Bears GM Ryan Poles Isn’t Necessarily Looking to Trade For More Draft Picks

Bears GM Ryan Poles
Bears GM Ryan Poles

Ryan Poles has done well in creating a bevy of picks in each of his first two NFL Draft classes as Chicago Bears general manager.

And even though the Bears have a league-low four picks in this week’s NFL Draft, it doesn’t sound like Poles is pressing for more. During his Tuesday press conference ahead of Thursday’s first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Chicago’s general manager was asked if he felt the need to add more draft picks to his arsenal. His answer might surprise you.

“No. I feel really good with where we’re at,” Poles told reporters.

Poles’ response was a bit surprising when you consider how many picks he was able to stock-pile by trading down at various points in the last two drafts.

Last year, Poles traded back one spot from No. 9 in a deal that ultimately netted them the Philadelphia Eagles’ fourth-round selection in the 2024 draft. That deal came after the team moved off the No. 1 pick and collected a haul from the Carolina Panthers (which includes this year’s No. 1 overall pick and Carolina’s second-rounder in 2025). Back in 2022, Poles was wheeling-and-dealing all over the place on Day 3. But perhaps, as the Bears move on to the next stage of their team-building phase, Chicago’s front office now isn’t stressing about accumulating a volume of picks. Value over volume? Hmmm. That’s an idea that could work.

Will Bears General Manager Ryan Poles trade up? Down? Or stand pat?

Some might read Poles’ comments as a sign that the Bears are standing pat. And while I do believe this front office is comfortable with taking whichever playmaker falls to them at the No. 9 spot, I can’t shake the feeling that the team is willing to make a move up (or down) the board if something floats Poles’ boat. Because there is no leverage play like telling a potential trade partner I’m perfectly fine picking where I am, so good luck on trading that pick if you’re going to stick to *that* price.

For what it’s worth, the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs hears that the Bears have let other teams know they are open to trade discussions. Biggs then delivers this zinger: “It would be more newsworthy if the Bears told teams they were locked in at No. 9.”

In other words, expect the unexpected when it comes to what Ryan Poles does on NFL Draft weekend.

Ryan Poles Bears
(Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images)

How the board falls will ultimately decide which direction the Bears go in Round 1. If four quarterbacks go early, then the chances of one of those top three receivers falling to them will increase. But if a quarterback lingers on the board, then perhaps Poles will be fielding phone calls from teams wanting to draft QB4 in the class.

Remember, the Bears paid a pretty penny (pick No. 20, a 5th-rounder (No. 164), and 2022 first- and fourth-round selections to trade up to take Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft. And Fields was the fourth of five quarterbacks taken in the first round that year. So it isn’t inconceivable to believe that they could ask for a similar return if J.J. McCarthy, Jayden Daniels, or Drake Maye falls out of the top-5. Heck, there is a part of me rooting for lightning to strike twice.

For more from Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles and Assistant GM Ian Cunningham, you can watch the video below:

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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