Ryan Poles

Ryan Poles reveals he stopped taking trade calls for No. 1 overall pick well before draft began. Here's why

Why Poles didn't even listen to other teams' offers for the top pick

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Typically, Bears GM Ryan Poles keeps his mind open to multiple options when making personnel decisions. But as he and the rest of the Bears staff went through their evaluations of Caleb Williams it became clear he was a special prospect. Those dampened any potential sparks of a trade for the No. 1 overall pick, for the second year in row.

“I don't think I've ever allowed it to get crazy,” Poles said on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday.

From the tape alone, the Bears knew that Williams was a rare prospect who had the talent to help the Bears become contenders. When they finally met Williams they determined his character matched his on-field abilities. They fell in love with the person in addition to the player.

“By the time we got to the point where we felt comfortable (picking Williams), I wasn't even going to take those calls anymore, or even, you know, listen to what it was going to be, because I knew this was the right move for us,” Poles said.

Poles finally felt totally comfortable making Williams the pick after they brought Williams in for a top-30 visit at Halas Hall in early April. That became crystal clear when they decided not to bring in any other QBs for top-30 visits, and Williams didn’t visit anyone else.

In 2023, the Bears also had the No. 1 overall pick, but they traded that pick away to the Panthers in a massive deal that led to DJ Moore and this year’s No. 1 pick– along with many other pieces– coming to Chicago. At the time, the team’s evaluation of Justin Fields was incomplete and they wanted to see more before moving on from him. So they opted to keep Fields instead of drafting Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud. One year later, Fields still wasn’t performing consistently enough, and Williams’ talent was too tantalizing for the team to trade away the No. 1 pick again.

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