Wednesday, April 17, 2024

One Bears Draft Prospect Ryan Poles Might Secretly Be Coveting

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It is important to remember something. GM Ryan Poles isn’t one to let things leak out of Halas Hall regarding his draft intentions. In each of the past two drafts, his first pick ended up being a surprise. Nobody had Kyler Gordon on the Chicago Bears’ radar in 2022, and few expected Darnell Wright to be their selection in 2023. So, while Poles might have no issues letting prominent names float around regarding the 9th overall pick, there is a decent possibility the player he actually likes isn’t being mentioned much.

Keeping this in mind, there is one notable name that screams the Bears GM that nobody mentions. That is Oregon State tackle Taliese Fuaga. Why? He is almost a mirror image of Wright. He’s got similar size, length, athleticism, and a nasty disposition when blocking. His pass protection technique is also some of the best in the entire draft. Fuaga even said at the scouting combine that he studies Wright constantly, believing they both share similarities in their play.

If Poles sees the same thing, it is only logical to think he’d be interested in getting both on the same offensive line.

Ryan Poles is indeed aware of Fuaga.

A source informed SM that he is on the short list of prospects they love alongside LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers and Florida State defensive end Jared Verse. The problem is that people are split about where Fuaga belongs in the NFL. Many see him as a natural right tackle. Others think he would be even better at guard, where he wouldn’t be as vulnerable to speed rushers. That presents an issue for the Bears. If they keep him at tackle, they already have Wright on the right side. It would mean either trying Fuaga at left tackle or shifting Wright to that side. Both would carry risks. If they moved him to guard, there really isn’t a spot for him. Teven Jenkins seems entrenched at left guard and the team signed Nate Davis to a sizable contract to play right guard last year.

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Then again, Davis suffered from injuries and inconsistency last year. The Bears have never been shy about establishing competition. If they like Fuaga enough, they’ll add him and tell Davis to fight for his job. Ryan Poles isn’t focused on helping players be comfortable. His job is to make the team as talented as possible. There is no question that Fuaga would fortify their offensive line. That seems like an obvious priority with a young quarterback about to step in.

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BearDownTX
Apr 2, 2024 9:36 am

Fuaga is a NO. He didn’t play LT in college, he likely won’t play LT in the pro’s. We have a STUD RT. There has been no mention of Wright taking reps on the Left side either. So, in short, this isn’t going to happen.

Wes P
Wes P
Apr 2, 2024 9:10 am

Fuaga, Verse, and Nabors would all be great additions to the Chicago Bears but they can’t get all three at #9. And none of them will be available in the 3rd round. So, if you can only get one of them, which one would be the best choice for Chicago?

Dr. Melhus
Apr 1, 2024 9:50 am

If Fuaga is vulnerable to speed rushers, then he isn’t a great fit at either tackle spot, unless he can correct that weakness. And unless he’s Zach Martin or Quentin Nelson (he might be), it’s not worth taking a guard in the top 15. Finally, with holes at DE and DT, taking a guard, even a blue chip guard, is something of a luxury pick. I think it’s ironic that in the first paragraph, Erik points out that Poles doesn’t let things leak out of Halas hall, and that his early picks were surprise picks that no one expected, and… Read more »

most impressive
most impressive
Apr 1, 2024 8:30 am

I like the idea of mentioning players that are not the usual suspects as the actual pics are usually different than expectations. That said I agree with others there’s no way they’d take a guard with the #9.

I hope they snag a WR but would be ok with a short drop trade down and picking up Verse at DE. Or even powers as a huge upgrade at C.

jmscooby
Apr 1, 2024 8:26 am

Bowers/JPJ/Murphy/Fuaga

My personal opinion, these are the 4 guys I would be happy with. I would love to move back a bit and gain an extra pick.

Again, I don’t anticipate Alt or Turner being available. I think it would cost us a 2nd next year.

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