Ever since GMs from across the NFL descended on Indianapolis for the Combine, buzz has picked up that Ryan Poles could trade away the No. 1 pick. The Bears already have Justin Fields under center and are outwardly happy with his progress leading the offense. It seems unlikely that they move off of Fields to draft another quarterback this year, so they’re presented with a unique opportunity to score a load of picks from a QB-needy team that’s eager to move up for their top choice. In a recent interview with Peter King, Poles revealed he spoke with three teams at the Combine about trading the No. 1 pick.
“The interesting part is having a conversation with one team, and then one hour later another team texts you wanting in on the trade and they’re not afraid of what the floor of what you’re asking for is,” Poles told King.
The usual suspects that come up in trade speculation talks are the Houston Texans (No. 2), Indianapolis Colts (No. 4), Las Vegas Raiders (No. 7), Atlanta Falcons (No. 8) and Carolina Panthers (No. 9). It’s unclear if the three teams Poles alluded to are all included on that list, or if another unknown team is in the mix. Poles also told King that one of the teams who he spoke to about a trade was “further back than what I thought,” which could be a nod to a team like the Panthers, or another team who could be in the market for a young QB, like the Jets (No. 13) or Commanders (No. 16).
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For practically the entire year, Bryce Young has been the presumptive No. 1 pick since he’s generally considered the most NFL-ready QB prospect. But C.J. Stroud generated some hype in his impressive performance against Georgia in the college football playoffs and in the NFL Combine. Anthony Richardson similarly started rising up mock draft boards after a good showing at the Combine. With more excitement being generated about more QBs, it stands to reason that more teams will want to move up in the draft to get their top choice at the position. Any ensuing bidding war would be good news for Poles and the Bears.
“I’m blessed to be able to read people,” Poles said. “I can feel it. There’s urgency out there. There’s pressure.”
No matter how much urgency there is for teams to make a move, Poles has proven to be a disciplined GM in his short time leading the Bears. He’s going to do his due diligence and make sure he’s getting the best deal for the valuable pick.
“No one’s gonna rush me,” Poles said. “I know I can get a ’24 one and a ’25 one. You’re telling me for the next two years I’ll have two ones? That’s either four really good players, or if we’re cruising, we can still trade back.”
The NFL Draft begins Apr. 27.