Ryan Poles Is Actually No Stranger To 1st Round Trade Downs

Based on the latest projections, it’s a safe bet the Chicago Bears will end up with at least a top five pick in the 2023 NFL draft. That gives GM Ryan Poles some interesting options to consider. Since Justin Fields has established himself as the undeniable starting quarterback moving forward, the Bears don’t have to worry about that position. This means one of two things will happen. Either Poles will take the best non-QB on his board when the Bears are on the clock, or he’ll swing a deal with another team hoping to come up for a quarterback.

Since 2012, there have been five instances of teams trading into the top five to grab a quarterback.

  • Washington for Robert Griffin III
  • Los Angeles for Jared Goff
  • Philadelphia for Carson Wentz
  • New York for Sam Darnold
  • San Francisco for Trey Lance

It’s become far more commonplace in the past decade as a younger generation of GMs grows comfortable with wheeling and dealing. It comes down to having a strong enough crop of QBs combined with enough teams willing to move up for them. Initial big boards from draft experts have three quarterbacks as top 10 possibilities. Houston holds the #1 overall pick as of right now. If that stays true, they’re a virtual lock to draft one of them. That would leave two left before there’s a considerable drop-off in talent.

That could give the Bears some leverage in trade discussions. The lingering question is whether Poles would be the type to do it.

Ryan Poles has seen the benefits of trading down before.

He joined the Kansas City Chiefs as a scout in 2009. Three years later, the organization swung a deal with the Cleveland Browns. Their 21st overall pick went out in exchange for the 26th overall pick and a 3rd rounder. While that 1st round pick became bust Jonathan Baldwin, the 3rd round choice turned into four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Justin Houston. Five years later, Kansas City did it again with a reverse result. They gave the 28th pick to San Francisco in exchange for the 37th pick in the 2nd round, a 4th round pick, and 6th round pick. That 37th pick became superstar defensive lineman Chris Jones. Those two extra picks became forgettable backups, Parker Ehlinger and DJ White.

Those two trades showcased what trading down can do. It can save you if you made a bad pick and give you extra shots at finding more help, even if the pick turns out great. Much of it concerns how Ryan Poles views the incoming 2023 draft class. If he feels there is one player the Bears must get and staying put is the only way, he won’t move down. However, if he thinks the gap between the top five projected prospects and the top 10 or 15 isn’t that wide, he will consider moving down if the price is right.

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