The predominant thinking surrounding the 2024 NFL draft early this offseason is that the Bears will use the No. 1 pick to select USC quarterback Caleb Williams.
At the annual Senior Bowl, several reporters amplified that thinking with reports of their own.
"The resounding answer from five GMs I spoke with was clear: Bears GM Ryan Poles will draft a quarterback with the top pick," the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs wrote when asking general managers about what the Bears will do with the pick.
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"Teams are starting to line up the imaginary dominoes, trying to forecast how the top of the draft will shake out. Most people I talked to in Mobile expect the Chicago Bears to make the pick at No. 1, presumably for Williams," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported.
The reports about Williams and his potential landing spot in Chicago continue to grow. NFL analyst Colin Cowherd jumped on 670 The Score on Friday, reporting teams are calling USC to complete background checks on Williams. He said those teams plan to offer trade packages for the No. 1 pick. But it appears the Bears will likely stay.
From Williams' end, Cowherd also said Thursday that the USC quarterback doesn't want to go to Chicago, given their tortured history with quarterbacks and unideal current state. But Cowherd walked those comments back on Friday after reporting Williams' camp called him to clarify their stance.
In fact, his camp told Cowherd Williams is fond of the Bears.
"I got a call yesterday from the Caleb Williams camp. ... And they went 'Woah, woah woah! Colin, we don't want to be painted as anti-Chicago," Cowherd said. "And we don't want to be painted as anti-Bear.' And they made it clear to me that they said 'Listen, we don't want to go to a city that doesn't care. Chicago cares. They're big, loud, they're passionate. They fire coaches all the time. They care. We don't want to go to some sun belt place that you tarp off the upper deck.'
"I was told last night [by Williams' camp], Chicago's a big, loud, pressurized city. [He] loves that," Cowherd said. "[Michael] Jordan. Bulls. He likes that. I was told he thinks the defense is really good. He doesn't have to win by a shootout. He loves DJ Moore. He thinks the O-line is better than people think. He doesn't think it's a disaster."
Will the Bears hold true and draft Williams? If so, when will they begin to shop Justin Fields in the trade market? Stay tuned, as the new league year is just around the corner on March 15.