June 24, 2024

The Chicago Bears have the opportunity to select an elite wide receiver or top edge rusher with the 9th pick in the NFL draft. However, they could potentially acquire a significant return by trading away this pick.

Ryan Poles

Several teams drafting in the middle of the first round have specific needs that align with potential trade partners for the Bears. Teams like the New Orleans Saints, in need of a left tackle, and the Indianapolis Colts, looking for a wide receiver, could be interested.

One proposed trade pitch, authored by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, suggests that the Colts would send picks Nos. 15, 82, and 117, along with a 2025 third-rounder, to the Bears in exchange for the 9th overall selection.

Despite acquiring Keenan Allen in the offseason, the Bears may still consider selecting a receiver with the 9th pick, unless they opt to trade it for additional draft capital, as they were willing to do with last year’s No. 1 overall pick.

In this scenario, the Colts would move up from No. 15 to No. 9 to secure a pass-catcher for second-year QB Anthony Richardson before the Jets have a chance to do so. Meanwhile, the Bears, who have limited selections outside of the first round, would gain more draft capital in the middle rounds.

The potential success of this trade scenario hinges on the availability of Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze, who could be available at No. 9 if the preceding picks align favorably. The Colts may wait until draft day to finalize the trade, ensuring that Odunze is indeed available before making the move.

For the Bears to maximize the value of the 9th pick, they would likely need to select Caleb Williams at No. 1, followed by quarterbacks being chosen in the subsequent picks. This outcome is plausible, given the quarterback needs of teams like the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots in the early selections.

Teams drafting in the low double-digits, such as the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos, may also be looking to acquire a quarterback, potentially leading to trade scenarios that could benefit the Bears.

According to Kiper’s projections, the New York Giants are expected to select a receiver with the 6th overall pick, likely targeting either Harrison or Nabers, depending on availability. Following that, the Tennessee Titans are predicted to choose a left tackle at No. 7, while the Atlanta Falcons are anticipated to opt for an edge rusher at No. 8.

In this scenario, with only one trade up for a quarterback, Odunze would fall to the 9th pick, presenting the Chicago Bears with a potential opportunity for a significant trade return. If they opt not to select Odunze themselves, the Bears could consider drafting either Dallas Turner or Jared Verse, whichever player remains available, to complement Pro Bowler Montez Sweat as their second starting edge rusher.

While there are no unfavorable options for the Bears at No. 9, having passed on the opportunity to acquire a substantial draft haul for the No. 1 pick (assuming they select Williams), Chicago might be inclined to trade down six spots in the first round. This move could still allow them to target a player like Verse while acquiring additional draft picks in the process.

Rome Odunze, Washington

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