Thursday, July 11, 2024

ESPN Says Ryan Poles Has Built One Of NFL’s Five Best Young Cores

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GM Ryan Poles knew the way the Chicago Bears were doing things had to change. His predecessor, Ryan Pace, had leaned far too heavily on big-ticket free agents and aggressive trades to make the franchise a winner. It worked for one year in 2018, but such an approach is non sustainable in the long term. They needed to build through the draft to make the Bears a legitimate contender. That meant accumulating picks, using them, and having a competent coaching staff to develop the young players.

After three years, Poles has managed to assemble the kind of roster he was hoping for. Most of it is comprised of guys 26 or younger, with a sprinkling of seasoned veterans here and there. It appears ESPN took notice. Aaron Schatz ranked teams with the best under-25 talent in the league. There were obvious members like Houston and Detroit. However, nestled at #5 were the Bears. They seem to think this incoming batch of names puts the organization in a position to send a message this season.

That message is get ready for war.

5. Chicago Bears

2023 ranking: 12

Blue-chip players: QB Caleb Williams, OT Darnell Wright, WR Rome Odunze

Notable graduated players: OT Braxton Jones, S Jaquan Brisker, QB Justin Fields (traded)

Obviously, the Bears will finish high in a countdown of under-25 talent because they had this year’s No. 1 overall draft selection (Williams) and the No. 9 overall pick (Odunze). They also get a lot of value from last year’s first-round pick, 23-year-old Wright, who had an 89.5% pass block win rate in 2023.

Below the blue chips are several 24-year-old standouts who will graduate from this list in a year. We start with a couple of important cornerbacks. Tyrique Stevenson improved dramatically in the second half of his rookie year, registering with four interceptions and 86 tackles. Nickelback Kyler Gordon had seven starts and good charting metrics in 2023. We should see more from defensive tackle Zacch Pickens this year, and linebacker Jack Sanborn and backup quarterback Tyson Bagent are also 24.

Ryan Poles did his job. Now it’s up to his coaches.

Matt Eberflus survived a rocky start to his tenure in Chicago, winning only three of his first 17 games. Many thought he was in line to become the worst in Bears history. However, to his credit, he kept the team together and things soon began turning around. Over the final 13 games of 2023, they went 7-6, including two last-minute 4th quarter collapses that would’ve made them 9-4. After the past four months, this roster is significantly better than the one that finished last season, especially on the offensive side.

Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze bolster the receiving corps. Caleb Williams might be a rookie, but it seems plausible that he can average more than 197 yards passing per game, as Justin Fields did last season. If the defense maintains its quality play from December and January, the Bears will win football games. Ryan Poles deserves so much credit for getting them to this point. He overcame inexperience and occasional mistakes, never losing sight of his vision. Now Chicago is poised to prove him right.

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jack60616
jack60616
Jul 11, 2024 6:03 am

Not only did he draft Mitch T…. he gave up 3 draft picks to move one spot up to get him. He was totally fleeced….perfect example of other gms hyping up a QB to keep thier preferred QB from getting picked. And Pace foolishly fell for it. Every one knew Watson and Mahomes were better QBs…..Grant it…not many GMs knew Mahomes would be Mahomes but better than Mitch at 13 games college experience?….Pace probably will never get another GM job after that disaster.

Rocketrider
Rocketrider
Jul 9, 2024 8:32 pm

Gena thinks Omar Khan is a great GM. The guy that hand picked Russell Wilson and Justin Fields as his QBs. Maybe he is trying to tank the season so he can start a rebuild. The whole barely making the playoffs every year then losing in the first round hasn’t been working very well. And gena passing on CJ was a great idea. Instead he got DJ Moore, Darnell Wright, Tyrique Stevenson, Caleb Williams and another 3rd round pick next year. Every GM in the league would be happy to take that deal. But not you gena. Just can’t admit… Read more »

TGena
TGena
Jul 9, 2024 11:39 am

Hey boys —

If I wrote something that’s not true — let me know.

I’ll be waiting. . .

jack60616
jack60616
Jul 9, 2024 9:46 am

Ryan Pace is director of player personnel…all he does is recieve the info from scouts and prepares the information for the GM….don’t act like he built Atlantas team…calm down

BearDownTX
Jul 8, 2024 6:58 am

Ryan Pace, I mean TGena strikes again

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