in the fourth round drew mixed reactions. While Kiper acknowledged Taylor's prowess at his position, he questioned the strategy of using a higher pick for a punter given the team's limited selections. "While Taylor stands out as the top punter, utilizing a high pick when selections are scarce could be seen as a misstep," he suggested.
The Bears did manage to strengthen their roster depth with the addition of Austin Booker, a pass rusher, acknowledging the need for robustness in a league where injuries are common.
Overall, Kiper assigned the Bears a grade of B for their draft performance. While they succeeded in securing top talent and addressing some critical areas, the limitations imposed by fewer picks and the decision-making on those picks tempered his enthusiasm slightly.
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Mel Kiper Grades the Chicago Bears' 2024 NFL Draft Picks

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