Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Bears On The Clock! What To Expect Over The Next 5 Weeks


As WR Mecole Hardman stepped across the goal line, securing the win in Super Bowl LVII for the Kansas City Chiefs, the 2023 season ended, and the Chicago Bears took center stage in a most critical off-season. From now until the last Thursday in April, fans, media, and so-called insiders will watch every move Ryan Poles makes.

Lying Season Is Upon Us

The NFL has done a masterful job staying front and center all year. The 2024 season’s official start date is March 13th at 3:00 PM Central time. There is no slowdown while waiting for the next 30 days to roll off the calendar. Lying season is here.

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Player agents will drop stories about their clients and teams that are interested in them. “Insiders” will grab the stories like starving dogs being offered a steak. Wash, rinse, and repeat. Draft “experts” will produce myriads of mock drafts, hoping to hit a few picks so they can pound their chest after the draft ends on April 27th. Forgetting the 99 other mocks that were not close.

Mock drafts had already started to surface in early December. There has been no shortage of Bears fans, reporters, and YouTubers showing off their latest and greatest mocks. Here is a brief list of Chicago’s first pick seen since December:

  • Caleb Williams
  • Marvin Harrison Jr.
  • Drake Maye
  • Olumuyiwa Fashanu
  • Brock Bowers
  • Joe Alt
  • Rome Odunze
  • Jayden Daniels

Meanwhile, Ryan Poles and his scouting team will be spending countless hours looking at film and interviewing coaches and teammates of potential rookies available in the draft and possible free agents that fit the profile Poles desires.

The Importance Of Waiting

Mock drafts are fun to look at. Current Mocks are just that; pure entertainment. Many players in this year’s draft will see their stock rise and fall between now and April 25th. It starts with the Combine in Indianapolis, which begins in only two weeks. From February 26th through March 4th, NFL coaches, GMs, and scouts will watch an invitation-only group of players as they perform mental and physical tests. Some players will improve their draft status by the time the combine ends, while others will fall.

NFL players who are currently slated to become free agents can be signed when the new league year opens on March 13th. Teams can begin using franchise tags as soon as February 20th. The last day a team can put a franchise tag on a player is March 5th.

Once a team fills some of their needs during the first two weeks of free agency, and with reports of the top performers from the NFL combine become available, is when the mock drafts become most interesting. If you’re a fan of mock drafts strictly for entertainment, enjoy them. It’s fun to see the imaginative takes.

Mock drafts get far more serious when the calendar flips to April, once free agency slows down, we see what positions teams still need to address with their draft.

Ryan Poles can go in several directions with his unprecedented opportunity. It will be weeks before we see what direction Poles will turn, so enjoy all the stories you are seeing. There is no doubt we will see some absolutely crazy scenarios between now and the last Thursday in April.


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Feb 13, 2024 8:42 am

This one is spot on … so many wasted words earning folks a living. Then, and only then, down the road the fog will lift and it will become clear.

Feb 13, 2024 6:33 am

No rumors. No “insiders.”
Great stuff.
Michael is, BY FAR, the best Bears writer at SM.

Feb 12, 2024 1:53 pm

Mercole who?
Most people won’t know who he is, why a ball was thrown to him or what it means that he was even in the game at that time.
Thanks for mentioning him. It reveals a lot about where your head is at.
Another article thought that this win “meant” the Bears should draft Caleb Williams.

Jim Jones
Feb 12, 2024 10:42 am

Yep Sam, the combine will pour gasoline on the fire on either direction. Then FA will put a magnifying glass on it. More excited what we can do with the 9th pick. I don’t see us trading up unless we can get to MHJ. Who falls to us if anyone? Do we trade back with the depth at receiver in the 2nd round? Probably the most exciting overall offseason in any of our lifetimes (unless you are fixated on there being only one right move with 1-1).

Sam K
Feb 12, 2024 10:37 am

Thanks Michael. Appreciate you pinpointing the important dates sir! The reality is none of us know what will happen, which makes it all the more exciting. We will def know more as soon as the league year begins and we see if Fields is retained or traded. I’m sure those talks will b hot n heavy at the combine.

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