Saturday, April 20, 2024

Reasons Why Ryan Poles Likely Takes Caleb Williams


Ryan Poles is about to embark on the most crucial two months of his NFL career. Everything he’s done over the past decade has built to this moment. He started as a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs, survived a regime change, climbed the ladder to become a top executive for a Super Bowl champion, and turned that into the GM position with the Chicago Bears. Since then, he’s hired a new head coach, torn down the roster, survived some ugly stretches on and off the field, and now approaches the critical pivot point of his tenure.

It is time for him to find his quarterback.

Justin Fields spent two years trying to lock the job down. While he didn’t always have much help, he didn’t do enough to justify Poles passing on a QB with the #1 pick for the second year in a row. Everyone thinks the Bears are taking a quarterback, and the heavy favorite is Caleb Williams from USC. It might be premature to assume this is the case, but here are some reasons to think those assumptions are accurate.

Several factors favor Williams in Ryan Poles’ eyes.

Rookie contract

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There is one inescapable truth about the NFL these days. Quarterbacks are expensive. Not just the great ones, either. Even the mediocre ones are costing $40 million per year these days. Fields’ projected 5th-year option, were the Bears to keep him, would cost around $25 million. Conversely, the #1 pick in the draft will cost them $41 million across four years. Such a manageable price at the most critical position in the support can be invaluable when it comes to building the roster elsewhere. Poles already watched New York reward Daniel Jones with a big contract they already regret. He has no desire to get caught in the same trap.

The Patrick Mahomes vibes

By far, the Chiefs’ superstar quarterback is the most popular pro comparison for Williams. It stems from his incredible improvisation ability, using his legs to buy time and throwing deadly accurate shots down the field. His playmaking instincts are off the charts, as was the case for Mahomes coming out of Texas Tech. This feels important since Poles was the director of player personnel in Kansas City when they selected Mahomes 10th overall in 2017. If he feels like the comparisons have at least some validity, there is no way he’s going to pass on that opportunity.


Ryan Poles hasn’t drafted a quarterback yet, so it is difficult to gauge what his preferences are. However, based on the acquisition of undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent and the Chiefs’ track record for most of his time there, the GM highly values QBs with experience. That is to say, they started a lot of games and threw a lot of passes. Williams started 34 total games between Oklahoma and USC. During that span, he threw 1,088 passes. For context, Fields started 22 games and threw 579 passes. Mitch Trubisky started 13 games and threw 447 passes. Does this matter? Based on recent history, successful NFL quarterbacks averaged at least 25 starts and over 800 passes in college. C.J. Stroud, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts, and Mahomes all fit that criteria. So does Williams.

Lincoln Riley connection

Sometimes, it’s important to trust the track record of a coach when it comes to developing certain positions. Few in college football have done better at consistently producing good quarterbacks than Riley. It started with Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma, then moved to Hurts, Kyler Murray, and now Williams. Mayfield and Murray were both #1 overall picks. Mayfield now has a playoff win with two different teams. Murray made two Pro Bowls. Hurts reached the Super Bowl last year. The crazy thing is Williams might be the best overall prospect he’s produced to date. His reputation for identifying good players at the position suggests the Bears can trust making this pick.

Surviving the spotlight

One thing Poles said that really sticks out is he’s searching for a quarterback that can not only play well in the NFL but also play well in Chicago. He knows how tough this city can be. It’s a pressure cooker. If you don’t perform, the fans will turn on you fast. It takes a large degree of mental toughness to play in this city. Williams can understand that. He’s played quarterback for two of the most prominent college programs in the country, both with rabid fanbases that have decorated histories at the position. That comes with lots of pressure, and he still managed to perform.


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Feb 8, 2024 9:40 am

I can’t read this stuff anymore! You pick CW #1, He’s GENERATIONAL and you’re an Idiot! You’re a Moron, you keep JF1 and trade #1 for a haul!

Why can’t they trade them both? move down 1 to 7 picks and get great compensation according to where you land and Very possibly come away with a top Quarterback, Left tackle and Receiver when the smoke clears while still having bonus picks to strengthen other positions of need. Don’t tell me it can’t be done.

This JF1, CW stuff is SO narrow minded. I need a break.

Feb 8, 2024 7:35 am

Any assertion that CW isn’t tough enough to play in Chicago is disingenuous. It’s the very same thing as Lambert saying he sees what Poles is thinking. No one here knows either man personally nor has anyone here actually talked to either man. CW has had the spotlight, cameras, social media, pundits on radio, TV, the internet and everywhere else making claims as to what he did, why he did it and what kind of person he is. He hasn’t folded as far as I see. He’s not hiding despite all the gloryhounds looking to make a name for themselves.… Read more »

Feb 7, 2024 8:13 pm

“Several factors favor Williams in Ryan Poles eyes.” Erik I didn’t know you could look through someone else’s eyes? lol

Feb 7, 2024 8:09 pm

Lambert projects Poles. “What is Poles going to do?” When Lambert writes these garbage pieces, what does he THINK is Poles motivation? To win? Or reset the rookie contract? Is the Ryan Poles JOB to build a TEAM or take unmitigated risks? Does Erik Lambert KNOW what “unmitigated risk” is? Let me explain. Expending a First Round pick is ALWAYS a risk. Expending THE first pick is a greater risk. If you want to analyze Ryan Poles you can look both at the Ryan Poles moves, and look at ALL executive decision making. “Saving money” is a risk. People think… Read more »

Feb 7, 2024 7:18 pm

Throughout most of my life, I use very similar criteria when I go out at night. The main reason I’m looking at young girls is I need to reset the clock. The second most important factor is I’m looking for the vibe I get when I’m shopping for girls that’s similar to the models, actors, singers and really famous women. Just like previous Bears coaches, I never bother talking to anyone I’ve been with to try to make them better or make myself happier. I’d rather just cruise around and get a new one. Unfortunately, unlike the draft, I can’t… Read more »

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