9 NFL Draft prospects the Chicago Bears could target No. 9 overall, and why they make sense

The Chicago Bears are starting draft preparations, and it's fair to assume what they'll do at No. 1 overall.

It'll be a quarterback. What about after that? Bears' general manager Ryan Poles already has that planned out.

"I like the numbers in terms of the talented players that can get to nine," Poles said at the NFL owners meetings on March 25. "One team is going to talk about the tackle position is the best to go after, the wide receiver’s the best, the defensive end’s the best and use factual information to kinda spit that out, and we’ll have a debate in terms of what’s more impactful for our football team, short-term and long-term."

With the ninth overall pick, the Bears can go anyway they want after being productive free agency and with the foundation of talent they have already.

It's a much better position to be in than in 2022.

"I’m looking forward to that," Poles said.

Here are nine NFL Draft prospects the Bears could consider at No. 9 overall, and why they make the most sense.

Dallas Turner, Edge - Alabama

Turner is a versatile, athletic and tough defender. His ability to rush the passer and to drop back into coverage is what sets him apart from other edge rushers.

Why it makes sense: Arguably the best edge rusher on draft boards, he'd fit well in Matt Eberflus' defense from Day 1 and down the line.

Jared Verse, Edge - Florida State

Verse made the jump from FCS Albany to Florida State, and became a star. He had 18 combined sacks in two seasons in Tallahassee. He's a power rusher who has a productive bull rush.

Why it makes sense: There's nothing about adding a productive power pass rusher opposite Montez Sweat that sounds remotely like a bad idea.

Laiatu Latu, Edge - UCLA

Latu recorded 23.5 sacks in his two seasons at UCLA, making him one of the most productive pass rushers in the nation. There are some injury concerns, but not enough to keep him from being a consensus first-round prospect.

Why it makes sense: There's nothing about adding a very productive pass rusher opposite Montez Sweat that sounds remotely like a bad idea.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 29: Laiatu Latu #DL42 of UCLA runs the the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 29, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Chop Robinson, Edge - Penn State

Robinson had a top-30 visit with the Bears, and his NFL Combine numbers are a good explanation why. At 6-foot-4 and 254 pounds, Robinson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds. That's faster than some running backs and wide receivers. 

Why it makes sense: This might be repetitive, but the Bears' pass rush has been one of the league's worst in the last few season. With that said: There's nothing about adding a very, very fast pass rusher opposite Montez Sweat that sounds remotely like a bad idea.

Joe Alt, Offensive Tackle - Notre Dame

Alt is seen as the most fundamentally sound tackle in the draft. He does everything really well, and is considered the best offensive lineman to come out of a Notre Dame program that's sent plenty of linemen to the pros.

Why it makes sense: If the Bears aren't sold on Braxton Jones, adding Alt as competition would only make the Bears better. Although, he might be gone by No. 9.

Olu Fashanu, Offensive Tackle - Penn State

Fashanu is considered to be right up there with Alt, although Fashanu isn't as consistent as Alt. He's still a top-12 prospect.

Why it makes sense: If you want immediate chemistry, Fashanu would improve the Bears' offensive line and bring familiarity to the QB. Fashanu was Caleb Williams' left tackle in high school.


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Rome Odunze, Wide Receiver - Washington

Odunze is up there with the top receivers in the draft. His combination of size and speed makes him a No. 1 option in nearly every offense.

Why it makes sense: Keenan Allen, DJ Moore and Odunze would be one of the best receiver combinations in the league. 

Malik Nabers, Wide Receiver - LSU

Nabers is a top-tier talent. He's got the height to make high-point receptions and the speed to break away. When he wants to get open, he'll get open.

Why it makes sense: Much like Odunze, adding Nabers to Moore and Allen would make the Bears' offense explosive.

Byron Murphy II, Defensive Tackle - Texas

The Bears could use more high-level players on the interior of their defensive line. Murphy got better every year at Texas and.

Why it makes sense: The Bears are still in need of a 3-technique in Matt Eberflus' defense. Murphy could fit that need from Day 1.


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