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Mock Drafts: Analysts predict how Bears will spend first-round picks

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Several NFL analysts have updated their mock drafts following the first couple waves of free agency. All 15 we perused expect the Bears to select USC quarterback Caleb Williams at No. 1. But there's a difference of opinion about what general manager Ryan Poles will do with the No. 9 choice.

Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune (March 18)
No. 9 pick: Washington receiver Rome Odunze
Comment: It's easy to see the Bears going with an offensive tackle or even an edge rusher after trading for wide receiver Keenan Allen. It's also fun to imagine the possibilities with a young receiver to pair with DJ Moore into future years.

Brian Bosarge, Draft Countdown (March 20)
No. 9 pick: Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu
Comment: Braxton Jones has played left tackle well, but they can give Caleb Williams a true franchise left tackle.

Will Brinson, CBS Sports (March 20)
No. 9 pick: Florida State defensive end Jared Verse
Comment: Chicago could certainly go WR or OL here to help Williams, but the Bears grabbed Keenan Allen and have to feel adding another EDGE could push this defense into really compelling territory.

Derek Brown, Fantasy Pros (March 20)
No. 9 pick: Washington receiver Rome Odunze
Comment: The Bears continue to pour it on and add to their offense. With their defense looking stout last season, Keenan Allen is a free agent in 2025 and D.J. Moore an unrestricted free agent in 2026, Rome Odunze can be eased in year one with an eye on him being their long-term alpha with Williams.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football (March 20)
No. 9 pick: Florida State defensive end Jared Verse
Comment: Jared Verse has nice athleticism and a steady motor.

Nate Davis, USA Today (March 19)
No. 9 pick: LSU receiver Malik Nabers
Comment: Luxury pick, you say? If he's still on the board, the value seems exceptional. And while Keenan Allen was a sweet pickup – especially at the cost of a fourth-rounder – he'll be 32 by Week 1, hasn't played a full season since 2019 and isn't under contract beyond this one. Daniels' primary target the past two seasons in Baton Rouge, Nabers really blossomed during a 2023 All-American campaign, when he caught 89 balls for 1,569 yards and 14 TDs. Could be ideal to give him a lighter load ... and learn from Allen and DJ Moore before planning a heavier role in 2025.

Ryan Fowler, The Draft Network (March 18)
No. 9 pick: Washington tackle Troy Fautanu
Comment: What a pre-draft process it's been for Troy Fautanu. One of the class' premier movers (regardless of position), Fautanu's tackle-guard flexibility presents the Bears with options. For me, he has an All-Pro type of ceiling at both spots.

Vinny Iyer, Sporting News (March 19)
No. 9 pick: UCLA defensive end Laiatu Latu
Comment: The Bears also have been rather offensive-focused in their offseason, trading Fields and setting up Caleb Williams by signing D'Andre Swift and dealing for Keenan Allen to support DJ Moore at wideout. GM Ryan Poles can now help defensive-minded coach Matt Eberflus with a versatile pass rusher to complement Montez Sweat.

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com (March 19)
No. 9 pick: Washington receiver Rome Odunze
Comment: The Bears could go pass rusher here after adding Keenan Allen at receiver, but I can't resist the prospect of playing Odunze alongside Allen and DJ Moore to give projected first overall pick Caleb Williams a Bengals-like receiving corps.

Mel Kiper, ESPN (March 19)
No. 9 pick: Florida State defensive end Jared Verse
Comment: Before the trade for Keenan Allen, I would have said the Bears should do everything they could to try to get one of the top three wideouts in this class. That's no longer necessary, though Allen will be a free agent in 2025 unless the team gives him an extension. Instead, Chicago has options with its second first-round pick. And a defense that had just 30 sacks last season (31st in the league) could use help too. So let's add an edge rusher on the other side of Montez Sweat.

Verse's testing numbers at the combine were impressive, even if I didn't love his 2023 tape. He was too inconsistent at times. But at 6-foot-4, 254 pounds, he has a complete set of tools to be a devastating pass-rusher at the next level, if he can put everything together. The Bears have made a few shrewd moves this offseason, and if their rookie quarterback comes in and plays well, they could be challengers in the NFC North.

Joel Klatt, Fox Sports (March 19)
No. 9 pick: Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu
Comment: I loved what the Bears have done in the first week of free agency, adding Keenan Allen and D'Andre Swift to DJ Moore, Cole Kmet and Darnell Wright to build their offensive foundation. The Bears could trade out of this pick, but why not solidify the other tackle spot? Fashanu's a helluva player and he's just getting better. He's got All-Pro written all over him. You'd also reunite Fashanu with Williams as the two played in high school together.

Trevor Sikkema, Pro Football Focus (March 18)
No. 9 pick: LSU receiver Malik Nabers
Comment: "You're telling me Caleb Williams is going to get to throw to D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen and Malik Nabers?" Yes, that's exactly what I'm telling you.

Kyle Stackpole, CBS Sports (March 16)
No. 9 pick: Florida State defensive end Jared Verse
Comment: This pick was initially Rome Odunze. Then the Bears traded for Keenan Allen. I don't think the Allen trade prohibits Chicago from still going WR here, especially if they view Odunze as a blue-chip player, but in this mock draft, the front office pairs Montez Sweat with one of the best pass rushers in this class in Jared Verse.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (March 20)
No. 9 pick: Alabama defensive end Dallas Turner
Comment: Turner is too talented to not be a top-10 pick. The Bears now have the size and length of Montez Sweat on one end of their defensive line and the bend and explosiveness of Turner on the other.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports (March 18)
No. 9 pick: Alabama defensive end Dallas Turner
Comment: It'll be interesting to see which edge rusher goes off the board first; I lean slightly to Verse but could understand why a team prefers Turner, one of the most explosive players in this class. With Keenan Allen now in Chicago, the Bears -- like the Falcons above -- can focus on defense here. (Alternatively, now with just four picks in the entire draft, they could choose to trade down.)

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