Yahoo Sports’ newest 2024 NFL draft mock has the Bears grabbing a new QB and a top receiver in round one
Another week another mock 2024 NFL draft. The subject of this article comes from Yahoo Sports. This mock is interesting because the Bears utilize their picks without any trades. The mock has the Bears addressing their wide receiver need at number eight and getting a top QB prospect with the number one pick.
Nate Tice wrote up Yahoo’s 2024 NFL draft mock and predicted every top 10 pick to be an offensive player.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) December 28, 2023
Tice has the Bears draft University of North Carolina QB Drake Maye with the number one pick. Then he has the Bears picking up University of Washington receiver Rome Odunze with the eighth pick.
The Bears get their QB for the future
In this scenario the Bears would likely trade Justin Fields. Fields has a year left on his contract and there are a handful of teams who could use his services. He would particularly fit well with the scheme of the Atlanta Falcons. Or maybe the Bears let Maye sit for a season to learn the offense. The Bears QB situation will continue to be the story of the year as the draft approaches.
If the Bears decide to move on from Justin Fields, Drake Maye is a great replacement option. Maye is one of the consensus top QB prospects in the 2024 NFL draft. He has an above-average ability to operate within structure. His ability to work under pressure leads him to avoid negative plays more often than not. And he is able to hit the checkdown or other short passes when a play collapses.
Maye has a strong arm and is athletic enough to threaten defenses with his legs. In scramble or designed run situations he can pick up yards on the ground. Maye is a prototypical prospect with solid all round attributes. His main selling point is his strong arm with high throwing velocity down the field. In theory Maye is the perfect QB for a modern NFL offense.
While Drake Maye may check all the boxes as a top prospect, he is just that, a prospect. There is no certainty he will evolve into a starting caliber NFL quarterback. It won’t be until he takes the field in an NFL uniform that we know what he can truly do. A rookie QB is another shot in the dark. Justin Fields may not be what everyone hoped he would be by this time, but the bears know exactly what they have with him.
Bears address shallow wide-receiver room with their 2nd first round pick
Up next is the Bears picking Rome Odunze to complement DJ Moore. This is also a great option if the Bears don’t decide to pursue Marvin Harrison Jr. Like Harrison Jr, Odunze is a receiver with speed, size, strong hands and a large catch radius.
Odunze had an incredible season with 81 catches for 1428 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Washington product racked up 217 more yards on 14 more catches than Harrison Jr. That isn’t incredibly significant of a gap but it is worth noting. The caveat with those stats is Odunze has played one more game than Harrison Jr. did.
Another big positive to Odunze is his improvement. He has gotten better every season at Washington. He has continued to improve in every facet of his game. Odunze has also become incredibly clutch, perhaps the most clutch receiver in the nation. Whenever Washington needs a big play, they look to Odunze.
Washington’s QB Michael Penix Jr. is a good player. He is accurate with the football and has a very strong arm. But if you watch the tape, you will often see Penix throw to a spot on the field and Odunze will run to it and make a play. Washington’s offense runs through Odunze, he has what it takes to become an NFL number one.
So far, Odunze has been widely considered the 2nd or 3rd best receiver in the 2024 NFL draft. Odunze also has the chance to separate himself from the pack as the best receiver in the 2024 NFL draft. If he can have a big game in the College Football Playoff semi-final, and lead Washington to the national championship, his draft stock could skyrocket.
Overall takeaways from this 2024 NFL draft mock
This isn’t too farfetched of a scenario to be believable. There has been plenty of talk among NFL insiders that Justin Fields may be on his way out of Chicago come draft day. The Bears are also in desperate need of a second quality receiver. Luckily for the Bears, the 2024 NFL draft is one of the deepest receiver classes in recent memory.
This mock had some interesting storylines for the Bears, but it’s pretty unrealistic. Not a single defensive player going in the top 10 is a bit of a stretch. It’s true there is a lot of offensive depth in this draft, but there are some very compelling defensive prospects as well. One of those defensive prospects is Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson who was liked with being drafted by the Bears in a CBS mock draft.
The 2024 NFL draft is a rare opportunity for the Bears to potentially select twice within the top 10. Thanks to Ryan Poles fleecing the Panthers an offseason ago, the course of the franchise could finally turn back towards contending.
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