Bears Trade Pitch Flips 9th Pick for 1st & 2nd Rounders, Nets Elite Edge Rusher - Sport News

Bears Trade Pitch Flips 9th Pick for 1st & 2nd Rounders, Nets Elite Edge Rusher

The Chicago Bears are locked into a quarterback with the top pick in the NFL draft, but the 9th overall selection still affords them a host of quality options.

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus examined one path forward for the Bears, authoring a trade pitch in which Chicago sends the New Orleans Saints pick Nos. 9 and 75 in return for pick Nos. 14, 45 and 168.

Dallas Turner Visit Chicago Bears News 2024 NFL Draft

“A tackle already made sense for the Saints with question marks on the left side,” Spielberger wrote on Wednesday, March 27. “Now, with news that stalwart right tackle Ryan Ramczyk has unfortunately not recovered as well as the team had hoped from knee surgery, tackle is by far the biggest need for this roster headed into 2024. The Saints get ahead of the New York Jets at No. 10 … and the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 13.”

Bears Have Good Chance to Draft Edge Jared Verse Even if They Trade Down With Saints

Jared Verse
Jared Verse
GettyEdge defender Jared Verse of the Florida State Seminoles.

The proposal gets the Bears back into the second round after they traded what eventually became the 40th overall selection to the Washington Commanders for defensive end Montez Sweat at last year’s deadline.

Chicago hit a home run with that deal, as Sweat earned Pro Bowl honors and led the team in sacks despite joining the roster halfway through the season. He then signed a four-year extension worth $98 million and will provide the Bears with the consistent edge rusher they have so desperately needed for the last couple years.

Moving back five spots in the first round also does little to diminish the value Chicago can find with its second overall selection in 2024, particularly if the team is interested in a pass rusher.

Mel Kiper of ESPN published an updated mock draft on March 19, in which he predicted the Bears will select edge defender Jared Verse of Florida State with the 9th pick.

“At 6-foot-4, 254 pounds, [Verse] has a complete set of tools to be a devastating pass rusher at the next level, if he can put everything together,” Kiper wrote.

Verse is the second defender and second edge rusher off the board in Kiper’s newest mock, with the Atlanta Falcons selecting Dallas Turner of Alabama one pick prior at No. 8. Kiper doesn’t have another pass rusher coming down until the 25th spot, where he projects the Green Bay Packers to select Laiatu Latu of UCLA.

Bears May Choose to Stay Put, Draft Elite WR Rome Odunze

Caleb Williams Rome Odunze Bears Mock Draft NFL2
Caleb Williams Rome Odunze Bears Mock Draft NFL2
GettyWashington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze.

Of course, Chicago trading out of the 9th spot and leaving Verse on the board could change the math for another team selecting between pick Nos. 10-13. But it’s a solid bet that Verse will still be available to the Bears at No. 14, and the payoff would include a solid asset in the second round to address either the wide receiver position or the offensive line.

That series of events would provide almost the perfect draft scenario for Chicago in terms of addressing its most significant needs.

Let’s say the #Bears trade back from No. 9 and get a second-round pick, like @PFF_Brad speculated.

A dream haul would be Caleb-EDGE-WR in the first two rounds. Get a top EDGE prospect opposite Sweat, and take advantage of how deep the WR class is. Your biggest needs all filled.

“Let’s say the #Bears trade back from No. 9 and get a second-round pick, like @PFF_Brad speculated,” Jacob Infante of Windy City Gridiron posted to X on Wednesday. “A dream haul would be Caleb [Williams]-EDGE-WR in the first two rounds. Get a top EDGE prospect opposite Sweat and take advantage of how deep the WR class is. Your biggest needs all filled.”

Chicago seized the opportunity to trade a fourth-rounder to the Los Angeles Chargers for Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen earlier this month, which removes the urgent need at the position alongside DJ Moore. However, if a talent like Rome Odunze of Washington remains available at No. 9, the Bears may strongly consider taking him, especially if the team can’t/chooses not to extend Allen, who has dealt with injury issues in each of the past two seasons.

Those circumstances, or a scenario in which Turner falls past Atlanta at No. 8, may change Chicago’s draft calculus. But if things play out similarly to how Spielberger and Kiper see them, the Bears may have a chance to leverage the No. 9 pick into two rookie starters with star upside at premier positions.

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