NFL draft analyst projects ideal Bears scenario in latest mock draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Recently, NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter sent out his latest mock draft, in which he projected five first-round trades to unfold. With it, he created the most ideal draft day for the Bears.
With the No. 1 pick, Reuter executed what everyone thinks the Bears will do with the first selection: draft USC quarterback Caleb Williams. Here's how he rationalized the move to get Williams.
"Williams’ combination of physical tools and natural feel for the position point to an excellent NFL career," Reuter wrote. "Defensive coordinators will hate that even if they manage to disguise their coverages, Williams will patiently review his options on the move and gain yards as a runner if no targets are available.
Now, here's where things get interesting. Reuter projects the Commanders fall in love with LSU's Jayden Daniels at the No. 2 pick, who won the Heisman Trophy Award this past season.
For the Bears, he projects them to trade their No. 9 pick with the Patriots to move up to the No. 3 pick. What do they trade to get there? That's right. Justin Fields. And the Bears get more in return, too.
"In my forecast, the Bears send Fields to New England," Reuter wrote. "The Patriots would swap first-round selections with Chicago this year and also give up a 2024 fourth-round pick and a conditional 2025 pick in the deal, similar to the trade between the Packers and Jets for Aaron Rodgers last year."
And, of course, with their future quarterback locked in, they give him the draft's best weapon.
"The Bears take the Patriots' trade compensation package for Fields to get a future star receiver to make Williams' transition to the NFL easier," Reuter wrote. "Harrison has room to grow at the next level, but his size/speed combination, body control and elusiveness with the ball in his hands are already tough for corners to handle."
Harrison Jr. is inarguably the draft's best receiver, and arguably the draft's best athlete/player. There are questions about whether or not Williams is a generational talent at quarterback. But there don't appear to be many questions, at this juncture, about Harrison Jr.'s potential.
Over the past two seasons at Ohio State, Harrison Jr. finished with over 1,200 yards and at least 14 touchdowns. His 6-foot-3 and 220-pound frame would be ideal to pair across from DJ Moore, who recorded over 1,300 yards and finished with his best career season with Fields last year.
All things considered, the chance to draft Harrison Jr. with additional Day 3 picks in return is an ideal trade package for Fields. With the No. 9 pick, Reuter has the Patriots drafting Olumuyiwa Fashanu, the Penn State offensive tackle. Considering New England could lose Trent Brown, the Patriots find a sturdy replacement to protect their new quarterback.
Would the Patriots go for this? A better question --- do they value Fields more than the chance to draft Daniels or North Carolina's Drake Maye?
If this is how the Bears draft unfolds, it will unequivocally be a legendary performance from Ryan Poles.