4 questions surrounding the Chicago Bears 9th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft

Answering the questions that the Chicago Bears will have regarding their second first-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Annie Barker / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Question No.4: Do the Bears still see Braxton Jones as their left tackle of the future?

While we are on the subject of the offensive line, the Bears offensive line looks set. Right tackle Darnell Wright should be better in his second year, Ryan Bates will likely be the starting center while they hope both starting guards Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis will bounce back. Jenkins played well when he was healthy, but once again injury bug bit him. Davis' season was marred by family matters that forced him to miss OTAs and training camps. Bears hope Davis has put last year behind him and is ready for the upcoming 2024 season.

The wild card is left tackle Braxton Jones. He has done well for a player taken in the 5th round back in the 2022 NFL Draft. Last year he suffered a neck injury that forced him to miss 4 games. Still, there are strong rumors out there that the Bears drafting an offensive lineman at the 9th pick.

If Notre Dame's Joe Alt, and Penn State's Olu Fashanu, a high school teammate of Caleb Williams in Washington DC are still on the board when the Bears make their second first-round selection, does Poles decide to either draft one to help protect Williams for at least a decade or trade down to get extra picks and still get Alabama's JC Latham, or Washington's Troy Fautanu somewhere between 15-20th pick?

The Bears have had bad luck with left tackles in the past by settling for players like J'Marcus Webb, Charles Leno, and Jones, who were drafted in the lower rounds. Despite their efforts, they never became a long-term fixture at left tackle. Did Jones play well enough to be a long-term starter moving forward or does Poles see an opportunity to upgrade the most important position next to quarterback in this draft?

Remember, Ryan Poles was an offensive lineman when he was at Boston College, so he knows the importance of the position. They already drafted Darnell Wright last season. Drafting both quarterback and left tackle in one draft, two positions that have plagued this franchise for a long time should not surprise anyone. If you want Williams to stay healthy long-term, they must find ways to keep his pocket clean as long as possible.

Poles is determined to break the Bears' horrid cycle at quarterbacks. It might not be well received if they took an offensive lineman over a receiver whether at 9th pick or later. But Poles probably knows having two picks in the top 10 will not happen again. Upgrading the left tackle position might be higher on his priority list than anyone realizes.

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