Bears Insider

Schrock's Bears Mock Draft 1.0: A new QB, an elite WR, and a Justin Fields trade

Bears insider Josh Schrock's first mock draft of the season gives the Bears almost everything they need

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For the second time in as many years, Bears general manager Ryan Poles enters the offseason with the No. 1 pick in his back pocket.

Last offseason, Poles sold the No. 1 overall pick to the highest bidder in a shakedown of the Panthers that netted the Bears Carolina's No. 1 pick in 2024. Poles also got wide receiver DJ Moore in that trade, a move that undoubtedly had a massive effect on a Panthers team that struggled to score points all season en route to an NFL-worst 2-15 record.

In his end-of-season press conference, Poles admitted that the calculus with the No. 1 overall pick is different this season. He felt it was in the best long-term interest of the Bears to trade the pick last year, add assets, and give quarterback Justin Fields another season to develop and prove he's a bonafide franchise quarterback. The fact that the 2023 QB class was also considered subpar helped make Poles' decision easier.

The 2024 class, headlined by Caleb Williams and Drake Maye, is viewed as a different animal, with both the USC and North Carolina signal-callers seen as potential generational talents. Poles said he'd be open to everything as he charts a course forward for the Bears at quarterback.

Poles has built a roster that he believes is on a "solid foundation." The Bears started 0-4 this past season but finished 7-6 in their final 13 games. Trades for Moore and edge rusher Montez Sweat have given the Bears two superstars at premium positions. The defense dominated inferior offenses down the stretch and has another level to go to as some of the Bears' younger players develop. They need to add another top-tier edge rusher opposite Sweat, find a young safety with great instincts and range to potentially take over for Eddie Jackson, and will be on the hunt for another interior defensive lineman.

Offensively, the Bears still have work to do. They fired offensive coordinator Luke Getsy after two seasons of a disjointed attack that never had a true identity. The Bears need to add two receivers, a center, potentially a left tackle, and another tight end.

While a handful of teams will spend their January vying for a Lombardi Trophy, the Bears will spend theirs prepping for a franchise-defining offseason.

Here's my first Bears mock draft of the offseason. I'll have one after each tentpole of the offseason, and it will evolve based on the information that comes out of the combine, pro days, and how the roster looks post-free agency.

Version 1.0 stops after Round 3 because the work on the Day 3 prospects hasn't started yet:

Round 1 (No. 1 overall): Caleb Williams, QB, USC

The Bears will have to evaluate Williams, Maye, and Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels before deciding who to hand the keys of the franchise over to next season. Poles said the Bears will covet a quarterback with multiple years of consistent, high-level production and outstanding character.

Williams will have his final season at USC picked apart for the next three months. The 2023 campaign was a downtick from his Heisman-winning season in 2022, but he still completed 68.6 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just five interceptions. He had a QBR of 82.4 and a passer rating of 170.1. He also had 11 rushing touchdowns.

Williams is only 6-foot-1 but an elite playmaker with rare improvisational ability. Williams is tremendous at escaping the pocket and making off-platform throws when a play breaks down. He has excellent field vision and the accuracy and arm talent to drop dimes into tight windows.

At this point, I have a hard time seeing the Bears pass on Williams, who has thrown for 72 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions in the last two seasons.

Round 1 (No. 9 overall): Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

The Bears can go several different ways with their second first-round pick. Left tackle is in play, but I think they'll focus on either edge rusher or getting a blue-chip receiver to give Williams more weapons.

Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers should be off the board by now, and I think Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner might shoot up into the top six after the combine.

That leaves the Bears with Odunze. The Washington product is a polished route-runner who excels at contested catch. Odunze led the FBS with 1,640 receiving yards and tied for the lead in contested catches with 24. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Odunze has a great combination of size and speed that will make him a dynamic threat in the NFL. He knows how to use his body to shield defenders from the ball and is terrific after the catch.


Bears receive: 2024 second-round pick (No. 44), 2024 fourth-round pick (No. 112)
Raiders receive: Justin Fields

After taking Williams at No. 1, the Bears send Fields to a Raiders team in desperate need of a long-term answer at quarterback. Fields played well down the stretch, proving himself to be an above-average NFL starter with upside to tap into.

The Bears replenish the second-round pick they dealt to the Washington Commanders for Montez Sweat and get an extra Day 3 pick as well.

Second Round (No. 44 overall): Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington

Expect Turner, Jared Verse, Laiatu Latu, Chris Braswell, and potentially Chop Robinson to be off the board by now. Robinson could still be available, but we're operating off the idea he's gone, which would leave Trice as the top edge rusher on the board.

Trice is projected as a late Day 1/early Day 2 pick, and the Bears jump at him as he falls to No. 44. The Washington product had an FBS-high 71 pressures this season to go along with seven sacks. He is a physical rusher with good burst, speed, and agility off the edge. He is a relentless rusher, which would check a necessary box for a Bears team that prides itself on intensity.

Third Round (No. 75): Jackson Powers-Johnson, IOL, Oregon

The Bears have done a good job rebuilding their offensive line, but the center position was a big issue for all of 2023.

Lucas Patrick gave up 28 pressures and had a pass-blocking grade of 40.6, per PFF. The Bears didn't address the center position on Day 2 last season, but they do here with Powers-Johnson.

The Oregon product is 6-foot-3, 320 pounds, with good athleticism, strength, and power. He has strong hands and a nasty physicality, which helped him win the Rimington Award as the best center in 2023.

It's a good center class with Sedrick Van Pran, Zach Frazier, and potentially Graham Barton (a tackle who could kick inside at the next level). But I love Powers-Johnson and think he's the type of lineman Chris Morgan will love to coach. The Bears have to fill their center need in this draft, and this is the best way to do that.

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