NFL Draft Holds Several Potential Surprises For Bears and Other Teams

It’s NFL Draft Day, and we’ve heard trade rumors for months leading up to tonight’s event, but so far, nothing has happened. Justin Fields is gone, it’s a new era in Chicago and the Bears are going to take Caleb Williams. We also know the Commanders prefer to keep their pick, they need a quarterback, and Jayden Daniels will be their probable choice. The Patriots are selecting third and also need a QB, so it is unlikely they’ll trade down. Things may get a little crazier after that.

The Cardinals Essentially Hold the Top Pick in the Draft.

Arizona doesn’t need a quarterback, but they do need a wide receiver. Marvin Harrison Jr. is considered by many to be the top talent in this draft. That means the Cardinals are essentially holding the top pick. They could trade down, and the Bears have been linked to MHJ by several analysts, or they could pick Rome Odunze, who has some late helium.

Jim Harbaugh Wants Every GM to Know J.J. McCarthy is ‘That Dude.’

The Chargers head coach probably isn’t that interested in trading down but the draft falls in his favor if somebody trades up to No. 4 to take McCarthy. Why? That gives San Diego the option to take the highest-graded player (excluding Williams).

The Packers Have 11 Picks. They’re Going to Be Active.

Green Bay is a Super Bowl contender according to many analysts. The Packers own five of the first 91 picks, but they’re set at QB with Jordan Love and have several good receivers. They don’t have 11 open positions, and their highest pick is No. 25 overall. Don’t be surprised if the Packers try to move up to get one of the top offensive linemen. Green Bay also needs a starting cornerback. They won’t move into the top 10, but don’t count out a move into the 12-20 range.

Three Teams Have Multiple First Round Picks.

  • Chicago own Nos. 1 and 9
  • Arizona is set to select at No. 4 and No. 27
  • Minnesota is picking at No. 11 and No. 23

Having two first-round picks provides a team with the ability to do something special. The Vikings need a quarterback and could be looking to move up. The Cardinals need a wide receiver but it’s a deep draft for that position group, so they may trade down. The Bears aren’t trading the top pick, but they could move up or down from the ninth selection.

Minnesota and Arizona might match up well, depending what the Patriots do at No. 3 of course. If the Vikings identify a quarterback they want, they will try to maneuver for a higher selection.

Players on NFL Contracts Could Be Trade This Weekend.

This group is headed by Khalil Herbert of the Bears. Chicago signed D’Andre Swift as a free agent and is looking to add draft assets. Swift and Roschon Johnson are a formidable tandem that could make Herbert expendable.  GM Ryan Poles shouldn’t expect anything higher than a Day 3 pick, or he could package the No. 75 pick with Herbert to get into the second round.

A couple of wide receivers are reportedly available, and that could change the trajectory of the draft. Bengals wideout Tee Higgins with the franchise tag after the sides failed to reach a long-term agreement early in the offseason. He wants out, and salary constraints may make it easier for Cincinnati to move him. Higgins would net the Bengals a late first or early second-round pick.

The Vikings could make Justin Jefferson available if they opt for a complete rebuild. Minnesota is in a state of transition after losing Kirk Cousins on the heels of a disappointing 2023 season.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell proposed a deal that would see New England move down from No. 3 and the right to select Drake Maye, in exchange for Jefferson and the No. 23 pick. That move would still leave the Vikings with their original selection at No. 11, where they could still draft one of the many blue-chip wideouts or TE Brock Bowers to compliment Maye.

The Broncos are reportedly interested in trading for Fields. That would be interesting, but I don’t believe that rumor.

The Cowboys Could Move Forward With a New QB.

Dallas reportedly loves Michael Penix Jr., and though they’re unlikely to trade Dak Prescott, a scenario exists where they would draft a quarterback as Prescott’s future replacement. The Packers did the same thing in 2020, selecting Jordan Love to eventually take the reins from Aaron Rodgers.

That Means Six First-Round Quarterbacks?

If Penix Jr, goes in the first round, that would leave Bo Nix and Spencer Rattler as the top available signal callers. The Broncos have the 12th pick, and have been linked to Nix, who some are calling the next Drew Brees. He’s not of course, but if Dallas takes Penix Jr., and Denver selects Nix, that means six quarterbacks will be chosen among the top 20 picks.

Dallas Turner and Joe Alt Could Fall Out of the Top 10.

Byron Murphy II, JC Latham, and Olu Fashanu, and Jared Verse have been blowing up this morning. That could push Alt and Turner out of the top 10. Don’t buy it. Teams at the top of the draft are likely floating those rumors to change the draft’s trajectory. That said, I do believe Laiatu Latu will be chosen ahead of Turner.

A Player With a Third-Round Grade Will Go in Round One.

IOL Jackson Powers-Johnson carries a third-round grade according to ESPN. Centers carry a very high rate of success as first-round picks. I expect Powers-Johnson to be chosen in the first round.

We Do Know One Thing For Sure.

The Bears are on the clock. Happy Draft Day everyone!

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