This Will Anderson Jr. Comp Made Me Think Hard About What the Bears Should Do with the No. 1 Pick

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This Will Anderson Jr. Comp Made Me Think Hard About What the Bears Should Do with the No. 1 Pick

Chicago Bears

Sitting at the top of the draft board means the 2023 NFL Draft runs through Chicago. Or, to put it another way, GM Ryan Poles has the football world by the cojones. The Bears could trade the pick, which sounds like their plan, and they’ll reportedly receive a haul when they do.

I say when, but I should probably still be using if for the time being.

After all, what if some team doesn’t blow their socks off? The Bears could be “stuck” picking first overall. And while I’m not entirely freaking out about that possibility, I do find reassurance knowing that there are top talents worthy of the first overall pick. It isn’t an ideal scenario. But sometimes, those are the cards your dealt.

With that being said, something NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport said while discussing the pick on NBC Sports Chicago’s Football Night in Chicago program recently stuck with me.

“If Will Anderson is Myles Garrett, then take him No. 1 and don’t even worry about it,” Rapoport said. “Don’t even think twice. “If you’re going to be a dominant franchise, you gotta have those guys that just disrupt everything.”

The first part of Rapoport’s angle stopped me in my tracks.

If Will Anderson is Myles Garrett, then take him No. 1 and don’t even worry about it.

Full disclosure: I’ve been enamored with the idea of trading the first pick for a bevy of draft picks for a while now. In fact, it began with the moment the Bears snatched it from the Texans. Heck, it has been on my mind since late in the year when the odds were improbable, but not impossible. And when things went the Bears’ way, I immediately began cooking up dream scenarios in my head. Nothing like dreaming about what Chicago could get by putting the pick on the market. However, the idea of Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. being the next Myles Garrett makes me rethink things.

Think about who Garrett is as a player:

  • Ten sacks in each of his last five seasons.
  • A Pro Bowler in four of his last five campaigns.
  • First-team All-Pro recognition in 2020 and 2021.
  • Voted an NFL top 100 player in each of the last four years, peaking at No. 11 before the 2022 season.

If your team isn’t picking a quarterback, the next best thing might be to draft someone who wrecks quarterbacks for a living. And that is precisely what Garrett does in Cleveland. Check out the names of similar players based on stats that Garrett’s Pro Football Reference page spits out. Robert Quinn, Richard Dent, Julius Peppers, Bruce Smith, Warren Sapp, Howie Long, and Jared Allen are among those that stand out. If the Bears can secure that type of talent with the first overall pick, I can talk myself into the Bears sticking with the first pick. Again, it isn’t my preference. But I wouldn’t be totally against it.

Then again, I’m almost at the cusp of dreaming of the Bears trading out of that first pick and still landing a player of Anderson’s caliber. That would be the most ideal scenario for GM Ryan Poles. As Rap Sheet points out, we’re still so early in the process. Which means we probably shouldn’t spend too much time dreaming. Even still … the Bears are 76 days from going on the clock with the first pick. That is, of course, unless they trade it first.

More from Rapoport on Football Night in Chicago below:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.