The Chicago Bears just wrapped up the first NFL Draft of rookie general manager Ryan Poles’ tenure. Reviews are already flying in. Many were surprised that Poles went defense with his first two picks in a row and then took a 25-year-old receiver, Velus Jones, out of Tennessee in the third round.
Given that they did not have a selection until the second day of the event, the background of rookie head coach Matt Eberflus, and the state of the defense, it made more sense.
Ryan Poles Had a Strong Message About the Chicago Bears Roster Plans
Day 3 saw them turn three picks into eight. Those ultimately turned into four offensive linemen, a safety, and a running back. They also joined the undrafted free agent market immediately after the draft concluded.
He also let it be known they are not done evaluating and adding to this roster when asked about the possibility to add more bodies to the wide receiver room.
“We’ll have quite a few [undrafted free agents] in here that will compete and we’ll see if the cream rises to the top…then you’re going to have rookie minicamp so you’ll have a bunch of tryout guys here so that might be a spot for someone to make the roster or the 90-man and then develop from there.”
This could also be used as a theme for the Bears draft class. Eight of their 11 picks came in the fifth round or later.
That includes all four of the offensive linemen they selected.
Their lone wide receiver drafted, Jones only has one year of solid production to his name. But he did run a 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. And he has drawn favorable comparisons to San Francisco 49ers wideout, Deebo Samuel.
Jones was also among a list of Justin Fields-approved pass-catchers, per his general manager.
“We Will Acquire Talent”
Poles did not stop there when discussing avenues to continue improving this roster. On top of the wave of undrafted free agents – which already includes three wide receivers – Poles figures to add some veterans.
“There’s going to be cutdown day for the 53 where there will be talent that we will acquire from that as well. Then there’s trades…in-season, before the season, during camp. And, we’ll just keep firing away.”
With some interesting names possibly hitting the market pending the NFL’s cutdowns after Week 3 of the preseason. There could be some interesting names given the events of this weekend. But the interesting part of what Poles said involved potential trades.
The Bears released Nick Foles late Saturday after failing to find a trade partner. They still have veteran Robert Quinn. Teams were sniffing around him before the draft, per NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport.
It is not unfathomable that the Bears get a draft pick back for him. They could then flip that pick for another piece that better fits their current timeline.
Charles Goldman of Chief’s Wire thought there could be a fit in Kansas City pre-draft.
A trade for Robert Quinn would make Brett Veach's veteran pass rush comments from his pre-draft press conference make a lot more sense.
— Charles Goldman (@goldmctNFL) April 26, 2022
That was before the Chiefs drafted Purdue EDGE George Karlaftis 30th overall, though.
Whatever happens, Poles seems intent on continuing to add to what was an untenably thin roster. And he appears to have the support of his second-year passer.
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