Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles mentioned last year and again this year that he would need to be "blown away" by a rookie quarterback prospect to move on from Justin Fields. If you've been following along with the opinions of some highly regarded draft experts, it seems likely that Caleb Williams has the talent to do just that.
Will Chicago Bears draft Caleb Williams?
There has been speculation that Williams is the type of quarterback prospect that only comes along once a decade. He's the type of quarterback who can hide flaws within an offense and elevate the performance of his teammates. A team would have to be extremely lucky to hold the first overall pick in the NFL draft when a prospect like Williams enters the League. Luckily for them, the Bears are that team, and with all likelihood, Ryan Poles is about to be blown away.
But what if Poles is blown away by something else as well? If Williams is everything he is believed to be, there is likely a team out there that is about to make Poles an offer for the number one pick that he must seriously consider, no matter how much he likes Williams. While Poles isn't likely to trade outside of the top ten, multiple teams drafting behind the Bears in the top ten need quarterbacks, including the Commanders (2), Patriots (3), Giants (6), and Falcons (8). While this is considered to be a deep quarterback class, Williams is the cream of the crop, and one of those teams may wish to pay a premium to move up and get their guy.
If this happens, Poles will be in a spot where he needs to decide between drafting Williams or setting himself up with a bevy of picks that he can use to build around Fields or another quarterback of his choosing. If Poles elects to trade down and collect picks, you can be sure he is still likely to take a quarterback high in the draft to sit behind Fields. In the event Fields struggles in 2024, they would have a quarterback on the roster who could potentially take over in 2025 or earlier if necessary.
The Bears will likely be a competitive team no matter which route Poles takes. They are a young team on the rise with a lot of talent on their roster. The decision Poles makes this offseason may very well spell the difference between them being a good team or a great team. The only problem is nobody truly knows which route will lead to which outcome. Only time will tell, but it's fun to speculate.