NFC Scout Fuels Rumors About Bears’ Trade Plans for No. 9 Pick

Chicago Bears Rumors Bears Trade Bears 9th Pick Bears Draft Trade

Getty Bears general manager Ryan Poles.

The Chicago Bears could potentially land an instant-impact player for their roster with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, but one NFC scout believes it is far more likely they trade away the pick for additional assets.

ESPN’s Jordan Reid recently emptied his notebook of his pre-draft intel on several of the NFL’s teams and shared an interesting tidbit from an anonymous NFC area scout about the Bears and his expectations for what they will do with the ninth overall pick.

“I’d be shocked if they make that pick at nine,” The scout told Reid, who quoted him in his April 11 article. “[Bears general manager Ryan] Poles loves to move around and build through the draft, and that roster still needs help in some spots.”

Reid cautioned fans not to be “surprised if Chicago moves back, adds more draft capital and takes the best defensive end available wherever [the team] lands.” He also floated UCLA’s Laiatu Latu and Florida State’s Jared Verse — both of whom have taken Top 30 visits with the Bears in the past week — as potential trade-down targets for them.

The Bears have just two selections outside the top 10 — Nos. 75 and 122 — after trading picks in the second (Montez Sweat), fourth (Keenan Allen) and fifth (Ryan Bates) for veteran players over the past six months. If they find a trade partner willing to pay a premium for the No. 9 pick, though, they could have more darts to throw at the board.

If Bears Trade 9th Pick, Which Teams Could Move Up?

Whether the Bears trade the No. 9 pick or stay put remains their greatest mystery for the upcoming draft. In truth, the Bears themselves might not even know what they want to do just yet. It could take seeing how the draft board falls in the first eight picks for them to determine if there is a talent worth taking with the ninth selection.

If the Bears do trade the pick, though, which teams could realistically look to move up?

The quarterbacks could be the biggest trade-up motivator. If one of the top four passers falls to No. 9, the Bears could have quite a bit of leverage with teams outside the top 10 who are seeking a new franchise passer. The Minnesota Vikings have two first-rounders to use to move up, but the Denver Broncos (No. 12) or Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13) could be looking to jump them in the order and willing to give up a sizeable package to do so.

The wide receivers are also intriguing. The Bears could certainly benefit from taking one of the top three receivers — Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze — with the ninth pick, but teams farther down in the order that do not have DJ Moore and Allen on their roster may be willing to pay a steep price to get a new No. 1 pass-catcher.

The Buffalo Bills (No. 28) are a contender to trade up for a receiver after dealing Stefon Diggs to the Houston, but the Bears may not want to move that far down without a significant exchange in assets. The Indianapolis Colts (No. 15) could be more realistic.

Bears Could Stay Put & Target Draft’s Top Defender

The Bears may feel moving out of the top 10 — even slightly — is worthwhile if they can get another Day 2 pick in the process. The wait between No. 9 and No. 75 is a long one, and adding a second-rounder could allow them to address more of their roster needs. If they are willing to trade deep into the round, they could maybe even get a 2025 first.

That said, the Bears have made it obvious this offseason that they want to contend in 2024 after spending the past two seasons rebuilding. They spent good chunks of cap space on a running back (D’Andre Swift) and high-priced veteran receiver (Allen). They also signed All-Pro cornerback Jaylon Johnson to a $76 million contract extension. After taking their new franchise quarterback at No. 1, perhaps their next course of action should be getting the best available player they can at No. 9.

The Bears are likely to receive at least some trade calls about their ninth pick, but they could leave them unanswered if they feel they have a shot at one of their “blue” players. On offense, Notre Dame’s Joe Alt might be sitting there for them at No. 9 (or maybe one of the top three receivers). Defensively, they would also be justified using the pick on a top edge rusher or one of the top three-technique defensive tackles.

For what it’s worth, the Bears have met with all three of the class’ top edge rushers, a group that also includes Alabama’s Dallas Turner. Perhaps the time has come for them to stop stockpiling picks and use the one they have to take an elite-caliber prospect.

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