2024 NFL Draft Day 1 Preview: Caleb Williams at No. 1, and then what for the Chicago Bears?

It's draft week for the Chicago Bears, and the 2024 NFL Draft promises to be a historic one for the Chicago Bears.

The Bears last drafted at No. 1 overall in 1947 when they drafted halfback Bob Fenimore from Oklahoma State. They had the top pick last year, but traded it away for DJ Moore and the eventual No. 1 overall pick.

Now, the Bears are set to use that top pick.

Here's a preview of Day 1 of the NFL Draft for the Bears.

All signs point to Caleb Williams at 1-1

Nothing is official until Commissioner Roger Goodell reads the card the Bears called in. However, at this point, all signs allude to USC quarterback Caleb Williams being that choice.

Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy Winner, could potentially be the quarterback the Bears franchise has always wanted but never had.

There certainly hasn't been a better prospect drafted at the position by the Bears. In 2021, the Bears drafted Justin Fields out of Ohio State, but Fields was seen as the second- or third-best quarterback in the draft.

Williams is the consensus No. 1 quarterback prospect in the draft. Depending on who you ask, he's a generational-type of quarterback that's akin to Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow and Andrew Luck. Williams has the tools and the talent.

The Bears talked to him at the NFL Combine, at USC's Pro Day and at a top-30 visit. That's enough interest to say that, yes, the Bears are firmly invested.

All mock drafts that have a quarterback other than Williams are

What will the rest of the top-10 look like?

Wide receiver and quarterbacks are expected to be the two positions flying off boards this draft cycle.

Williams is expected to go No. 1, but so are JJ McCarthy, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye. Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. could go later in the first round, but QB desperate teams have taken bigger risks (See: Jones, Daniel - New York Giants).

Expect the likes of Malik Nabers, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Rome Odunze to go in the top 10, too. Notre Dame's Joe Alt should be the first lineman off the board to a team like the Chargers or Titans.

That brings the draft to the No. 9 overall pick, the Bears' second of the first round and second of four picks in the draft.

The Bears options at No. 9 overall

This will come down to which player is graded as the best available. 

For the Bears, that list includes the likes of Alt, Nabers and Odunze, as well as defensive ends Dallas Turner, Laiatu Latu and Jared Verse.

Depending on who quarterbacks and what trades happen in the first round, the Bears could get any one of those players. Those are the "blue chip players" that Poles and Eberflus want. As they should, they also would prefer not to draft this high for a long while.

Is there a worst case scenario for the Bears?

It's hard to see a scenario where the Bears don't come away with a player that could make an immediate impact.

The goal for the first round is finding players that make a difference from Day 1. Last year, that was offensive lineman Darnell Wright. Before that, it was safety Jaquan Brisker and cornerback Kyler Gordon.

This year's draft is deep. Even if the Bears trade back from No. 9 to gain more draft picks, they should have a chance to get a player that fits their needs.

From there, it's on player development.


A look at 4 2024 NFL Draft trade options for the Chicago Bears and the No. 9 overall pick

Here’s a look at a few potential trade partners, should the Chicago Bears want to move back – or even up – from No. 9 overall.