Skip to main content
Advertising | The Official Website of the Chicago Bears

Lunch with Larry

Brought to you by

Lunch with Larry: 2024 post-draft edition


Welcome to the first ever mailbag version of "Lunch with Larry!"

I thoroughly enjoyed answering fan questions in a live format the past several years on But I wanted to enable fans who weren't able to join me during the Tuesday lunch hour also to be able to participate. (Plus it wasn't easy typing while trying to enjoy delicious Connie's Pizza.) So here are your questions and my answers, with the top question at the end winning a Connie's Pizza gift card.

Welcome back, Larry. What an offseason so far. I have always said the offseason is when Bears fans are the most optimistic, many times to be let down when the season rolls around. I really feel this time is different. Ryan Poles has done a great job of building this roster. What do you think: 17-0?

Ronald Kreiter

Not sure about the 17-0, but I agree with you, Ronald. It does feel different, primarily because general manager Ryan Poles—as you mentioned—has done a tremendous job of rebuilding the roster, adding "blue" players on both sides of the ball. The Bears have never had as accomplished of a rookie quarterback joining their team as No. 1 overall draft pick Caleb Williams, and they've never had a more impressive trio of receivers than DJ Moore, Keenan Allen and rookie first-round choice Rome Odunze. Couple that with a resurgent defense that improved dramatically in generating takeaways and stopping the run last year—especially following the midseason addition of defensive end Montez Sweat in a trade with the Commanders—and the Bears' future is extremely bright.

Have the Bears ever had three 1,000-yard receivers in a season?

Randy Maestas

No, the Bears have never had three 1,000-yard receivers in the same season. It's a feat that's only been accomplished five times in NFL history by the 1980 Chargers, 1985 Redskins, 1995 Falcons, 2004 Colts and 2008 Cardinals. The Bears have had two 1,000-yard receivers twice: In 1995 with Jeff Graham (1,301) and Curtis Conway (1,049) and in 2013 with Alshon Jeffrey (1,421) and Brandon Marshall (1,295).

How many of the Bears draft picks do you think will make an immediate impact this year?

Kelly Spahn

I would say at least three. I expect quarterback Caleb Williams and receiver Rome Odunze to play major roles on offense and punter Tory Taylor to also make a big impact in the field-position game on special teams. As I mentioned before, the Bears haven't had a rookie quarterback with as high of a ceiling as Williams, and it appears that the Bears have done an excellent job of surrounding him with talent and putting him in position to succeed. Of course, there no doubt will be growing pains, as is typically the case with rookie quarterbacks. But Williams has unlimited potential, as does Odunze, who dominated at Washington and is especially adept at making contested catches. I can't wait to see Odunze on the field with DJ Moore and Keenan Allen. It's going to be difficult for defenses to contain all three standout receivers.

When picking in the third round, what made the Bears decide to go after a tackle instead of an edge or defensive tackle? Does this hint at Braxton Jones being traded?

Brenden Danford

I don't think the selection of Yale tackle Kiran Amegadjie in the third round is an indication that the Bears are preparing to move on from left tackle Braxton Jones. Although Amegadjie will compete in training camp, I think the most likely scenario is for the rookie to serve as the swing tackle with Jones maintaining his starting position. In terms of why the Bears selected an offensive lineman in the third round, general manager Ryan Poles hinted that it might have been different had the Falcons not picked Washington edge rusher Bralen Trice one spot before the Bears. Said Poles: "We were going back and forth just in terms of best available or position of need with the D-line. We were comfortable with being patient, letting it play out. A D-lineman went right before, and we ended up taking Kiran, which we were excited about. He was the highest guy on the board, so it worked out really well."

Are the Bears going to have to play their home games somewhere else when they start building their new stadium?

Steve Bridgman

No, Steve, the plan is for the Bears to continue playing at Soldier Field while the new stadium is built just south of the current stadium.

Take a look at the renderings the Bears have released for a publicly-owned multipurpose replacement stadium located just south of Soldier Field.

How surprised were you that the Falcons drafted a quarterback at No. 8, allowing the Bears to pick receiver Rome Odunze at No. 9?

Greg Kolar

I wasn't surprised that the Falcons didn't draft a receiver at No. 8; I really didn't expect them to given that they already have a number of dangerous offensive weapons including receivers Drake London and former Bear Darnell Mooney; running backs Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier and tight end Kyle Pitts.

Can you rate this draft compared to previous classes? Where would this draft rank and which draft do you feel is the best in Bears history?

Jason Hodel

Not to avoid the question, Jason, but it's impossible to compare this year's Bears draft to previous ones until we see what type of careers the players who were picked this year have. I can tell you that I think these are the top four drafts in Bears history:

(1) 1983

The Bears harvested seven eventual starters in the 1983 draft who in two years would help lead the franchise to its first Super Bowl title. The draft class included Hall of Fame tackle Jimbo Covert and receiver Willie Gault in the first round, cornerback Mike Richardson in the second, safety Dave Duerson in the third, guard Tom Thayer in the fourth and Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent and guard Mark Bortz in the eighth.

(2) 1975

The Bears chose Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton with the No. 4 pick in the first round and selected eight other eventual starters in defensive end Mike Hartenstine (second round), cornerback Virgil Livers (fourth), guard Revie Sorey (fifth), quarterback Bob Avellini (sixth), linebacker Tom Hicks (sixth), defensive tackle Roger Stillwell (ninth), safety Doug Plank (12th) and fullback Roland Harper (17th).

(3) 1965

The Bears chose legendary Hall of Famers with back-to-back picks in the 1965 draft, selecting ferocious middle linebacker Dick Butkus at No. 3 and electrifying running back and return specialist Gale Sayers at No. 4. The two superstars dominated as rookies and became legends who are still revered by fans more than 50 years later.

(4) 1936

In the NFL's first draft, the Bears chose a pair of Hall of Famers: First-rounder Joe Stydahar, a big and powerful tackle from West Virginia, and ninth-rounder Danny Fortmann, a small but talented guard from Colgate. Playing next to each other on the left side of the Bears offensive line, Stydahar and Fortmann helped the "Monsters of the Midway" revolutionize pro football with the T-formation.

And saving the best for last, here is the winner of this week's Connie's Pizza's gift card:

How would you grade this year's draft and how well do you think the Bears are positioned for next year's draft with the picks that they have?

Kyle Smith

Sure, I'm biased. But how do you not give the Bears an "A" grade after taking a quarterback that's considered by many to be the best prospect at the most important position in football in several years and a receiver who would have been the top player at his position in many drafts? Of course, time will tell. But the Bears did a great job of landing impact players who could potentially help turn them into a championship contender.

In terms of next year's draft, the Bears are in terrific shape. They have a total of eight picks: their own selections in Rounds 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 as well as additional choices from the Panthers in the second round, the Steelers in the fourth or sixth round depending on Justin Fields' playing time this season and the Dolphins in the sixth round.

They acquired the Panthers' pick in last year's blockbuster trade for the No. 1 selection in the 2023 draft, the Steelers' pick in exchange for Fields and the Dolphins' pick for receiver Chase Claypool. The Bears traded their fourth-round choice in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick they spent on Kansas edge rusher Austin Booker and dealt their seventh-round selection to the Dolphins as part of the Claypool trade.

Congratulations, Kyle – the Bears will be reaching out to you via email to send your Connie's Pizza gift card!

Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze, Kiran Amegadjie, Tory Taylor and Austin Booker. Take a look at photos of each of the new Bears rookies selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. (Photos via AP)

Related Content