Ranking the top 20 prospects the Bears must have on their big board pre-Combine

Ryan Poles is creating his big board for the 2024 NFL Draft. The Chicago Bears own two picks in the top 10 and here are 20 prospects to consider.

Chicago Bears, Drake Maye
Chicago Bears, Drake Maye / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Bears, Rome Odunze
Chicago Bears, Rome Odunze / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

If the Chicago Bears move out of the top five or move up from nine, here is the next group of prospects that should be on Ryan Poles' draft board.

6. Rome Odunze, WR - Washington

As of right now, I have Rome Odunze as my WR3. That said, the more I look into Odunze, he is the one that I have the most doubts about. He is going to struggle to separate at the NFL level. He's going to have to rely on his ability to use his body to create separation. Expect him to catch plenty of contested balls. He reminds me a little of Allen Robinson. His contested catch ability is superb though and it is why I still have him as my WR3 in this draft class.

7. Brock Bowers, TE - Georgia

Easily the top tight end prospect in this draft class, but we need to be wary about these types of prospects. Kyle Pitts has yet to live up to the hype and if the Chicago Bears look to pair Brock Bowers up with Cole Kmet, he may not return the type of value needed to justify taking him at this point in the draft. That said, Bowers is a legit receiving threat and would complement Kmet nicely as the true move tight end.

8. Olu Fashanu, LT - Penn State

I had Olu Fashanu graded as a first-round prospect last year. I was hoping to see him take a jump in 2023. instead, he struggled more than he did in 2022. This is why he dropped below Joe Alt for me. Alt, a little younger, looks stronger and more polished than Fashanu. I'd still consider Fashanu a big upgrade over Braxton Jones despite Jones' success in his first two seasons. Left tackle isn't a need, but if you can upgrade one of the most important positions on offense you do it.

9. Taliese Newton, OL - Oregon State

Taliese Newton is a true OL in this draft class. He won't succeed as an LT in the NFL, but he can be one of the better right tackles if given that opportunity. For the Bears, that wouldn't make sense since they just selected Darnell Wright last season. Wright looked elite at times and I expect to see a jump in his second season. Newton should still be a target for the Chicago Bears though if they move back since he has the potential to be the best interior offensive lineman in the draft. With shorter arms, Newton could bounce inside and play guard — a position the Bears need depth and future prospects.

10. Johnny (Jer'Zhan) Newton, DT - Illinois

We recently found out that Jer'Zhan Newton prefers to be called Johnny. Johnny Newton should be a player that Matt Eberflus falls in love with during the draft process. He has a high motor and a bit of a nasty streak. His burst off the ball is better than Gervon Dexter's (although I think Dexter did and can continue to improve). I love Newton's moves in the middle. He has violent hands and uses both the rip and swim moves to force himself inside. I don't think Zacch Pickens is the answer at the 3T, but Newton could definitely be that guy.