Bears Have 6-8 Players on Their Radar for the No. 9 Pick
We’re getting down to the nitty gritty in the pre-draft ramp-up. And when it comes to the Chicago Bears’ draft options, it seems to me that they’re lining up a particular group of prospects at the top of their board.
While speaking to the media at Halas Hall, Assistant GM Ian Cunningham told reporters the team has eyes on 6-8 players they’d be comfortable taking with the ninth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft:
Well, this is VERY interesting.
GM Ryan Poles already told reporters back in March that the Bears had 6-8 blue-chip players on their board. In other words, even after an extensive pre-draft process, the team still has about eight players at the top of their board that they hold in the highest regard. It’s a relief that nothing drastically threw the board out of whack.
Secondly, this has us rooting for a bunch of quarterbacks to go before the Bears are on the clock. By my math, four quarterbacks being taken in the first eight picks would leave Poles with an opportunity to take one of his highest-ranking prospects. The Bears being in a position to take a top-5 non-quarterback prospect with the ninth pick would be such a fortuitous bounce. Then again, I feel as if this franchise (and the fans who root for it) is/are deserving of some good breaks for a change.
And, finally, this seems to open the door for more trade-back opportunities. If you have 6-8 players you’re comfortable taking at the No. 9 spot, and a bunch of QBs go early, then I can surmise that the Bears might be more willing to trade back knowing that they can still take someone from that particular pool of players. We know Poles was into the idea of using the first overall pick to trade back twice in the draft before cutting a deal with the Panthers. Maybe a second trade-down is still in the cards. It sure seems like the Bears are open to it.
So … who are these players? I have some guesses I’m willing to take (the Bears are reportedly “zeroed in” on Paris Johnson). But I can guarantee none of them are quarterbacks, seeing that Justin Fields is their guy.