Friday, April 19, 2024

Caleb Williams Hype Seems Too Good For Ryan Poles Not To Capitalize On A Potential Trade


The Chicago Bears are a few weeks into their offseason with the focus on what the team will do in the 2024 NFL Draft as they hold the first overall and ninth overall selection. Many analysts and fans believe that Chicago will likely draft USC quarterback Caleb Williams, as he is viewed as the consensus favorite to be the first player selected. Although all signs point to the Bears picking Williams, the matter being a foregone conclusion seems too good to be true given general manager Ryan Poles’ background, especially with what transpired last offseason.

Poles Likes To Use Silence and Uncertainty To His Favor When It Comes To Making Moves

The Bears are in the rare situation of holding the first overall selection in back-to-back NFL Drafts, as in 2023, they had the top draft pick due to having a league-low three wins in 2022. Due to their trade with the Carolina Panthers and because the Panthers finished with the worst record in 2023, Chicago held their first-round selection, which became the first overall in 2024. Last year, Poles traded the first selection to move down and receive a haul in return, and despite the franchise needing to address the quarterback position, it is likely that they can trade down again and still address their offensive need.

With the struggles of starting quarterback Justin Fields and the building hype for Chicago to select Williams first overall, it seems like people forget how Poles likes to capitalize on foregone beliefs. Many people forget that the Bears’ general manager traded the team’s first-round pick twice last season, once with Carolina and another time with the Philadelphia Eagles. Poles traded back one spot with the Eagles to pick up an additional fourth-round selection, knowing that the Bears were not going to select defensive tackle Jalen Carter, and added one more draft selection by drafting offensive tackle Darnell Wright.

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Another example of a move taking place when one wasn’t expected was when Poles acquired defensive end Montez Sweat from the Commanders at the trade deadline this past season. The move was surprising as the Bears only had two wins at the time of the trade and gave up a second-round selection, which was seen as controversial due to the Chase Claypool trade disaster and the fact that Sweat was a pending free agent after the season. The trade was successful as Poles signed the defensive end, who led the Bears in sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl, to a contract extension.

Poles doesn’t like to let his plans be known, as he uses silence to make moves when least expected, and the same can happen at the quarterback position in the upcoming draft. Although Williams is the most talented prospect at the quarterback position, his weaknesses are very similar to the weaknesses Fields has had over the past two seasons. The USC quarterback’s struggles included playing poorly against ranked teams, being unable to consistently throw from the pocket effectively, and holding on to the ball for too long. Fields has had issues holding on to the ball too long, taking unnecessary sacks, and not throwing with anticipation.

With a potential need to address the quarterback position and acquire a few more selections, Poles can do both by trading the first overall selection again. Having multiple NFL teams at the top of the draft that need a franchise quarterback, Chicago’s general manager can trade back just a few spots, add valuable draft picks or a potential veteran, and still get his quarterback prospect. Although it might not be Williams, Poles could view other prospects such as Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels in high regard if he can pair one with a potential second-round or future first-round if a trade can be made again.

There Are Other Teams That Need Williams More Than The Bears

Poles is in a position, especially if the Bears move Fields before the draft, to broker a potential massive trade for the first overall selection and remain in the top five picks of the 2024 NFL Draft. One team that may need a quarterback more than Chicago is the Washington Commanders due to the current state of the franchise. Washington is rebuilding with a new head coach and has an owner who acquired the team last season and needs a franchise-level player to build and market around.

If Poles believes the talent difference between Williams and Maye is minimal, he can create a potential bidding war with other quarterback-needy teams to get the highest return in a trade from Washington. Despite only trading up one spot, the Commanders may have to give up more than required because of pressure from other teams trying to trade up, mixed with the need to make a massive splash to appease the owner and their fanbase.

A potential trade back allows Chicago to acquire a high-end draft selection to pair with a veteran player while still drafting a quarterback would be the best outcome for Poles. If Washington gives up their first, a second-round selection and either wide receiver Terry McLaurin or defensive tackle Jonathan Allen in return for the first overall selection, the Bears could address multiple needs by moving back one spot. Additionally, if Poles trades Fields, Chicago could be in a situation where they have four draft selections in the first two rounds of the draft.

Chicago is just a few positional needs away from having a completed roster, depending on the execution of the offseason. Although there is nothing wrong with taking Williams first overall, the amount of media outlets believing that it is already a certainty goes against how Poles has conducted himself during his short time as Bears’ general manager. Chicago’s general manager can utilize the hype to get the most in a potential trade while still getting his ideal quarterback if he feels that the team can live without Williams.


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Sid L
Sid L
Jan 29, 2024 9:35 am

an awful lot of failed GMs here, lol

Jan 28, 2024 5:13 am

TGena, “JH” is actually me.

I had about an 18 hour period there, where I thought I finally made it to “the show”.
I just wanted to thank you both for pulling that rug out from underneath me.

Jan 28, 2024 4:09 am

I say trade the #1 pick for a haul, pick up Fields 5th year option and see how it works out. If it doesn’t, do what is needed to get Arch Manning when he comes out of college. I feel he will be far better than Williams.

Jan 27, 2024 10:57 pm

@Sam K Please remember that all those stats you are quoting are of CW going against *college* teams, in a conference/level where Air Raid offenses occasionally still work, and that CW’s stats were *substantially* worse against actually good (again, at *college* level) teams, especially last year. The numbers you attribute to JF are also either at a higher (B1G) overall college conference, or at the quantum leap better NFL level. And JF put his numbers – good and bad – up with 1) Matt Nagy sabotaging him his first year 2) the needed tanking year his second year and 3)… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by samuraimike
Jan 27, 2024 8:22 pm

Yep. “Harbaugh” is a long word. Hahaha! Can you get me cable with “rabbit ears” too?

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