Since the Chicago Bears secured the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, speculation has run wild in all directions. Nearly everyone expects the Bears to trade back with a quarterback-needy team, the implication being that the Bears do not need a quarterback, thanks to the sky-high potential of Justin Fields.
However, many of these same insiders expect general manager Ryan Poles to run some kind of propaganda campaign to increase the trade value of the first overall pick, suggesting that Poles may do things like show up personally to the Pro Days of quarterback prospects like Bryce Young or CJ Stroud. He will hope to fool some GM into thinking he might be drafting a quarterback after all.
But that doesn’t make much sense. For one, NFL general managers are not stupid. If the overwhelming consensus amongst fans and analysts is that the Bears are standing with Fields, then why would an NFL executive think differently?
And if the NFL world is openly discussing how Ryan Poles is going to trick someone into believing he might draft a quarterback, wouldn’t every GM catch wind of such a ploy?
In his end-of-year press conference, Poles said he would have to be ‘blown away’ by a quarterback to consider moving on from Fields. To me, that means there would have to be an Andrew Luck, Trevor Lawrence, or (ironically) Justin Fields in this upcoming draft, and there just isn’t.
Alabama’s Bryce Young is a promising prospect, but there are concerns about his size (shorter than six feet and just 190 lbs). Kentucky’s Will Levis has the prototypical build for a quarterback but lacks consistency. CJ Stroud had a fantastic College Football Playoff game to raise his draft stock, but he was always seen as a step or two down from his Ohio State predecessor, Justin Fields. Not one of these prospects seems likely to knock Poles’ socks off.
All things considered, I think it’s a tad ridiculous to suggest that Poles is hoping to bamboozle one of his colleagues. He’s going to be annoyingly vague about his offseason plans, but that’s what every general manager does. If he’s seen scouting some of the top-ranked quarterbacks in the draft class, it’s probably because he wants to know just how good they are so that he can squeeze the maximum value out of that first-overall pick in a trade. His ‘blown away’ comment is probably the closest Poles will come to trying to plant doubt in anyone’s mind.
Justin Fields is the franchise quarterback for the Chicago Bears. It’s time to fully embrace that.