For months we’ve speculated about what the Bears might do with the No. 1 pick in the draft. With the NFL Combine behind us, there are still questions about that pick, but more and more it sounds like the question is “when” Ryan Poles may trade that pick away to acquire more draft capital, rather than “if” he’ll trade it away.
In Peter King’s latest “Football Morning in America” column, Poles spoke candidly with King about the pick and even shed some light on the return he could receive if he makes the blockbuster move.
“I know I can get a ’24 one and a ’25 one,” Poles told King, alluding to nabbing an extra first round pick for both the 2024 and 2025 drafts. “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.”
Excitement for this year’s quarterback class has steadily grown since the college football playoffs. Draft experts have long projected Bryce Young as NFL-ready, and he’s been the consensus No. 1 pick practically dating back to last offseason. Meanwhile, hype picked up for C.J. Stroud in Ohio State’s hard-fought loss to Georgia in the CFP. Stroud and Florida’s Anthony Richardson are both believed to have caught GMs eyes with impressive performances at the Combine.
That type of mounting excitement could begin a bidding war for the Bears’ No. 1 pick, and Poles told King that he has three teams interested in trading up to acquire it already.
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“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 said.
A note to consider when speculating potential packages for the No. 1 pick: Poles was candid in saying that he will want more draft capital from teams looking to trade up from further back in the order. For example, he’ll need more from the Panthers (No. 9) than the Texans (No. 2). Of course there’s a risk-reward balance that must be considered, too. Is it worth loading up on more picks to risk missing out on the top talent in the draft by trading too far back?
The possibilities are seemingly endless for Poles and the No. 1 pick. Now we wait to see how it will all shake out. The NFL draft begins Apr. 27.