Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Bears Insider Thinks Ryan Poles May Hatch A Surprise At #9 Pick


Adam Jahns of The Athletic confirmed the same thing many national insiders have said for the past few weeks. Barring something unexpected, Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears will take a quarterback with the #1 overall pick. The heavy favorite to be that pick is USC’s Caleb Williams. It isn’t set in stone, but unless the kid completely torpedoes the interview process, the odds are in his favor. The bigger debate is what the Bears plan to do at the #9 pick. I recently reported there are two factions inside Halas Hall. One side wishes to add a top pass rusher to put across from Montez Sweat. The other hopes to secure the next quarterback with a top wide receiver.

Jahns is in the camp of people who believe Poles is hoping to land one of the top receivers. Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze are all considered premium targets. However, there is a reasonable possibility that all three could be gone before the Bears pick again. That would make the Bears’ decision easy, right? They would just go for the pass rusher instead. Jahns doesn’t think that is entirely true. He revealed in a recent column the GM may have eyes for another top prospect.

At a position most wouldn’t expect, no less.

Jahns: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

If there is a run on quarterbacks (Williams, Maye, Daniels and McCarthy) and a run on receivers (Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers and possibly Odunze), then there is a great chance that one of the best tackles could be available at No. 9. Georgia tight end Brock Bowers and Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold could also be top-10 picks.

The Bears believe in left tackle Braxton Jones. Poles said that last month. But good organizations don’t pass on opportunities to improve at premium positions. Alt and Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu would do that. Poles and co-director of player personnel Jeff King saw Alt in person when Notre Dame hosted and beat USC and Williams. They spent a lot of time watching Notre Dame’s offensive linemen before the game, too.

One must remember Ryan Poles’ background.

He is an offensive lineman at heart. It makes sense he’d want to build his team through the trenches. He already spent one 1st round pick on an offensive tackle last year with Darnell Wright. It isn’t a stretch to think he’d consider doing it again, especially if it means he can keep his new quarterback protected. Alt is probably the best line prospect to come out of Notre Dame since All-Pro Quentin Nelson. The fact he’s drawing comparison to former Pro Bowler Eric Fisher, whom Poles helped draft in Kansas City in 2013, is also telling.

Alt is massive at 6’8, 315 lbs. He’s the son of former Pro Bowler Joe Alt, which explains why his technique is already so polished for his age. If that wasn’t enough, he is also a team captain, so you know he has the high character Ryan Poles loves to look for in prospects. He checks every box imaginable.

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It comes down to how much the Bears believe in Braxton Jones. The former 5th round pick has far outplayed his draft spot over the past two years. Most would consider him a decent left tackle. Probably top 20. Under normal circumstances, it would make sense to keep Jones in place. Still, if they feel Alt has top 10 capability, they must consider it. Finding great left tackles is difficult.


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Feb 20, 2024 12:31 pm

I think he’s going to surprise alot of people with trades. These experts just can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that he would rather build thru the draft and trade down to get more picks

Feb 20, 2024 9:07 am

@TGena, C’mon maaan, ya gotta stop Hatin’ on Poles. This team was so much worse than any of us would care to admit when he took over with “0” 1st round picks. We’ve been through this, He has a plan and he follows the board when drafting. He recognized we needed a center and signed Patrick to a relatively cheap 2 year contract of which I’m confident came with input from Getsy and it hasn’t worked out. No Biggie. BTW, as of right now, he’s not receiving a check in 2024. P.S. you’re aware when Poles arrived his projected starting… Read more »

Feb 20, 2024 7:27 am

@mbearest — Your reference to GM, Ryan Poles as a “dyed in the wool offensive lineman” indicates that you’ve bought into the Erik Lambert narrative regarding Poles’ alleged “expertise.” How then, do you explain that C, Lucas Patrick, G, Nate Davis and OL coach, Chris Morgan, are all still receiving checks at Halas Hall? I’ll save the same question for someone who has demonstrated a similar belief in the defensive line, and apply it to: Gervon Dexter, Sr., Zacch Pickens, Dominique Robinson, Justin Jones, Mike Pennel, Raheem Green, and Yannick Ngakoue. Ryan Poles is an inept judge of NFL talent,… Read more »

Feb 20, 2024 6:36 am

Trade the #1 and take the best WR with that 1st choice, with the second choice, if B Bowers is still there take him, then concentrate on C, EDGE/DE/DT with that 3rd and 4th pick. After that start taking the best talent available regardless of position, especially if position of need. If Poles takes a QB with the #1, he is just another attention seeker looking to win a SB with a QB and not with a team, because this roster is not SB ready and taking a QB will not change that.

Feb 20, 2024 6:35 am

@Bubba Ho-Tep, Good points, which is why I don’t want anything to do with CW. The Bears have put emphasis on keeping Fields in the pocket, maybe Too much considering how susceptible this line has been to breaking down but that’s what their aim is. Ryan Poles is a dyed in the wool offensive lineman so you can be confident that’s where his long term plan lies, both on offense and defense. That’s also why I have a gut feeling he’ll trade out of #1 so he can fill as many holes as possible.

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