Bears expected to go heavy on offense in NFL draft
Jason Parkhurst - USA Today Sports

Bears expected to go heavy on offense in NFL draft

by - Senior Writer -

Although the NFL Draft is five-plus months away, there is always time to look into the crystal ball and start diving into the Bears future options. Boy, will this team have plenty of future options as the Bears not only have two first-round picks but are expected to have two top 10 picks with a shot at two in the top five?

As things sit, the Bears are picking no. 1 overall for the second straight season as they retained that pick from the Carolina Panthers for the DJ Moore trade while also holding the No. 4 overall selection. That gives this team a chance to land not one but two franchise-altering players as long as the team doesn't miss and makes the right decision.

When you look at the current state of the Bears roster, it may be vastly improved, but so many holes need to be fixed. Depending on what side of the fence you sit on, Justin Fields is still looked at as a franchise QB, but there are some talks about the Bears moving on from him as the new President, Kevin Warren, may want an opportunity to draft his guy. That chance would come in this year's draft, and a lot of the NFL world sees the same thing as the writing could be on the wall for Fields to be traded to a new team.

If that is the move the Bears make, it all but guarantees that this team will be drafting a QB at No. 1, but there are mixed reviews as to who would be the best option. Regardless, everyone you talk to expects the Bears to go offense-heavy in the first round, as many expect them to go QB No. 1 and another offensive player No. 4.

Here is how things are shaking out as the potential pickups for the Bears:

If the Bears are planning on moving away from Fields and perhaps starting fresh at QB, there are plenty of options for the Bears to look at, but realistically, there are only two options for the No. 1 spot. Caleb Williams makes the most sense for the Bears in this spot, as he is seen as a once-in-a-generation talent who could lead the franchise for years.

Williams had an up-and-down season regarding his team's results, but the overall performance speaks for itself. He is statistically one of the best QBs in the country and has the most talent of any player in this year's draft. The problem is the mental side of things, as some scouts fear he needs more mental stability to make it in the NFL. Some things would make you feel that way, but if you have a chance at a guy like Williams, you need to take a swing at him.

Drake Maye is the more intriguing piece, mainly because of what happened to him this season. Apart from Williams in 2022, Maye was arguably the best quarterback in the nation last season and put himself on the map as a potential Heisman winner this year. Maye got off to a great start over the first month or so, but the second half of the season was a struggle for him.

Many people point to not having his old OC Phil Longo calling the plays anymore, as the North Carolina offense was a shell of what they were in 2022. Maye’s regular season ended with a flop, but he’s hardly been the problem. A lack of protection and a defense that’s struggled mightily continuously put him in a tough spot. Still, he’s shown the arm talent worthy of being in consideration of the first pick.

Adding a franchise QB that you feel is the leader of your franchise is just the first step in building a great team, but next comes protecting your franchise guy. Sure, the Bears offensive line is vastly improved from what it was a few years ago, but you could be looking at an offensive tackle going at the No. 4 pick. That is where Notre Dame OT Joe Alt comes into play, as he is widely regarded as the best offensive lineman in this year's class.

Considering the Bears have Braxton Jones and Darnell Wright at the tackle positions, offensive tackle isn't a need for this team, but you have to take the best player available in this spot. Alt would be the best player remaining in this spot, and the Bears would be foolish not to consider making this move. However, don't be surprised to see the Bears trade back further into the first round, as the first pick will ultimately determine the direction this team is going.

While protecting the QB is one thing, for your QB to be successful, he needs to have the weapons around him. Chicago has tried to give Fields as many weapons as possible by bringing in a guy like Moore, but take him out of that offense, and this team would have problems. The No. 4 pick is where things could get interesting for the Bears as they could keep Fields and add on or give their new QB his first real weapon to be linked together hand in hand.

Marvin Harrison Jr is the best WR in this year's class, but the overall gap between him and guys like Rome Odunze and Malik Nabers is narrower than it once was. Harrison will most likely go No. 2 or, at worst, No. 3, so it doesn't appear that the Bears will get him unless they take him at No. 1. All isn't lost for the Bears, however, as Nabers is viewed as an option for them at No. 4.

Next in what has been a successful run of LSU WRs with Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase leading the way, Nabers was not only the favorite target for Jayden Daniels but could be the best WR in this year's class or at least the one with the most potential. No matter who plays quarterback in Chicago, the Bears need another playmaking weapon to pair with Moore, and Darnell Mooney isn't the answer.

Nabers would be the answer to pair with Moore, and in this case, Nabers gets the nod for his high upside and unparalleled big-play production for LSU. Coming off a 1000-yard season in 2022 that gave Nabers 1400 yards in two seasons, it was this season where he broke out and showed everyone what he could do as a player.

His 86 receptions broke his previous high of 72, while the 1546 yards were more combined than in his first two seasons. Nabers also hauled in 14 TDS after only having seven in his first two seasons to prove he is one of the best in the game. He was tied for the NCAA lead in touchdowns with Harrison Jr. but was the nation's leader in receiving yards as he has made a case for the best wide receiver in college.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to Dustin Riese: Email | Comment
Post your comments!