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ADVANCE DEAL: The Ohio State Buckeyes’ Land Elite Wide Receiver could s…….

ADVANCE DEAL: Bears on the verge to land Land Elite WR from Ohio State Buckeyes

The Chicago Bears will have a number of options for the second consecutive NFL Draft in April, including deciding what to do with the No. 1 overall pick.

Following a blockbuster trade between the teams last year, the Carolina Panthers owe Chicago their first-round pick. If the 2024 draft began today, that pick would be first overall, while the Bears’ pick would be fourth.

 

On Friday, November 24, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski wrote a trade pitch in which the Bears trade the first overall pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for the third overall pick (and some adjoining and valuable asset) and then draft Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

Last year’s trade netted Chicago two first-round picks and two second-round picks in exchange for its leading receiver, D.J. Moore. More can be done to develop young talent and make the Bears more competitive overall.

Next offseason, Chicago can pick up [Justin] Fields’ fifth-round rookie option, play out the rest of his contract, and add significant talent.

The Patriots have benched Mac Jones several times this season and now sit just outside the top two spots, where QB prospects Caleb Williams of USC and Drake Maye of North Carolina are expected to go. As a result, sending the Bears their 2024 second-round pick or another high-value draft asset could be more than worth it for New England to jump two positions and have its pick of the litter.

 

Starting with the quarterback position, the Patriots clearly lack the roster to compete at a high level.

If everything around him is going well, Jones is a capable starting option. But, as he crumples under pressure, it’s become abundantly clear this season that he’s not a quarterback capable of elevating inferior talent.

Sobleski’s scenario calls for Chicago to make back-to-back third-round picks at Nos. 3 and 4. The Bears would pair Harrison with Moore on the outside to give Fields the kind of 1-2 punch he probably deserves before deciding whether or not to replace him long-term.

Then Chicago would select Olu Fashanu from Penn State, its second top-10 offensive tackle pick in as many years. Darnell Wright, the Bears’ starting right tackle, was drafted with the 10th overall pick in 2023.

Back in July, Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema ranked Fashanu as the top tackle prospect in the country.

Fashanu has top-10, if not top-five, potential. In both height and weight, his 6-foot-6, 319-pound frame is above the 50th percentile for NFL offensive tackles. In 2022, he allowed no sacks on 299 true pass-blocking snaps, with a pressure percentage of only 3.0%.
Fashanu’s movement abilities are impressive for someone his size. He covers a lot of ground with his kick slides and uses great balance to avoid contact. His intelligence is also far above his years. He understands the significance of offensive line chemistry and pressure from all angles. In addition, he’ll be 21 years old on draft night in 2024.

The other option for Chicago has been widely discussed in the NFL over the last few weeks: trade Fields and use the top pick to draft Williams or Maye.

That scenario would allow the Bears to trade Fields (likely for a first-round pick, but definitely for a second-rounder) and restart the quarterback clock with a player who may prove to be a more talented thrower of the football at the professional level.

Top overall picks are always given large contracts, but the entire four-year life of that rookie contract is likely to cost roughly the same as one season of an elite-level QB in his second contract. As a result, Chicago will have continued financial flexibility to build a roster around a talented and affordable signal-caller, which is a proven way to compete for and win Super Bowls in the modern NFL.

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