2024 Chicago Bears Draft Target: Brian Thomas Jr.
Matthew Hinton - USA Today Sports

2024 Chicago Bears Draft Target: Brian Thomas Jr.

by - Senior Writer -

With the NFL Draft officially less than two weeks away, things are about to get real quick. For the Chicago Bears, that means that not one but two franchise-altering players could be heading to Chicago in round one as the Bears pick No. 1 and No. 9 overall. The consensus is that Caleb Williams be the No. 1 overall pick, leaving the door open for the Bears to take whoever they want at No. 9, depending on the board looks.

This is the point in the draft process where the boards start to look more consistent, and you get a good sense of what teams are thinking. This is also when more trade talks begin to pop up, as every team wants an opportunity to draft their guy if they can find a way to make it work. For some, that may be a player who wasn't considered a high first-round pick when the draft process began. However, he has seen his stock rise to the point where he could be a top-10 pick.

LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr. is one of those guys and could be a legitimate possibility for the Bears at No. 9. Thomas may not be at the level of Rome Odunze, Marvin Harrison Jr, or even his teammate Malik Nabers, but Thomas is coming off a season just as good as those three, and some would say even better.

He entered this year's draft as the No. 6 overall WR and has now reached the No. 4 spot as he passed another potential Bears option in Keon Coleman.

At 6-3 and 209 pounds, Thomas Jr. is another big-bodied WR to pair with Keenan Allen.

However, with Allen being a free agent after this season, Thomas could be the player the Bears pair DJ Moore with for the foreseeable future. Coming off a season where he hauled in 68 passes for 1177 yards, Thomas didn't have the same level of production as Nabers, but with 17 touchdowns to lead the country, he is more of a red-zone threat, which the Bears lacked last season.

Those 17 scores came after having just seven in his first two seasons, so you can see the breakout year that Thomas just went through. When you look at the Bears WR room, they have size in Allen and speed in Moore, Velus Jones, and Tyler Scott, but they don't have that Speed and Size combo. Thomas Jr would solve that, as he has the rare size and speed combination that some of the league's greats have. That plays into both the strengths of Williams and the Bears offense as he is a better fit than some would think.

Although he can be one of the game's best, he tends to go through the motions at times during his routes and comes off as lazy, even though that is not the case. Everything else needed in a No.1 WR: he checks the boxes, and you could essentially make him one of the better No. 3 options in the game when you look at who he would be paired with.

Given his size, he can get off of press coverage at the line, while his speed allows him to take the top off of defense while also getting underneath the secondary in the open field. Despite his size, he doesn't play as physically as he should, and there is still work that needs to be done on the intermediate routes in order to make him a more well-rounded player.

Regardless, Thomas's overall ability is special, as he rarely has difficulty getting open, which makes life easier for a quarterback. He is a red zone threat who can be a jump ball guy if needed or has the speed to be a team's deep ball threat most of his career. Still an unpolished product compared to the top three WRs, Thomas has the potential to be a No.2 option in this league and could be a No. 1 if everything falls into place.

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