BEARS TRADE: Bears have trade down in NFL Draft, stockpile top 100…

Bears Advised to Trade Down in NFL Draft, Stockpile Top-100 Picks.

The Chicago Bears traded out of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft and the outcome was spectacular. Considering the context this time around, the team could decide to do something similar with the 9th pick in 2024.

Bill Barnwell of ESPN recently released a first-round guide for all 32 NFL teams, which included his recommendations as to whether each squad should trade up, trade back or stand fast. As nearly all draft analysts have suggested in recent weeks, Barnwell believes the Bears should hold strong at No. 1 and select USC quarterback Caleb Williams. The more intriguing decision for Chicago arrives eight picks later.

After seeing what the [Houston] Texans did in Round 1 with quarterback C.J. Stroud and pass-rusher Will Anderson last year, it might be tempting for the Bears to make a dramatic swoop by landing a quarterback at No. 1 before moving up to land a second potential superstar in the top five. The idea of Williams throwing to [Marvin] Harrison, Keenan Allen and DJ Moore does sound pretty incredible, although it would come at the expense of several other needs on Chicago’s roster.

While the Bears landed extra draft capital by trading down with the [Carolina] Panthers a year ago, they’ve also sacrificed second-round picks in consecutive years by dealing for Chase Claypool and Montez Sweat. … With needs at offensive tackle and defensive lineman and more depth required throughout the roster, this would be a good spot to consider trading down in the hopes of adding more top-100 picks around their rookie quarterback.

Bears Could Land Star WR Prospect Like Rome Odunze Without Trading 9th Pick in NFL Draft

Holding onto the 9th pick might create just as exciting of a buzz in Chicago as dealing up for Harrison would, and could net a player of similar talent at the same position.

Wide receiver Rome Odunze of the Washington Huskies, or potentially even Malik Nabers of LSU, could fall to No. 9 depending on how great an interest exists with teams lower in the draft order to move up for a quarterback. The Minnesota Vikings are candidates to trade up from No. 11, while other teams like the Denver Broncos (No. 12) and Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13) have enough need at the position to potentially enter the mix.

Who those teams trade with, if any trades occur, will also make a difference in which players remain for Chicago at No. 9. The Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 and the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5 are teams that could draft a receiver if they stay put, as are the New York Giants at No. 6.

Bears’ Best-Case Scenario Involves Trading Back, Drafting Player They Liked With 9th Pick Anyway

The ideal scenario for the Bears — assuming a player available at No. 9 isn’t a top-five prospect on their board, or the like — is trading back off the pick and still landing a blue chip target they would have been happy to spend the 9th pick on in the first place.

Any number of teams in the middle of the first round could be interested in moving into the top nine for a specific player, including the New Orleans Saints (No. 14) seeking an offensive tackle or the Indianapolis Colts (No. 15) seeking a receiver. If Chicago can leverage the 9th pick into a spot in the mid-teens and pick up a second-rounder in the process, the Bears may still be able to get a player with top-10 chops who fills a specific need a few spots later.

Edge rusher Jared Verse of Florida State is a prime candidate in this regard. Kiper predicts Chicago will draft him at No. 9 already, but doesn’t factor trade projections into his mock. In Kiper’s scenario, Verse is the second defensive prospect (and second pass rusher) off the board, just one spot behind Dallas Turner of Alabama heading to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 8 overall.

Meanwhile, Kiper doesn’t have another edge defender coming off the board until the mid-20s, which indicates the Bears could still land Verse or some other high-quality prospect that fits a need a handful of picks after the No. 9 spot.

Chicago will face an intriguing decision if that type of opportunity presents itself, but a player like Odunze is also available without a trade up.

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