Friday, April 19, 2024

Ex-GM Finally Gives Logical Reason Ryan Poles Passed On CJ Stroud


Ryan Poles caught some flak after the 2023 season ended. It came from watching quarterback C.J. Stroud lead the Houston Texans on an unlikely playoff run. He looked like a budding star from the outset. That led Chicago Bears fans to wonder why Poles didn’t consider him with the #1 overall pick last year. He was grilled on it by the media at his end-of-year press conference. While he didn’t offer a direct reason, Poles stated he felt the Bears got what they wanted in the blockbuster trade with the Carolina Panthers.

In these situations, the best people to ask are those who have been in Poles’ shoes. Ryan Taylor of NBC Sports Chicago was at the Super Bowl media scrum, where he caught up with former Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff. He was asked how Poles could’ve justified the decision to pass on Stroud if there was any sense at all he could become a franchise player. Dimitroff’s answer served as a reminder that GMs aren’t always focused on one draft class. They have eyes on multiple.

“If you’re a GM, you hopefully have your staff telling you what’s coming next year,” Dimitroff told NBC Sports Chicago. “If you’re a proper GM, I say this respectfully, you have your staff looking at one, two and possibly even three years ahead, especially at that position [quarterback]. What is out there? What’s going to be coming around the bend as far as potential quarterbacks? There’s no doubt in my mind that he knew that this was a really good class [2024 NFL draft class]. And I think that that makes it a lot easier to pass on a C.J. Stroud situation like that.”

Ryan Poles played the odds and may have won.

His plan appears to have unfolded perfectly. The trade with Carolina netted him wide receiver D.J. Moore and 1st round offensive tackle Darnell Wright in the deal. Now both of those players will be in place to help whichever quarterback Poles decides to pick #1 overall, another part of that deal with the Panthers. Not only does he have a chance to get a franchise quarterback, but he also deftly set the table to help him develop by adding quality talent in key spots on the offensive roster. That could be some of the best GM-ing this franchise has seen in years.

Of course, everything hinges on picking the right quarterback. Maybe it’s Caleb Williams. Maybe it’s Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. This is the hardest part. Nothing is guaranteed at quarterback, even with the #1 pick. Ask David Carr, JaMarcus Russell, and Sam Bradford. Everybody knows Chicago’s track record with this position. Poles is working against some dark history. Each step he’s taken to this point feels like the right one. Nobody will remember the CJ Stroud decision if he connects in April.

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Feb 8, 2024 6:15 pm

Can someone (anyone) point me to a current Bears player that illustrates Ryan Poles’ proficiency as an NFL draft expert?

Or, how about a player in the 2024 NFL draft, that would solidiffy that extremely generous assessment of the Bears current GM?

Feb 8, 2024 1:49 pm

Being a life long Bear fan, I have seen the ineptitude of ownership. They FINALLY gave control to people far more knowledgable of the game, and have made clear strides in building sustainable success instead of the occasional “hit” through high priced free agents who suck up cap space. Reading what all the talking heads have been writing about, it seems that CW is all about CW. Looking to be the “Brand”, he has no agent, cries after losing, paints his nails, (any NFL QB’s do that?), and ducks out of his teams bowl game to plan his dominance of… Read more »

Feb 8, 2024 1:35 pm

And he’s STILL looking at 2, 3, 4 years down the road. When people talk about the differences between “chess and checkers,” or talk about “three dimensional chess,” the Third dimension, is TIME. Erik Lambert, harping on this draft, is a neophyte, even at checkers. Like most children, his “reporting,” is trial and error (mostly error). When you ask someone “insider” or former general manager questions, you have to both listen, and follow up with questions if the answers don’t make sense. Even asking Dimitroff about Poles thought process, is a step above “NFL insiders,” and putting a name on… Read more »

Feb 8, 2024 10:23 am

. —
In 2023, only two NFL teams had fewer dropped passes than the Chicago Bears (19) — the 49ers (9) and the Steelers (16).
[Source: Pro Football Reference]

The Chiefs receivers had 44 drops, and the team still did alright (they must have a good QB).

If we must make silly excuses for Justin Fields — can’t the excuses be just a little less silly?

Feb 8, 2024 9:38 am

Personally, I think it physically hurt Poles to have to sign Yannick before the start of the season. I know it would me. It’s easy to pass on drafting a QB last year knowing this year’s QB class is deep. Don’t forget, Getsy had already worked with Bagent at the Senior Bowl, and he was their free QB. Bagent had just as many flaws as Young and CJ. He added solid players that may not pay immediate dividends, but he’s a couple seasons ahead of us in his planning.

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