The Chicago Bears are keeping tabs on a top 2024 NFL draft prospect
As the season goes on for the Chicago Bears, it’s becoming more and more likely that they will have a top 3 pick in the 2024 NFL draft. With the win over Carolina on Thursday night, the Bears chances to get the top pick increased to 42% as they hold the Panthers top selection.
Chicago also has three wins on the year, and could find themselves with two top 5 picks in the 2024 NFL draft. With that, Ryan Poles and the Bears scouts are doing their homework on top prospects, and that was the case Saturday night.
The Bears had a representative in Chapel Hill to watch North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye battle Duke in what is likely his final home game.
— Ross Martin (@RossMartinNC) November 12, 2023
As you see above, the Bears weren’t the only team represented in Chapel Hill to watch Maye and other draft prospects. A few other teams including ones who need quarterbacks like Arizona, Denver and the New York Giants were also there.
Maye and the Tar Heels were able to pull one out late against Duke as the quarterback threw for 342 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception and had a rushing touchdown. The stats didn’t show it but Maye did have a really good game, flashing his deep accuracy throughout.
Drake Maye battling Caleb Williams for top QB in 2024 NFL draft
Going into the year, both Caleb Williams and Maye were battling it out for the top pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Both are expected to go inside the top 3 as they are the two best quarterbacks. But some even believe Maye has surpasses Williams as QB1 on big boards.
The first big board from Dane Brugler of The Athletic had Maye as the top quarterback and the No. 1 overall player beating out Marvin Harrison Jr. of Ohio State and Williams.
Here is what Brugler had to say about Maye:
Cut from the same cloth as Justin Herbert, Maye (2,559 yards passing, 22 total TDs) continues to impress with his on-field command despite inconsistent help around him. A tall, well-put-together athlete, he has an explosive release with the touch to threaten every level of the field.
He still makes a few more reckless decisions than you’d want, but his timing has improved, and his aggressive decision-making is more of a strength than a weakness.
Now, we can’t rule out the Bears sticking with Justin Fields and trying to build around him with two first round picks in the 2024 NFL draft. If that’s the decision, then Harrison Jr. would be the smart pick or trading back to earn more capital.
Harrison Jr. looks like he could be the ‘generational’ player in this draft as he continues to stand out for Ohio State. And Brugler had more praise for him as well.
The best wide receiver prospect that I have evaluated over the last decade, Harrison (48 catches for 889 yards and eight TDs) offers a rare package of physical traits and savvy, and it has made him nearly uncoverable at the college level. His athletic dexterity and instincts, both as a route runner and at the catch point, are what really separate him — especially for a 6-foot-4 receiver.
Although he isn’t as physically imposing as Julio Jones, there are several similarities between the two, including the way they play strong to the football.
BUT unless Fields leaves no doubt the rest of the season for the Bears, that’s risky to pass up a quarterback in the top 2 in back-to-back years for general manager Ryan Poles.
The rest of the 2023 season will be very important for the Chicago Bears and the upcoming 2024 NFL draft.
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