Chicago Bears Mock Draft: Ryan Poles trades down twice early, doubles up at WR

The Chicago Bears do not have many draft picks to use in the 2024 NFL Draft, but they do have two picks inside the top 10. Ryan Poles is building something he views as special and to do that, he will need to continue to build through the draft. Poles trades down twice to acquire more draft capital but still comes away with a nice haul of talent.

Chicago Bears, Keon Coleman
Chicago Bears, Keon Coleman / James Gilbert/GettyImages
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Bears, Sedrick Van Pran
Chicago Bears, Sedrick Van Pran / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

3.75 | Sedrick Van Pran, C - Georgia

It is important that the Chicago Bears find a way to improve the center position. Right now, the only player on the roster who makes sense is Ryan Bates. The Bears sent a fifth-round pick to Buffalo for Bates -- a player Ryan Poles tried to bring to Chicago before the start of the 2022 season. Buffalo matched Bates' offer to keep him around. Now, Bates is either the backup IOL who has the ability to play both guard or center or he is looked at as the Bears' starting center. I'd prefer he's a backup.

No matter if Bates is viewed as the starter or the backup, I'd like to see Ryan Poles draft a center who has more upside than Doug Kramer. Kramer was a sixth-round pick in 2022. He hasn't amounted to much though. In fact, he was waived and ended up with the Cardinals last season before coming back to the Bears' practice squad. He was signed to a reserve/future contract.

Ryan Poles and his staff decide to grab a center who has seen his draft stock drop since the college regular season. Jackson Powers-Johnson is the clear favorite as the top center prospect. I have Zach Frazier very close behind him, but I wouldn't spend a first-round pick on either of them. Sedrick Van Pran is still my third-favorite center prospect and I'd be very happy with him here at 75.

Van Pran was a three-year starter at center for Georgia. He was voted as a team captain. In three years, he's only allowed one sack, and that came as a sophomore in 2021. At 6'4" and 298 pounds, he fits the mold that Poles seems to like in his linemen. He is athletic and although I don't think he moves as well as Zach Frazier, he can move well enough. Van Pran has an aggressive streak and I think that he'd fit in well with guys like Darnell Wright and Teven Jenkins. He might not start right away, but I think he easily pushes Bates out of the starting job if that's the route the Bears go.

One concern here is if the Bears do not add another, more experienced veteran center and roll with a rookie center and a rookie quarterback. That's risky.

Strengths

  • Powerful anchor
  • Physicality
  • High motor
  • Athleticism
  • Strength/Grip

Weaknesses

  • Arm length
  • Inconsistent balance
  • Inconsistent pad level