ESPN's favorite NFL Draft pick belongs to the Bears, but it isn't who you think

It's just another example of how great Chicago's draft was this year.
2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

It's been about a week since the NFL Draft kicked off, and the dust is almost starting to settle on post-draft, ranked content. I say almost because, of course, there are still daily rankings being published, new takes being formed, and snarky columns about trade value being written. But they're starting to slow down, which is wonderful news for everyone.

Not at ESPN, though. The worldwide leader published an extensive list of draft rankings on Wednesday, appropriately titled "2024 NFL draft: Ranking the 100 best picks, steals, fits." The article doesn't really go into steals or fits, but the rule of 3 is a powerful tool in headline building, so I get it. What's especially exciting for Bears fans is that Chiago has not one, but two of ESPN's favorite picks – both the first and second best picks, according to Draft analyst Matt Miller, are headed to Chicago. But the winner might surprise you! (It also might not!)

ESPN's favorite draft pick belongs to Chicago, but wasn't who you think

It'd be easy to imagine a world where taking the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck – and definitely the best QB prospect on the roster since, like, 1923 – was considered the best pick of the draft. But you'd be mistaken! ESPN has declared that the second best pick of the draft, so get those pitchforks out. They said that taking Rome Odunze at eight was, in fact, better:

Chicago's second pick of the first round was my favorite of the entire draft for a few reasons. Not only was this a great value for Chicago -- a difference of six spots in ranking vs. slot inside the top 10 is huge -- but it's also smart to help your rookie quarterback with a star rookie wide receiver. It also helps that Caleb Williams (said QB) and Odunze have been working out together since the 2023 college season ended. Odunze led the nation in receiving last season (1,640 yards) and fills out a potentially really good offense.

I mean, he's not wrong. And sure, it feels a little bit contrarian just to be contrarian, but this is a Bears blog so we'll take it. Actually getting to eight and seeing Odunze still on the board was one of the bigger pleasant surprises of the night, so shoutout to the Atlanta Falcons. You know who wasn't on the list of *100* best picks in the draft? The punter the Bears took in the 4th round. Weird!