Ryan Poles Lays Out What He Thinks He Can Get By Trading the First Pick
Yep. At this point, it’s a matter of when, not if the Chicago Bears are trading the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
And in a must-read interview with FMIA’s Peter King, Bears GM Ryan Poles offers an inkling as to what he is looking for in a trade, hints at draft day plans, and lays the groundwork for setting a foundation for sustained success. All of it begins with trading the first overall pick. King shares that Poles spoke at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis with three teams about trading the pick. As for Poles’ master, plan, it’s equal parts delicious and devious:
- A swap of first-round picks this year
- Additional first-round picks in 2024 *AND* 2025
- Trading down, but not too far where the Bears can’t land on one of the 6-8 players who might be deemed as a blue-chip prospect
Now, that would be one heckuva starting point for the type of haul Poles can bring in. King writing that Poles has had conversations that leave him thinking he can get a major package and position the team to get a top-tier talent is encouraging and juicy. So is the nugget about the number of premier players who could be on the Bears’ board. I’ll admit I’m looking in between the lines a little here, but my read as far as that is concerned is that Chicago isn’t looking to trade down too far. And yet, by indicating that there are 6-8 “blue players” in play, teams like the Raiders (7th pick), Falcons (8th), and Panthers (9th) are as much in play as the Texans (2nd) and Colts (4th). This is all falling into play quite nicely for the Bears.
As for when a deal could get done, Poles re-iterating that it could get done sooner than expected has me on high alert:
“Should we do this before free agency? Or should we wait?” he said. “I don’t know. That’s what I’ve communicated [to teams]. I could carry this all the way until we’re on the clock the night of the draft. But then there’s teams that want some certainty because, ‘If I need a quarterback bad, should I do that now when some of these guys, like Derek Carr, are out there?’ To me, they’ve got to go so much more above to do it now.
“I’m not greedy with it. But they’re gonna have to go above and beyond to close the door now.”
Ahhh! This is all so enthralling. Who wants to “go above and beyond” to seal the deal in early March? Your time to speak is now. Or you can forever hold your peace.
Poles is playing the game like a seasoned pro and I’m not sure how to react as a Bears fan. What am I supposed to do with my hands? I don’t know what to do with my hands! Watching Poles play both sides is fun to watch from afar because the Bears truly are the main character in all of this. It is Poles’ party and he is the one calling the shots. We could get action soon. Or he could string along suitors and make them antsy. This is my kind of choose-your-own adventure game.
The NFL’s new league year begins in nine days. And there is a real possibility that the Bears won’t own the first overall pick by the time the ball drops and the doors to the new year open. The anticipation is giving me new life. Let’s see the magic happen.