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.
Subscribe to the BFR Podcast for analysis, insight, and discussion about Chicago Bears football.
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.