2024 NFL Draft

Here's what Ryan Poles says Bears are looking for in draft-eligible quarterbacks

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The Chicago Bears aren’t guaranteed to have a new quarterback for the 2024 season, but GM Ryan Poles elaborated on what the team is looking for should they go in a new direction.

The Bears own the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, marking the second consecutive year that they’ve had the top selection.

Last year they traded the pick to the Carolina Panthers, but this year, there is more of a debate after the third year of Justin Fields’ tenure with the team.

While Poles did not rule out keeping Fields and using the top pick on a quarterback, he did say that there are certain characteristics they’re looking for.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in our ability to see talent on the field,” he said. “The human being, we’ve got to figure out, especially to be a quarterback in this city.”

Poles said that certain mental traits stand out to him when evaluating candidates to be the team’s quarterback.

“You’ve got to have toughness. You’ve got to have mental toughness,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to block things out.”

Poles said that his team intends to “ask the right questions” about the quarterback position, but didn’t shed additional light on when the Bears intend to make a decision.

The Bears have until May to determine whether to pick up Fields’ fifth-year contract option. The team could conceivably trade him away for additional draft picks, especially with the team having dealt their second-round pick to the Washington Commanders for Montez Sweat.

There are several candidates they could draft with the No. 1 pick, including USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels.

Another option would be to keep Fields and to trade down with a team looking for a quarterback, a group that could include the Commanders, Patriots and Raiders, among others.

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