Bears ‘Surely Looking at the Possibility’ of Adding Unexpected Playmaker at No. 9

Brock Bowers

Getty Where will TE Brock Bowers get drafted this year?

Aton of intrigue currently surrounds what the Chicago Bears will do with the No. 9 pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

Draft analysts and experts are split about whether Chicago will utilize the pick on a top playmaker or trade down in the draft in order to add more picks.

If wide receivers Rome Odunze or Malik Nabers are still on the board at nine, or if offensive lineman Joe Alt is still there, Chicago is expected to stay put and snag an offensive difference-maker for its incoming rookie quarterback (likely Caleb Williams).

But what if former Georgia tight end Brock Bowers is still there? Would Chicago add him despite already having Cole Kmet and Gerald Everett?

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune wrote that the Bears are “surely looking at the possibility” of adding Bowers at No. 9.

What Would Kind of Player Would the Chicago Bears Be Getting if They Drafted TE Brock Bowers?

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Bowers is one of the more versatile players to enter the draft this year. He’s a tight end on paper, but he can also line up and function like a wide receiver.

“He’s an interesting prospect, but the top-10 is usually a little rich for a tight end,” Biggs wrote about Bowers on April 3. “If the Bears consider him — and they’re surely looking at the possibility — they would need a plan to have him on the field 70% of the time or more and still get maximum production out of Cole Kmet. It would be interesting from a matchup standpoint for offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.”

In three years at Georgia, Bowers played 715 snaps lined up in the slot and 414 inline snaps. The young TE was limited to 10 games in 2023 after having TightRope surgery on his left ankle, but he still put up solid numbers, catching 56 passes for 717 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Bowers is great at hauling in contested passes, and he’s a playmaker after the catch. He forced 18 missed tackles last season, and he’s also a solid run blocker. There’s loads to love about his game, but the financial aspects of drafting a TE in the top 10 could make general manager Ryan Poles and company balk.

The Fiscal Realities of Drafting a TE Make it Unlikely Move for Bears

Austin Mock of The Athletic wrote about why it may be difficult for teams to justify drafting Bowers in the top 10 specifically.

“Even if he hits, teams aren’t squeezing as much value out of their top-10 pick as they would be if they hit on a player at a premium position. The league does not consider tight end a premiere position. Look at the salaries across the league. The current average salary among the top five tight ends is $15.4 million,” Mock wrote on March 19.

“If Bowers is selected in the top 10 — it would then be safe to project his average salary to be around $6 million — he would instantly become one of the higher-paid tight ends in the NFL. That means the team that drafts him isn’t creating nearly as much surplus value as it could have had it taken a wide receiver, edge rusher, offensive tackle or pretty much any other position,” he added.

Kmet has cap hits over $11 million each of the next four seasons, while Everett’s cap hits total just under $12 million combined over the next two years. Would the Bears really want to add another $6 million annually for a third TE?

That seems unlikely, but Biggs has been accurate in his past reporting. If he says Chicago is looking into Bowers, the team is surely doing just that. We’ll see if that smoke gets any thicker as the draft approaches.

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