Connecting Brock Bowers to Bears via Stream-of-Consciousness

Are you tired of mock drafts yet? I know I had enough about four months ago, yet a Google search of ‘Chicago Bears’ yields a content drop that’s about 95% mocks. It’s just so tiring to read the takes, and they ceased being fun about a week after the 2023 season ended.

Mock drafts tell a story without really telling a story. It’s all speculation, and conducting them removes any semblance of structured thought. Yes, they’re popular, if not exceedingly so, but does anybody ever get it right? I never have, and I won’t this year, either. I’m going to take a different path here and go purely stream-of-consciousness.

We know the Bears are taking Caleb Williams, giving us all one correct projection in our mocks, and then it’s a crapshoot. GM Ryan Poles might trade up, but he could stay put or trade down.

It seems to me the Commanders are in the most envious position at No. 2 overall. Unless the Bears pass on Williams, Washington could collect a haul similar to the one Poles got last year. I mean, they’re logistically drafting at the top if you remove Williams from the equation. There are also two, and possibly three or four quarterbacks with identical trajectories if developed properly. I have to believe the Commanders will strongly consider trading down.

Bears fans want as many quarterbacks as possible to get their names called leading up to the No. 9 pick. Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye seem like locks to go two and three, and the Vikings could try to trade up to get J.J. McCarthy. Don’t forget Bo Nix has a lot of helium right now, too. I don’t see five signal callers going in the top eight, but stranger things have happened. The Commanders and Patriots need quarterbacks. The Giants, Vikings, Broncos, and Raiders do, too. Trades are coming, and I’m banking on utter shock and awe come draft night.

There are so many quarterback-hungry teams that Michael Penix Jr. is leaping up toward the middle of the first round. I hope the Raiders take the left-handed star from Washington and eventually unleash him the way they did Kenny Stabler back in the 1970s. Stabler averaged 453 passing attempts per year as soon as the NFL expanded its regular season from 14 to 16 games.

The Bears don’t often throw the ball with that type of proclivity, but they’ve turbo-charged their offense, so things should at least improve under Williams. The Bears are and will remain a run-first team under Matt Eberflus, however. The offense under Luke Getsy was a cacophony of misery at times. It’s easy, if not lazy, to say Justin Fields was limited by Getsy. In retrospect, and once everybody adjusts to the idea that Fields is truly gone, the opposite will be proven true. Fields was fun to watch, but he just couldn’t commit to his wide-open receivers. I, too, am just as guilty as everyone else who wanted the Bears to build around Fields, but my blinders have been removed, and I’m on the Williams bandwagon now.

Don’t blame Fields, however. His tenure with Chicago was often a nightmare going back to his first start as a pro. The Bears traded up to draft Fields in 2021 based on his potential. Unfortunately, he was never given the time to develop into what the team initially envisioned. JF1 played at times like a guy who was partially developed and partially hung out to dry. You can’t solely blame Getsy, either. The organization has lacked consistency in its front office and coaching hierarchy for about three decades. Fields fell victim to the ineptitude that has turned dozens of former Bears’ starters into backups, retirees, and afterthoughts.

GM Ryan Poles doesn’t have the luxury of giving Williams a soft entry into the NFL. Chicago’s quarterback room consists of 2023 UDFA/temporary QB1 “Tantalizing” Tyson Bagent, and veteran backup Brett Rypien. Williams will therefore be forced to swim or sink beginning with the Bears’ Week 1 game. At least he’ll have a whole summer to prepare. It will be interesting to see how much playing time the rookie gets in exhibition play. Coddling Williams could be a big mistake.

Once the smoke of the top eight selections clears, Poles will be in the enviable position of picking a second blue-chip prospect at No. 9. The Bears need a wide receiver, an offensive lineman, and a pass rusher. The obvious but less sexy pick is to grab a player who will protect Williams with his life. That could mean passing on Rome Odunze, however, and he looks as NFL-ready as any receiver in the draft. But what if Joe Alt is available?

Call me crazy, but I believe Brock Bowers is the guy Chicago covets, if only because he is rarely connected to the Bears. New OC Shane Waldron loves his two-tight end sets, and Bowers could be just as good, if not better, than any of the wide receivers in this draft. His highlight reel is positively jaw-dropping. He’d immediately be the organization’s best tight end since Mike Ditka.

The more I think about it, the more I love Bowers for the Bears. He’s a unicorn and a potentially transcendent NFL talent. All totaled, Bowers touched the ball 194 times for 2,731 yards and 31 scores in his collegiate career and won two National Championship rings. Those stats are just as loud as the ones Williams put up in his collegiate career. I’m a big fan of Cole Kmet and the Bears also have Gerald Everett, who is equally special, but there is room for three tight ends on this roster.

Look, if I’m starting a rookie QB from day one, Bowers is the guy I want catching footballs. He has elite speed, acceleration, and lateral motion. He’s also an exceptionally dangerous weapon on crosses, seams, and slants, routes that may seem particularly foreign to longtime Bears fans. That plays right into Williams’ strengths and Waldron’s game plan.

If you can get past his fashion choices (and really, you need to), you’ll see Williams has a clean, quick, and, repeatable throwing motion and stellar footwork on his dropbacks. When throwing quick gain or underneath throws like swings and flats, you get to see the accuracy that Williams can achieve because of his clean mechanics.

Yes, the more I think about it, the more I want Poles to draft Bowers. Chicago’s offense might be unstoppable with that kind of weaponry.

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