There is some debate in NFL circles about what the Chicago Bears should do with the first pick of the NFL Draft.
For Bears general manager Ryan Poles, it doesn’t appear to be all that complicated.
Poles told reporters Tuesday he would have to be “absolutely blown away” to draft a quarterback with the top pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.
“We’re going to do the same as we’ve always done,” Poles said Tuesday at his end-of-season press conference, according to the Bears website. “We’re going to evaluate the draft class, and I would say this: I would have to be absolutely blown away to make that type of decision.”
After starting the year 2-1, Chicago finished the season at 3-14, losing its final 10 games.
Quarterback Justin Fields showed flashes that he can be the answer at quarterback for the Bears, throwing for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in 15 games.
He added 1,143 yards on the ground with eight touchdowns.
But the 2023 draft class is highlighted by Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, leading some to float the idea of Chicago trading Fields and drafting a QB at No. 1.
“I would trade Justin Fields, and I’m taking nothing away from him,” former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum said Tuesday on ESPN’s “Get Up.”
“I think he has a chance to be a good, maybe a top-10 quarterback. But if you can get at least a first and a third-round pick, which I believe you can, because so many teams need a quarterback, I’m going to draft Bryce Young, who I think is going to be a better quarterback than Justin Fields. And when I do that, and get at least a first and a third-round pick, I’m resetting Bryce Young’s rookie contract, and I’m going to be able to get at least four starting-caliber players.”
Chicago is certainly in an enviable position should it choose to not draft a quarterback as teams may be willing to trade up to draft a potential franchise quarterback.
Poles praised Fields’ season Tuesday, saying the second-year pro has areas where he can improve.
“I thought Justin did a good job,” Poles said. “I thought we changed a lot, we adapted, we tried to put him in a position to be successful. He showed the ability to be a playmaker, be impactful. He can change games quickly.
“Does he have room to grow? He does. He has to get better as a passer, and I’m excited to see him take those steps as we move forward.”