Bears showing interest in two elite offensive playmakers for No. 9 pick
Bowers is an elite TE prospect (Brett Davis - USA Today Sports)

Bears showing interest in two elite offensive playmakers for No. 9 pick

by - Correspondent -

With so much speculation about the Chicago Bears trading the No. 9 overall pick, some consideration should also be given to who would be worth staying at No. 9 for. According to Tony Pauline, who has been covering the NFL for over two decades, if Chicago decides to go with the pass-catcher at No. 9, they are currently eyeing wide receiver Rome Odunze from Washington and tight end Brock Bowers out of Georgia.

Odunze is a logical choice. Coming off a season where he had 1,640 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns, the four-year star from Washington comes into the draft as one of the best wide receiver prospects in his class. The NFL Combine certainly helped his cause as well. His 40-yard dash time of 4.45 seconds was almost as fast as DJ Moore’s combine performance back in 2018 and a lot faster than Keenan’s Allen 40-yard dash time from 2013. With his weight of 212 pounds, he is yet another fast, big body in the receiving game for Chicago’s quarterback.

Numerous mock drafts have the Bears drafting him at No. 9, and it is without question Chicago would certainly nab him at No. 9 despite already having two elite receivers in Moore and Allen. However, Odunze would get the opportunity to learn from both of them and start as the No. 3 receiver. Allen already has over a decade in the league, so he most likely will not be in the league for a very long time. Odunze is a pick to make Chicago’s offense one of the most dangerous in the league now and build for the future with a sure starter.

The question with Odunze is, will he fall to No. 9 or get drafted before that?

Given the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans, who are both in need of a top receiver, draft before the No. 9 pick, there is certainly a choice Odunze will not fall to Chicago.

This is probably where the speculation around Bowers comes in. Bowers, an All-American, is unquestionably the No. 1 tight end in this draft class; the competition is not even close. He put up solid numbers all three of his years with Georgia and was key in their National Championship victories in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He missed four games due to injury, but injuries were not a problem for him prior to this season and is thus not a consideration moving forward.

Despite him being the top tight end in the draft, this rumor makes a lot less sense than drafting Odunze. The Bears already have two tight ends in Cole Kmet and Gerald Everett. Kmet just got a four-year deal through 2027, while Everett was just acquired in the offseason and has a two-year deal. While offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s offense revolves around having two tight ends, drafting a third with the No. 9 overall pick would not make sense.

Therefore, if Odunze is not available at No. 9, it is incredibly likely that the Bears will trade down. Odds are whoever they would be after at that point would still be available later in the draft, such as the No. 11 pick from the Minnesota Vikings, No. 12 from the Denver Broncos, and No. 13 from the Las Vegas Raiders, who are all desperately in need of a quarterback.

But until the draft, this is all merely speculation. The NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 25 (7 p.m./ABC), with Chicago immediately on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick.

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