Wednesday, June 5, 2024

NFL Exec Was Shocked Bears Actually Took Rome Odunze


Everybody on the planet knew the Chicago Bears would take Caleb Williams #1 overall in the draft last month. It had been telegraphed for a long time. Such certainty disappeared once conversations shifted to the #9 pick. There was a myriad of directions GM Ryan Poles could go. Many predicted a wide receiver to pair with Williams. Rome Odunze of Washington was one of the most popular names mentioned. Others felt the Bears would target help on one of their lines, with the defensive side being the most popular choice.

The logic was there. Chicago had no definitive second pass rusher opposite Montez Sweat, and their head coach is a defensive guy. They also had some uncertainty at left tackle with Braxton Jones after his neck injury last season. Nobody would’ve been surprised if the Bears played it safe by staying in the trenches. That didn’t happen. Odunze ended up being the pick, after all. One NFL executive expressed surprise and admiration to Mike Sando of The Athletic that Poles was willing to deviate from Chicago’s typical behavior to get their young quarterback another weapon.

Cases were also made for selecting another lineman on either side of the ball.

“Chicago already (has) tackles, so to take a lineman in the top 10 who is going to start out at guard versus a receiver who is clean as a whistle, a proven playmaker at a position that has gone up into the $32 million range, I would have gone with Odunze as well,” one exec said.

Rome Odunze was a wise investment for several reasons.

Keep in mind the Bears have taken a 1st round wide receiver in close proximity to their 1st round quarterback twice in modern franchise history. That was when they selected Willie Gault in 1983, a year after grabbing Jim McMahon, and then taking Wendell Davis in 1988 after taking Jim Harbaugh in 1987. Since then, they followed Cade McNown with Brian Urlacher, Rex Grossman with Tommie Harris, Mitch Trubisky with Roquan Smith, and didn’t have a 1st after picking Justin Fields. While the Bears got great value on the defensive side in those situations, it came with the risk of never getting their young quarterbacks going.

Would Trubisky’s career have been different if the Bears had taken D.J. Moore or Calvin Ridley in 2018? Nobody can say. Either way, it is hard to argue they didn’t make the right call going with Rome Odunze. He gives Williams a big-bodied target with excellent hands who can be money on third down. He’s also great insurance if Keenan Allen decides to leave as a free agent after this season. For the first time in franchise history, it feels like a Bears quarterback is set up for long-term success.

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May 6, 2024 8:19 am

99% of mocks had Ordunze to the Bears (if available) and this guy is shocked?

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 5, 2024 7:09 pm

The exec was “shocked” that the Bears did the right thing or made the best selection for a change and must have had great historical depth to support his assertion/opinion. Urlacher simply called the Bears the historically “most cursed” team in the NFL.
Their views must overlap somewhere.

May 5, 2024 6:54 pm

Tinagena still spouting the negative vibs all over the place. You love Omar so much go kiss up on a Steelers site. Leave the Bears stuff to the Bears fans.

May 5, 2024 4:11 pm

– I refuse to check out Omar Khan – my blood pressure can’t handle it.

And I do get the Bates trade argument. I agree it looked bad when the Bills had their salary cap massacre the next day. But I give Poles slack on that trade because of how poorly the Bears have developed young OL men taken later than round 2 under Chris Morgan. I imagine you and disagree there, but that’s my thinking on it.

We both agree on this – 2024 is the year we see just who these Bears are.

Last edited 30 days ago by Tred
May 5, 2024 3:33 pm

100%, @Tred. The NFL is unlike any league these young guys have ever played in, before. And, nobody knows how each will perform. But Caleb was the consensus #1 QB for two years running, and Rome was a consensus #6 WR (and peaked at #4). These were “no-brainer” selections. And despite my personal worries that Ryan Poles would “screw things up,” Ian Cunningham was there to save the day. Kiran Amegadjie was selected by Poles at #75 (Consensus Big Board had him at #84). That’s not a terrible over-reach but the BPA was certainly #45 ranked LB, Payton Wilson (the… Read more »

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