Ryan Poles was impressed by a Bears staff member in 2022
The Chicago Bears want to build their NFC North Empire through the draft. General manager Ryan Poles is attempting to forgo signing elite free agents at premium positions as he believes the Bears can find better value in the draft. One staff member that has caught the attention of Poles could be the key to the Bears nailing their picks in April.
Adam Jahns recently wrote up a profile of Bears co-director of player personnel Jeff King in The Atlantic. He worked his way up to the Bears’ director of pro scouting in 2019. King, a holdover from the Ryan Pace front office with the scouting department, was promoted to his current by Ryan Poles last offseason after King “blew” the first-year general manager away during free agency conversations. Poles will use King’s knowledge and similar approach in this year’s NFL draft:
“King oversees the pro scouting and free agency, but he’s also involved in draft evaluations.
Poles sees a bit of himself in King. Poles learned from different GMs in Kansas City. King now has the same opportunity with the Bears. As Poles would describe it, it’s a “This is who I am” approach. It’s a genuine way to do things.
“That was exactly my approach when I went through the different regime changes in Kansas City,” Poles said.”
The Bears need King, Poles, to draft well in April
The profile is worth a read, as King is working his way to becoming an NFL general manager. King had an input on last year’s trade back that had the Bears eventually draft Braxton Jones and Trestan Ebner. Jones worked out, but Ebner was a bust. The Bears were hit and miss in their trade back to spray and pray in the draft last year. (As the 2022 roster showed, most of the picks under Pace were also suspect.)
The Bears hope that King’s and Poles’ knowledge will help them pick several starters next season in 2023. After the Bears traded the number one overall pick to the Carolina Panthers, the team has less of a chance to draft a franchise-changing player in April. But King can show he’s worth another promotion in an NFL’s front office if he can help guide Poles to some under-the-radar talent.
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