Draft Night Guide: Trade Scenarios and Top 99 Rankings

The 2024 NFL draft is tonight, and Bears fans will watch intently as they witness Caleb Williams usher in a new era. Ryan Poles has done well in his tenure drafting so far, but can he finish this rebuild with four draft picks? I don’t think so, and I still favor a trade-back. However, no matter what happens tonight, I want to have you ready for anything, and a Bears Insider draft guide is how I’ll do it. I have supplied my positional rankings, but it’s time to give you my top 100 big-board rankings. 

Before we get into rankings, let’s examine what the Bears are working with and what options they have. The Bears have only four selections in the 2024 NFL draft, but two picks fall in the top ten. The Bears’ draft capital includes the round one pick one (from Carolina), round one pick nine, round three pick 75, and round four pick 122 (from Philadelphia via the 2023 trade back). I use the Jimmy Johnson Trade Value Chart to calculate the value of draft picks, but I have to assume the back-of-the-round value with future picks. That values the Bears’ picks at 3000, 1350, 215, and 50 points respectively, but how do we use that information?

It’s an unspoken reality that the Bears will select their quarterback first overall tonight, but no one knows how they’ll use the ninth pick. There are many options, and I’ve already stated my favored outcome, but what does that mean? You might be mock drafting like a madman to find the best trade for pick nine, but you’re wasting your time. Most sites don’t use a value chart, and therefore create unrealistic expectations for what a pick is worth. Let’s break down the ninth pick, and then we’ll see what it’s really worth.

Realistic trade offers the Bears could receive:

Trade Scenario One: Trade a little

Like last year, Poles may look for a trade partner within a pick or two of the ninth pick, but the Giants don’t make sense. One team would have to give up too much value because the Giants swapped fifth-round picks with Carolina in the Brian Burns trade. Minnesota is unlikely, too, because division rivals rarely want to risk being on the short end of a trade with a rival. That brings us to Denver, and this still seems farfetched, but it’s the first one with some reasoning. If there’s a quarterback the Broncos like and they want to ensure the Vikings don’t get them, then the Bears’ phone might ring for an offer like this:

Denver receives Pick 9 in round 1 (1350) and pick 122 in round four (50)

Chicago receives Pick 12 in round one (1200) and pick 76 in round three (210)

Chicago gets 10 points of value advantage in this trade, but they don’t add picks, and they don’t move that far up. 

Trade Scenario Two: Trade Medium

The Bears want to stay in the first round but then add a second-round pick. The Cowboys have Dak Prescott, but they’ve yet to decide on his future. In 2016, with Tony Romo still playing well but not getting Dallas to the Superbowl, Jerry Jones selected Prescott in the fourth round. The Cowboys may make a similar move as they did in 2016, and attempt to draft the fourth or fifth quarterback at nine. The Bears’ phone may ring and they may hear an offer like this:

Dallas receives Pick 9 in round one (1350)

Chicago receives Pick 24 in round one (740), Pick 56 in round two (340), a 2025 pick in round 3 (116), a 2025 pick in round 4 (40), and pick 176 in round five (21.8)

Chicago gets a 92.2-point value disadvantage in this trade, but they add two players this year and two picks for next year’s draft. There’s always a chance Seattle, Jacksonville, or the Rams want to move up and a similar trade breaks in the Bears’ favor, but I like Dallas as the most likely partner. 

Trade Scenario Three: Trade Deep

This scenario isn’t an option because Chicago values blue-chip players. Though one may be available in the early 20s, it’s doubtful one will remain in the late 20s. The value would have to be overwhelmingly in Chicago’s favor, and even then, I’m not sure Poles would consider it. 

Trade Scenario Four: The Trade-Up

Chicago could try to make a trade similar to the trade Houston performed last year, but is the cost worth it? If the Bears’ phone does the dialing, they would have to offer something like this:

Chicago Receives Pick Four in round one (1800), Pick 104 in round four (86)

Arizona Receives Pick Nine in round one (1350), two 2025 picks in round two (270 and 276)

Chicago gets a 10-point value disadvantage in this trade, but they add two players this year, one of whom is Marvin Harrison Jr. Harrison is my top prospect in this draft, but should the Bears give up two second-round picks for him? 

We reviewed the different scenarios, and hopefully, you will go into the draft with more tempered expectations. Stop letting draft simulators convince you there’s more to gain from a trade-down and start using a metric, even if it’s not the Jimmy Johnson chart. We don’t know if anyone will be interested in trading for the ninth pick, but if they are, this should help you determine if it was a good trade. 

Now, the big board is the only thing left to prepare you for tonight. My list is unconventional, but it’s digestible if you remember that I don’t adjust for positional value and give you the best players in order, regardless of position. Here are my final 2024 NFL draft rankings.

Here are My Top 99 Prospects

  1. Marvin Harrison Jr WR Ohio St.
  2. Caleb Williams QB USC
  3. Jayden Daniels QB LSU
  4. Malik Nabers WR LSU
  5. Brock Bowers TE Georgia
  6. Liatu Latu Edge UCLA
  7. Joe Alt OT Notre Dame
  8. Drake Maye QB North Carolina
  9. Keon Coleman WR FSU
  10. Rome Odunze WR Washington
  11. Dallas Turner Edge UCLA
  12. Jackson Powers-Johnson C Oregon
  13. Olu Fashanu OT Penn St.
  14. Jer’zhan Newton DT Illinois
  15. Jared Verse Edge FSU
  16. Taliese Fuaga OT Oregon St
  17. Braden Fiske DT FSU
  18. Byron Murphy II DT Texas
  19. Payton Wilson LB North Carolina St
  20. Quinyon Mitchell CB Toledo
  21. Terrion Arnold CB Alabama
  22. Tyler Nubin S Minnesota
  23. Michael Penix Jr QB Washington
  24. Troy Franklin WR Oregon
  25. Javon Bullard S Georgia
  26. Xavier Legette WR South Carolina
  27. Brian Thomas Jr WR LSU
  28. Cooper Beebe G Kansas St.
  29. Troy Fautanu OL Washington
  30. Trey Benson RB FSU
  31. JC Latham OT Alabama
  32. Ja’Tavion Sanders TE Texas
  33. Graham Barton OL Duke
  34. Adonai Mitchell WR Texas
  35. Michael Hall Jr DT Ohio St
  36. Kamren Kinchens S Miami
  37. Marshawn Kneeland Edge Western Michigan
  38. Ladd McConkey WR Georgia
  39. Bralen Trice Edge Washington
  40. Kiren Amegadjie OT Yale
  41. Darius Robinson Edge Missouri
  42. Ennis Rakestraw Jr CB Missouri
  43. Kamari Lassiter CB Georgia
  44. Chop Robinson Edge Penn St
  45. Leonard Williams III DT Miami
  46. Kool-Aid McKinstry CB Alabama
  47. Edgerrin Cooper LB Texas A&M
  48. Sedrick Van Pran-Granger C Georgia
  49. Nate Wiggens CB Clemson 
  50. Zach Frazier C West Virginia
  51. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. LB Clemson
  52. T’Vondre Sweat DT Texas
  53. Amarius Mims OT Georgia
  54. Brennan Rice WR USC
  55. Jonathan Brooks RB Texas
  56. Jermaine Burton WR Alabama
  57. Ja’Lynn Polk WR Washington
  58. Bo Nix QB Oregon
  59. Roman Wilson WR Michigan
  60. JJ McCarthy QB Michigan
  61. Beau Brade S Maryland
  62. Roger Rosengarten OL Washington 
  63. Ben Sinnott TE Kansas St
  64. Ray Davis RB Kent
  65. Ricky Pearsall WR Florida
  66. J.D. Bertrand LB Notre Dame
  67. Blake Fisher OT Notre Dame
  68. Devontez Walker WR North Carolina 
  69. Jordan Morgan OT Arizona
  70. Patrick Paul OT Houston 
  71. Mekhi Wingo DT LSU
  72. Kris Jenkins DT Michigan
  73. Erick All TE Iowa
  74.  Jaylen Wright RB Tennessee
  75. Cade Stover TE Ohio St.
  76. Christian Jones OT Texas 
  77. Christian Mahogany G Boston College 
  78. Christian Haynes G Connecticut 
  79. Ruke Ohorhoro DT Clemson
  80. Maason Smith DT Michigan
  81. Gabriel Murphy Edge UCLA
  82. Jordan Jefferson DT LSU
  83. Xavier Worthy WR Texas
  84. Jamari Thrash WR Louisville
  85. Chris Braswell Edge Alabama
  86. TJ Tampa CB Iowa St.
  87. Cooper DeJean DB Iowa 
  88. Blake Corum RB Michigan
  89. Dillon Johnson RB Washington
  90. LaDarius Henderson OT Michigan 
  91. James Williams S/LB Miami 
  92. DJ James CB Auburn 
  93. Cedric Gray LB North Carolina
  94.  Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint WR Georgia
  95. Tip Reiman TE Illinois
  96. Jared Wiley TE TCU
  97. Jonah Ellis Edge Utah
  98. Dewayne Carter DT Duke
  99. Sincere Haynesworth C Tulane
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