NFL Draft

Bears GM Ryan Poles reveals what he'd want in potential No. 1 overall pick trade

If he makes a deal at all

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INDIANAPOLIS - Ryan Poles says he doesn’t have a master plan for how he wants to use the No. 1 overall pick in the draft yet. In fact, he can envision 100 different scenarios for how the Bears future will go. Poles can foresee unforeseen scenarios popping up in the coming weeks, too. But one thing he does know is that GMs who want to make a move for the top selection in the draft will need to pony up.

“It’s gotta help our organization significantly to move around,” Poles said.

Poles said he can’t put a specific price on the No. 1 overall pick because he needs to see “the whole puzzle put together to figure that out,” but he did point to last year’s trade with the Panthers as a template.

Last March, Poles sent the No. 1 pick to Carolina in exchange for a huge haul: DJ Moore, the Nos. 9 and 61 picks in the 2023 draft, a 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick. They used the Nos. 9 and 61 picks in other trades to acquire Darnell Wright and Tyrique Stevenson. Of course, that 2024 first-rounder turned into the No. 1 overall pick again this year.

“We saw what it did last year and I’m looking for that type of return to continue to improve our football team,” Poles said.

Of course, if the Bears move off of the No. 1 pick and slide down many spots, they won’t have the opportunity to select a player that’s considered the cream of the crop, but they stand to recoup more draft capital. If they stick within the top-five, say, they won’t get as much in return, but they’ll have a better chance of adding premier talent.

“That goes into the equation, right? You’ve got to look at what’s there in that area in terms of drafting,” Poles said. “That changes the dynamic based on where the board is set up… We’ll end up counting the guys in certain spaces that we feel like can be impact players for our team. So that goes into the equation as well.”

For instance, if the Bears only have top-tier grades on seven players, Poles may be less inclined to trade back to No. 8 or beyond. In addition, Poles keeps in mind that draft capital is simply draft capital. It’s the promise and potential of players, and nothing more.

“You have to capture that and you have to be right with your draft picks,” Poles said.

Bottom line, the Bears don’t sound like a team that’s going to trade away the No. 1 overall pick this week.

“This is an opportunity for us to continue to gather information, learn about the different players in the draft, listen to what opportunities could come up, and then at the end of the day, we're going to make the best decision that we can for the Chicago Bears.”

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