Drafting a receiver at nine is not a luxury pick, as some have previously stated.
The Bears do not have a viable option to start on the outside opposite D.J. Moore (assuming Keenan Allen resumes his usual role in the slot).

Yes, Tyler Scott has potential, but he would have ideally shown some of it before they would have to count on him to make a sophomore leap with a rookie quarterback at the helm.

However, despite the talented options at the top of the board, I firmly believe they will go elsewhere with the ninth overall pick.

It’s no secret that this year’s draft class features three top-flight pass-catchers in: Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze. All three players would be well worth the price of admission practically anywhere in the top 10, let alone the Bears’ ninth pick. However, it also happens to feature unreal depth at the receiver position. As many as eight pass-catchers could hear their names called on the first night of the draft, and a handful more would be worthy of the honor if not for being buried in such a stacked class.

The Bears only have four picks in the draft, and there has been some buzz that they could look to move down from the ninth pick and acquire more selections. On the other hand, some have even suggested they could move up to select Marvin Harrison Jr. in the top five. To this scenario, my heart screams YES! Inject Caleb Williams to MHJ into my VEINS!! However, my brain says no.

I really don’t see any scenario where they move up the board, but I could see them moving down to take a few more bites of the apple. I know the consensus around this year’s class is that the talent falls off after the first three rounds, but that doesn’t mean front offices around the league (who generally know more than everyone from the outside looking in) follow that same logic. They aren’t going to abandon their boards on day three because Twitter user @420BitcoinBro69 (or Colin Cowherd, for that matter) said the draft falls off at that point. Some gems will still be available on the third day, on top of the usual Special Teams contributors (who will now be more valuable with the kickoff rule change) and depth pieces, and front offices will be eager to find them.

While the Bears could land one of the big three pass-catchers with the ninth pick, they are also in prime position to select one of the best edge rushers (which you could argue is a much more glaring need) in a top-heavy class.

Even if Chicago falls in love with an edge defender and doesn’t want to risk losing them by trading back, there is a good chance there will still be a few viable receivers, including two of Williams’ teammates at USC in Brenden Rice and Tahj Washington, on the board when they are back on the clock in the third round (or the fourth, for that matter). Meanwhile, there will be much less talent at the edge rusher spot at that point in the draft.

There have also been rumblings that the Bears could opt to fortify the offensive line and take a tackle with the ninth pick. Personally, if they had their heart set on improving the protection around Williams, I would prefer they leave the tackle position alone (Braxton Jones has been solid and is still improving) and move down a bit further to select Jackson Powers-Johnson, but I understand that is extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, the same caveat for the edge rusher position can also be echoed for the offensive line, as there will be far fewer starting-caliber options on the board later in the draft than at the receiver position.

Chicago is in a prime position to come away with two blue-chip players at the top of this year’s draft.
While I would be thrilled if one of them was a shiny new weapon at receiver, I just don’t see that being the case.

Photo: Getty Images

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