2024 NFL Draft: Can the Chicago Bears make a wrong decision at No. 9?

The Chicago Bears are on the clock in the 2024 NFL Draft.

They have two first round picks, both located in the top 10, and they're set to invigorate a well-developed roster with two picks that can immediately make a difference from the first day at Halas Hall.

Still, it begs the question: is there a wrong answer for the Bears on Thursday?

From a bird's eye view, it's difficult for the Bears to make a bad choice.

As a disclaimer, we have to get this out of the way: no draft pick is a sure thing. We'll figure out who comes out of the first-round as a Pro Bowler, as a starter or even a contributor two to three years from now.

That said, this draft is also one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. At No. 9 overall, if the Bears decide to go with a wide receiver, defensive end, offensive lineman or defensive tackle, there are plenty of players that can make the immediate impact from Day 1.

The first reason why there's not a real wrong answer is because the Bears have developed a roster for the last two years based on draft picks and key free agent signings.

The biggest need Bears have to fill is at quarterback, and a generational quarterback prospect is filling that need. If the Bears want an edge rusher, that player would line up opposite Montez Sweat; if the Bears want a receiver, that player will join Keenan Allen and DJ Moore.

In reality, the Bears might have to decide between their top-rated edge rusher and perhaps the third-best receiver on their board. In that case, it comes down to the pre-draft evaluations general manager Ryan Poles has done and how he stacks different players.

"We sequence it to kind of sort that part out," Poles said. "You work your stacks vertically and then you work horizontal and you work on the board that way."

The Bears stack players through a myriad of evaluation factors.

"That'll come down to all the characteristics that we look like, the skillset, the whole person," Poles said. "We have this long process. Ian and I sit down, we actually sequence the board."

This leads to the second reason. Draft day is full of the unexpected. No one knows who's going to go where and when, or which teams will make a gambit to move up and grab a player they want.

Specifically, the Bears' decision also becomes more convoluted if more than three quarterbacks go off the board in the first round. Should JJ McCarthy go off in the top eight, it means there's another top player that could fall to the Bears.

The Bears are also in a position to trade back, too.

Should Poles want to grab some more picks, it wouldn't be a bad idea to trade back from No. 9 with a team like the Saints, Raiders or Vikings, all teams that have more pressing needs than the Bears. 

Trading down means potentially losing out on a blue-chip player, players that are seen as immediate difference makers, but if Poles sees multiple blue-chip players still on the board and wants to take that risk. Plenty of analysts believe he could do so.

The one bad decision the Bears could make is if they trade all the way from No. 9 to way outside the top 15. The Bears, who are in a better position than a year ago, are still in need of playmakers. The Bears don't plan on being this high in the draft next year, why pass on a player that's rated high for a reason?


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