Bears address QB, EDGE in ESPN’s latest 2024 NFL mock draft

It’s never too early for mock draft season, especially when the Chicago Bears could have two top-five picks in the 2024 NFL draft.

Sitting with a 2-5 record and heading into a road matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football, the Bears are trying to crawl back to .500 but keeping a close eye on the No. 1 overall pick.

Chicago owns the Carolina Panthers’ first-rounder in 2024 — which is currently first overall — as part of the package to move up to the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft.

ESPN’s Jordan Reid recently published his 2024 NFL Draft: Round 1 Predictions, and he has the Bears taking USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the first overall pick.

Here was part of his analysis on Williams:

Williams would allow the Bears to reset the clock with a rookie contract and add my No. 1 player in the class. His field vision and dynamic ability to be a problem solver when plays break down make Williams special. He has eight completions of 20-plus yards when on the move this season, including eight TD passes and only one interception. And Chicago has another first-rounder to build around Williams.

The junior quarterback has 2,277 passing yards and a 23-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He is the consensus No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, but he’s also looked pedestrian in his last three games.

Williams threw for just 219 yards in a three-overtime contest against Arizona. At Notre Dame, he threw for under 200 yards with three interceptions and took six sacks in a blowout loss. His most recent showing against No. 14 Utah was better, throwing for 256 yards, but Williams didn’t have any passing touchdowns.

The Bears could also consider North Carolina’s Drake Maye with the pick. Let the Mitchell Trubisky comparisons commence!

With the No. 5 overall pick, Reid has the Bears addressing a huge need on defense, taking the talented edge rusher Dallas Turner out of Alabama. 

Here was part of his analysis on Turner:

I was surprised the Bears weren’t very aggressive in adding edge rushers during the offseason, and the results haven’t been good; the team has 10 sacks this season, the second-fewest in the league. Adding young edge rushers in the 2024 draft should be a priority, and Turner fits the mold. He has assumed the Will Anderson Jr. role in the Alabama defense this season and shown advancement as a pass-rusher. Turner is not only finishing better (8.0 sacks), but he’s also generating pressure at an impressive rate. His 19.3% pressure percentage is the fifth-best mark in the FBS.

It’s no secret that the Bears have struggled to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks over the last couple of seasons. Chicago has the second-fewest sacks (10) of any team in the NFL this season.

Turner has a good combination of size and speed, listed at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds. The junior defender already has 34 tackles and is tied for second-most tackles for loss (11) in the SEC. Turner also has the most sacks (eight) and forced fumbles (two) in the conference through the first eight games.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire