Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Draft Insider Says Chicago Bears Quietly Eyeing Top Playmaker At #9


The Chicago Bears won’t know what they’re doing with the 9th pick until they see how the board falls after they take Caleb Williams at #1. Plenty of speculation is ongoing. Some think GM Ryan Poles could trade up if Marvin Harrison Jr. drops far enough. Most think he is more likely to trade down, hoping to add to his limited inventory of four draft picks. Then again, there is a strong undercurrent of fans who believe they should just stay put at #9 and take the best talent on their board.

Draft insider Tony Pauline of Sportskeedia has dug deep into what teams could be planning next week. He appears to have come across some interesting information regarding the Bears’ preferences. It sounds like they are leaning towards an offensive playmaker if they stay at the 9th pick. Here’s where it gets interesting. Two names are heavy favorites to go at that spot. One is Washington receiver Rome Odunze, which is no surprise. The other is a big one: Georgia tight end Brock Bowers. Chicago apparently loves him.

The way it looks now, Bowers won’t get past the New York Jets at pick 10. I first mentioned during my report from Georgia’s pro day on March 13 that “The teams showing the most interest in Bowers are the Los Angeles Chargers (fifth pick), the Tennessee Titans (seventh pick), the Chicago Bears (ninth pick) and the New York Jets (10th pick),” and that still holds true.

Sources say if the Bears go pass catcher with the ninth pick, it will come down to Bowers or receiver Rome Odunze. Bowers was in Chicago on Tuesday for an official-30 visit with the franchise and will be in Los Angeles to see the Chargers on Wednesday.

The Chicago Bears’ interest in Bowers is easy to understand.

Evaluators have been sky-high on him for over a year, feeling he’s one of the most natural playmakers to come out at his position in a long time. He is considered the spitting image of San Francisco 49ers superstar George Kittle. Across three years at Georgia, he pilled up 2,538 yards, 26 touchdowns, and two national championship rings. His blend of size, speed, and route-running prowess make him a matchup problem for every defense. Any offense would benefit from having him as one of the options.

The odd part is understanding the Chicago Bears’ interest. They already signed Cole Kmet to an extension. He’s been a rock-solid player for them the past two years. Gerald Everett arrived in free agency to back him up. This team doesn’t have a glaring need at tight end. This means Poles sees Bowers as a rare talent who can change the landscape of an offense. Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron is a former tight ends coach. He likes to feature the position a lot.

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Nobody would fault the Bears for going this route. Bowers is that talented. A combination of him and Kmet would create all sorts of matchup problems, especially with D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen on the outside.


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Apr 18, 2024 9:18 am

And so. It fits the team’s plan

And, we are in agreement.

Apr 18, 2024 9:08 am

@TGena – Not an aging often injured WR, but he paid two aging often injured defensive players in Mack and Hicks. When they were on the field they were great, problem was, they were rarely on the field. And is Keenan Allen an overpay, yes, for his age and probably 12-14 games he will pay. But it is not in terms of getting a rookie contract comfortable in the NFL, while you add another WR who hopefully learns from him. If that rookie WR, or Johnson, Scott or Velus figures it out, they won’t pay Keenan Allen anywhere near that… Read more »

Apr 18, 2024 9:01 am

@BearDownTX — You miss the point: It’s not that Ryan Poles is doing anything different than 80% to 100% of other NFL teams — it’s that he’s doing everything the SAME as 80% to 100% of the NFL teams. Erik Lambert has many of his readers believing that somehow Poles is, if not unique — at least not Ryan Pace. I don’t remember Pace paying an aging, oft-injured WR $23.1 MM — not that there’s anything wrong with that — provided that it fits the team plan. The salary cap is real — but there are lots of ways to… Read more »

Apr 18, 2024 8:23 am

– You could do this for every team in the NFL, and not I’m not going to take that time, but I would guarantee that at least 80% if not 100% have a higher allocated salary to their 4 top guys than they did in 2019. It’s simple math, inflation, Tv revenue, and the way the sport has increased the cap significantly since 2019. Again, stats lie, and you believe them.

Gator Joe
Apr 18, 2024 6:27 am

Can you say, “smokescreen”? If the Jets want Bowers would they move up one spot to keep anyone else from jumping them? I think so. Poles would love to move down one spot at a time and grab a few extra picks before drafting a DE or Murphy.

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