Posted on: January 29, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune

After a 3-14 season, the Bears finished dead last in the league in passing, with a defense that was ripped to shreds after the departure of Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith. The Bears are in a tight spot. 

General manager Ryan Poles has a lot of work to do. Not only does he have nine picks in the upcoming draft, but he also has to decide what to do with the first overall pick. That could be trading it away and getting a nice-looking package full of draft capital or just sitting right where we are and drafting the best player available. Since his arrival, Poles has been banging the table for some physicality in the Bears’ locker room, and here’s his chance to get it.

Mohammed Jbara

Freelance Contributor

The Bears, originally slated to take the second pick, got the first pick last minute after the Texans won their final game, leaving the Bears with the worst record in the league. Many desperate teams want these incoming quarterbacks. So much so, they will try to leap other desperate teams on the draft board and could offer up a good deal to the Bears in return for their first pick.

On top of it all, a major question lingers: Can Justin Fields take the next step and become one of the top quarterbacks in the league? Some people don’t think he can and the Bears should just use the first pick to take a quarterback. But I think Fields is the future, and the Bears should use all this draft capital and money to build around him.

Here’s the fastest way Poles can make the Bears contenders.

The Chicago Bears trade the first overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons for the 8th overall pick, the 44th pick, the 75th pick; a 2024 first and third-round pick; and a 2025 first-round pick

Teams that trade the first overall pick in the NFL always receive an immense package in return. 

That’s why an offer of this magnitude by the Atlanta Falcons would not be surprising. The Falcons were always set at the quarterback position. After going through three quarterbacks in the span of one season, they believe it’s time to find “their guy.”

Now, trading with the Bears grants the Falcons the right to choose whichever quarterback they have their eyes on. Most likely, the pick will be last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young out of Alabama, letting him be the face of the rebuild in Atlanta.

It’s very important for Poles to get as much draft capital as he possibly can. This rebuild will take longer than most Bears fans think. It has to be a slow process, with lots of time spent thinking about the best decision for this franchise moving forward.

With the 8th overall pick, the Chicago Bears select Paris Johnson Jr., offensive tackle, Ohio State

Fields finished the season as the most sacked quarterback in the NFL, which left him to deal with multiple injuries (a separated shoulder and strained hamstring).

Photo by John Cordes

This offensive line needs a ton of work. 

Braxton Jones was a 5th-round pick last year. Although he has played better than expected, Fields needs someone that can hold down his blindside. That’s why I propose moving Jones to right tackle. Jones still has the traits to be a starter in this unit, but on the right side instead.

Paris Johnson Jr. played offensive guard his first two years at Ohio State and then transitioned to left tackle last year. He has a 6’6”, 315-pound build, perfect for playing offensive tackle, and his play backed that up. He finished as the top offensive tackle in all of college football. One thing that stands out with Johnson is his unmatched athleticism, a trait that’s a top priority for Poles. He’s going to bring that physicality to a unit that is in desperate need of it.

The Chicago Bears trade the 44th pick, 56th pick, the 199th pick, and a 2024 3rd pick to the Los Angeles Chargers for the 21st overall pick. With the 21st overall pick, the Chicago Bears select Jordan Addison, wide receiver, USC

This is going to be hard to pull off. 

Photo by Shotgun Spratling

But as I’m running through this mock draft late in the first round, Jordan Addison is still on the board. Not as surprising as many would think. Draft Gurus have Addison as the third best receiver in this draft, and the majority of the teams who aren’t desperate for a wide receiver make up the top 20 slots.

This is where the Bears come in. 

Addison’s play style fits exactly what the Bears are lacking at receiver. They need a guy who is a great route runner and can get open easily. That’s what they’re getting with Addison, who finished the season with 875 yards and 8 touchdowns in 11 games for the USC Trojans. 

For comparison, the Bears’ top receiver Darnell Mooney finished this season with 493 yards. He went on injured reserve on Nov. 27, missing the last six games. This receiver group needs a whole lot of work.

The Chicago Bears trade the 103rd pick and two 2024 third-round picks to the Arizona Cardinals for Deandre Hopkins, wide receiver

The news is out now. The Arizona Cardinals are officially in a rebuild.

Photo by Michael Owens

After firing head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Kaim, the next person on the chopping block is Deandre Hopkins. He’s a top receiver in the league who came off of a PED suspension last season, yet still put up great numbers on his return.

His salary is going to be $19.4 million next season, which the Bears have room for, and if this whole draft scenario plays out, Fields will have a receiving core of Deandre Hopkins, Jordan Addison, Darnell Mooney, and Chase Claypool, significantly better than he had last year. 

The only problem is that Hopkins has a no-trade clause in his deal. That means he will have final say in where the Cardinals will deal him to. And knowing that he’s 30 years old, he’ll most likely want to play for a contender. 

However, if you look at the contenders of this season, they either have a ton of receivers or have problems with cap space. The Bears are able to pay his contract while also building for the future.

With the 137th pick, the Chicago Bears select Olusegun Oluwatimi, center, Michigan

Olusegun Oluwatimi is a potential steal for the Bears come draft week. 

In a draft where the interior offensive line is thin, he could help intensively. He’s been named in the BIG 10 team of the week multiple times since transferring over to Michigan. Once he transferred from Virginia, people had expected big things from him, and yet he still performed better.

Photo by USA Today

He will be coming to an offensive line when they’re going to need his best. I consider the center position to be one of the top positions of need on this team. Especially his physically, where the Bears’ offensive line needs more. 

Only time will tell if the Chicago Bears realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the first overall pick in a time of a rebuild where they have their starting quarterback. 

Coming into the draft, they had nine picks. After the trade with Atlanta, they’ll have 10 total, as well as additional first-round picks for 2024 and 2025. That gives the Bears two first-round picks for the next two drafts. And the trades don’t stop there. 

This is what the Bears need to do in order to put themselves in a direction of contending: They need to get as much draft capital as possible, while maintaining physicality.