Would the Bears Ever Keep the No. 1 Pick and Draft a Defensive Star?

There are going to be hundreds of different mock drafts between now and when the actual NFL Draft kicks off. But some will hold more credence than others.

And for my money, Daniel Jeremiah’s mock drafts are among those we’ll pay closest attention to this offseason. Not only is Jeremiah a long-time media draft guru, but he is also a former NFL front office executive. To me, Jeremiah’s scouting eye and industry connections carry extra value when we dissect these mock drafts.

To that end, Jeremiah’s first mock draft is a doozy. Particularly when it comes to the Chicago Bears. Because not only does Jeremiah have the Bears standing pat, he has them taking Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter with the first overall pick.

Here’s what Jeremiah had to say about the Bears’ selection:

“I’m sure the Bears would love to trade out of this pick. If that option isn’t available — or the offers fail to meet their asking price — Carter would be an immediate difference-maker on all three downs.”

OK. Cool. We’ve got some things to pick through here from Jeremiah.

Firstly, I’m glad he brought up the reality that it isn’t a foregone conclusion that the Bears can (or will) trade the pick. Admittedly, it is something we haven’t been discussing enough and it is something we need to keep in mind as we approach the NFL Draft.

That said, the best-case scenario features the Bears trading out of the first overall pick to create the type of draft capital that can accelerate GM Ryan Poles’ rebuild. And the dream scenario is executing multiple trade-backs with QB-hungry teams to create a treasure trove of picks. But there is a real chance that the offers fall short of the Bears’ asking price. So while I’d love for the Bears to make a trade, I wouldn’t co-sign them making one just to say they did it. Trading for the sake of making a deal is a bad idea. Full stop.

Secondly, Jeremiah serves up a reminder that there is quality, high-end talent available to choose from if the Bears do *NOT* trade out of the first pick. This is important to remember. It isn’t a game with one finite ending. Trading back isn’t the only option. For what it’s worth, hearing Commissioner Roger Goodell announce “the Chicago Bears select Jalen Carter” would be a heckuva consolation prize for endearing an awful season of football in 2022. (Michael: I’m just not sure they’ll need to pick first overall to get him…).

Carter has that dawg in him:

Carter finished his collegiate career with two national championships, a pair of All-SEC nods, and unanimous All-American honors. That is what it looks like when a stud defender goes out on top in college. And the one thing that would be the cherry on top would be going first overall. Perhaps that is a realistic possibility if the Bears stand pat because they can’t trade out of the pick.

For what it’s worth, Jeremiah has four quarterbacks going in Round 1 — including three in the top 10. Jeremiah doesn’t mock any trade-ups in the first round, which would be mind-blowing if it didn’t happen. But I’ll say this: Three quarterbacks going in the top 10 hints at the possibility that trade-ups could be in order in mock drafts down the line. Bears fans know all too well that teams starving for quarterbacks will risk it all to get their guy. Maybe we’ll see those scenarios play out in future mock drafts. It is certainly something worth keeping an eye on.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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