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8 potential trade partners for Bears' No. 9 pick in 2024 NFL draft

8 potential trade partners for Bears' No. 9 pick in 2024 NFL draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears’ decision to select Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick feels like a foregone conclusion, even though the draft doesn’t begin for another three weeks. So the attention has largely been turned to what GM Ryan Poles will do with the No. 9 pick.

Poles will have several options in front of him, regardless of whether the team wants to add a pass rusher, offensive tackle or wide receiver. But depending on how the board shakes out, he might not pick at No. 9 at all. Poles has not been shy about making aggressive moves to get his guys. He’s no stranger to draft-day trades either. A trade up or a trade down could be on the table. Here’s a list of some potential trade partners from the Bears that run the gamut from extremely unlikely to easy to imagine.

ARIZONA CARDINALS - NO. 4 PICK

If quarterbacks go off the board with the top three picks, then the Cardinals could stay put and draft their top wide receiver– or they could auction off the pick to the highest bidder. Pre-draft talk indicates many teams are high on J.J. McCarthy and could make a move if he’s available. Or maybe some team wants to go all-in for Marvin Harrison Jr.? In either case, it feels like the Bears could be outbid for the pick. After their No. 9 pick, the Bears don’t pick again until No. 75, so they can’t offer a second round pick this year. They can offer a couple of second-rounders in next year’s draft, but would they be willing to pay that hefty price?

TENNESSEE TITANS - NO. 7 PICK

If the Titans have the chance to draft an instant-impact left tackle, they figure to stand pat. Even with Calvin Ridley joining DeAndre Hopkins in free agency, they could be in play for a wide receiver too. But if their top choices are gone by the time they’re on the clock, and they don’t see a huge dropoff in talent from sliding back two spots, maybe they switch with the Bears so that Poles can get his guy. A lot would have to go just right for this to come into play.

NEW YORK JETS - NO. 10 PICK

Last year, the Bears had the No. 9 pick with the uber-talented Jalen Carter still on the board. They knew they wanted right tackle Darnell Wright, however. So the team got on the phone with the Eagles who sat at No. 10. Once they knew the Eagles weren’t taking Wright with the No. 9 pick, they took a future fourth-round pick to move back just one spot. Why not re-rack the same move this year? If the Bears know they want one particular player, but a highly-touted prospect like Dallas Turner or Olu Fashanu is still available, Poles could slide back just one spot if they get assurance the Jets aren’t interested in the player the Bears have circled.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS - NO. 11 PICK

The Vikings are one of the teams picking past No. 10 who should be looking for their next quarterback. Kirk Cousins is out and Sam Darnold is in. Darnold could be considered a bridge quarterback in Minnesota. Maybe the Vikings hope he can revitalize his career with Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison, like Baker Mayfield did with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin last year. Either way, they still figure to add a young QB to develop behind him. But would the Bears want to help their division rival get their guy?

DENVER BRONCOS - NO. 12 PICK

With just Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci on the roster at quarterback, the Broncos feel like a shoo-in to draft a QB this year. The only question is whether they’ll trade up before the Bears are on the clock, or if they’ll feel comfortable hanging back with the No. 12 pick.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS - NO. 13 PICK

The Raiders could roll with second-year QB Aidan O’Connell and journeyman Gardner Minshew this season, and add a developmental quarterback on day two or three of the draft. But if there’s a man they believe could be a gamechanger, they could make a move to grab him. New Raiders GM Tom Telesco has history making deals with the Bears, too. He and Poles came together for the Khalil Mack trade in 2022, and swapped several picks over the course of the 2022 draft.

LOS ANGELES RAMS - NO. 19 PICK

Matthew Stafford is still the no-doubt starter in Los Angeles, and the Rams have Jimmy Garoppolo in place to back him up if Stafford gets hurt. But Stafford is 36 years old and Garoppolo is 32. If the Rams want to add a young, developmental QB and fall in love with a quarterback who’s still available, they might want to leapfrog other QB-needy teams. However, they’re not as needy as others.

BUFFALO BILLS - NO. 28 PICK

There’s been lots of talk about the Bills making a big move to bring in a wide receiver since they lost both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis this offseason. But if one of the big-three WRs is still available, the Bears figure to simply make the pick at No. 9 rather than sliding all the way back to 28.

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