The Chicago Bears are sitting in an unprecedented position heading into the 2024 NFL Draft. Last year, they held the top overall pick in the 2023 draft but traded it to the Carolina Panthers. This year, while they still have a very capable quarterback in Justin Fields entering his 4th year in the league, they also hold two top-10 picks, including the top overall pick (from Carolina as part of last year's trade).
There is still no word on what the Bears are going to do moving forward. They have an offensive coordinator now, so you'd hope that translates to them having a plan that new hire Shane Waldron, HC Matt Eberflus, GM Ryan Poles, and the rest of the front office are united in support of.
Keeping Fields as the quarterback and trading down in the draft is still on the table for the Bears. They could decide to stick with their guy and give him more weapons to keep developing him.
But as of now, draft expert Mel Kiper has no trades, just picks. The top pick (for now) is obvious, but what's the plan for the ninth pick?
Kiper has Bears taking Williams at 1, Odunze at 9
In the first version of his mock draft (subscription required), Kiper has the Bears selecting quarterback Caleb Williams first overall and wide receiver Rome Odunze with the ninth pick.
Williams has been reported to be the biggest quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck came out of Stanford. Many believe his ceiling is much higher than Fields and even in his rookie year he'd be an upgrade at the position. It's hard to believe the Bears would pass this opportunity up in favor of running it back as is.
Odunze would be a nice consolation prize to not being able to draft Marvin Harrison Jr. He had a wonderful season with Washington, helping lead them to the College Football Playoff championship game. He'd come into a receiver room led by DJ Moore, helping new quarterback Williams try to change the narrative about offense in Chicago.