Chicago Bears 2024 NFL Draft Needs: Caleb Williams Likely First Overall Pick

SC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13)

The Chicago Bears are historically known for defense.

Chicago became an NFL team in 1920 and their starting QBs have been awful pretty much every year.

Jim McMahon and Jay Cutler are highly regarded as the two best QBs Chicago has ever had.

Due to a lack of QBs, the Bears won just one Super Bowl back in 1986.

The Bears have not won a playoff game since 2010 and have only made the playoffs twice since 2010.

Last season Chicago started very poorly, going 2-7 in their first nine games.

After that, they started to hit their stride on defense.

In their final eight games, they allowed 20 or fewer points in seven of the last eight games.

They won five of their last eight games and almost were able to sneak into the playoffs.

Chicago finished the year with a 7-9 record but their first nine games were a disaster.

This gives the Bears some confidence heading into next season.

The Bears made two key moves this offseason.

They traded QB Justin Fields to the Steelers for draft compensation and they acquired WR Keenan Allen from the Chargers for a 2024 fourth-round pick, pending a physical.

This move signals what the Bears will do in the 2024 NFL Draft and they have two stud WRs to help out their soon-to-be rookie QB.

Here are the current draft picks the Bears have.

  • Round One: Pick One
  • Round One: Pick Nine
  • Round Three: Pick 75
  • Round Four: Pick 122

Below, we will discuss the Bears’ needs to address in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Chicago Bears 2024 NFL Draft Needs

Chicago showed life in the second half of the season last year and in a weaker NFC, they were still alive to make the playoffs in the final weeks of the season, despite starting the year 2-7.

It is not a surprise what Chicago’s biggest need in the draft is and who they will select number one overall.

Chicago has the number one and number nine overall picks in the first round of the draft.

They do not have a second, fifth, sixth, or seventh-round pick.

Currently, Chicago only has four total draft picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, which is why that ninth pick is very important for the Bears to decide what to do.

They can keep the ninth pick and address a major need or trade down and stock up draft capital, which they lack.

1. Quarterback

The biggest need for the Bears is fairly obvious.

They need a franchise QB and with the number one overall pick, they will hope their selection becomes a starting QB for the team for over a decade.

With the number one overall pick, Chicago will take QB Caleb Williams.

Barring a major shock, Caleb Williams will be under center for the Bears in week one.

Williams is 6’1” and 214 lbs with a 32” arm and a hand size of 9 ¾”

He had an NFL Combine Next Gen Stats production score of 98, ranking first among QBs, an 89 athleticism score, ranking third among QBs, and a 96 total score, which ranked first among QBs.

Below are some strengths and weaknesses for Williams, according to

Caleb Williams Strengths

  • Forced to keep his team in games with high-level production and did so
  • Better consistency projected with pro targets who separate
  • Rapid-fire transition from fake to throw on RPOs
  • Rare talent to feel pressure, escape, and extend the play
  • Keeps his eyes and arm alive when leaving the pocket
  • Touchdown-to-interception ratio of 46:1 in the red zone since the start of 2022 season, per Pro Football Focus
  • Much improved at getting air under deep throws in 2023
  • Will reset his pocket to create better throwing angles
  • Twitchy release helps generate heat on drive throws
  • Puts enough pace on the ball to challenge safeties to a variety of spots

Caleb Williams Weaknesses

  • Averse to playing throw-and-catch football on schedule
  • Eyes can become sticky and sluggish working through progressions
  • Must learn to throw with better anticipation/timing on the NFL level
  • Hero-ball mentality creates indecisiveness and inconsistent decision-making
  • Passes up easy scramble yardage for more challenging throws
  • Will throw on the move unnecessarily rather than platform up
  • Disconcerting deep-ball accuracy in QB-friendly offense

He comes in an offense with two stud WRs, which will make his job easier.

Shane Waldron is the offensive coordinator and he has seen success working with QBs.

He worked with Jared Goff in LA, and Russell Wilson and Geno Smith in Seattle.

All three QBs were very successful and ran a potent offense with the help of Waldron.

Williams is expected to be a generational talent and the Bears hope he can be a top-level QB for years to come.

2. Offensive Line

Chicago has a decision to make at pick nine.

They will get their QB with the number one overall pick but at pick nine, they need to decide whether they want to keep the pick or trade down and stock draft capital as they only have a total of four picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

If Chicago decides to keep the ninth overall pick, they need to address their offensive line.

The most important thing for Chicago is to protect their future QB.

Their offensive line is a major weakness and this is not ideal for a rookie QB to have to deal with.

They do not need a playmaker for their QB as they have DJ Moore and Keenan Allen.

Chicago’s offensive line was banged up last year.

When healthy, left tackle Braxton Jones and left guard Teven Jenkins are solid players.

Right tackle Darnell Wright has had some growing pains but has proven to be a reliable right tackle.

It would be wise for Chicago to add to their offensive line with the ninth pick.

Tackle Joe Alt from Notre Dame or Olumuyiwa Fashanu from Penn State are two excellent options to further build the offensive line.

Giving Caleb Williams better protection paired with two stud WRs is a recipe for success for Williams.

Chicago will be in an excellent spot with their offense if they go QB followed by an offensive lineman with their first and ninth picks in the draft.

3. Pass Rusher

If Chicago keeps their ninth pick and does not make any other trades, their next pick won’t come till pick 75 in the third round.

The Bears lacked a pass rush last season, recording just 30 sacks last year.

While Chicago should build their offensive line with the ninth pick to help Caleb Williams, it would not be shocking if they addressed a pass rusher with the ninth pick.

The Bears’ defense heated up in the second half of the season last year but were still unable to get to the Quarterback.

Taking a pass rusher with their ninth overall pick should be one of their top priorities after selecting Caleb Williams.

Following the path of the Houston Texans last year, taking a QB followed by a pass rusher helped them tremendously.

If Chicago feels their offensive linemen can stay healthy and improve in 2024, taking a pass rusher ninth overall is on the table.

The Bears have a decision to make with the ninth pick, whether they prefer an offensive lineman or a pass rusher.

4. Cornerback

While the top three are mandatory weaknesses Chicago needs to imminently address, CB is a position the Bears can wait and draft in round three or four.

Jaylon Johnson is a star CB but he does not have a reliable CB to line up across the field.

Taking a CB in rounds three or four will give them depth at the position and a possible number two CB.

5. Running Back

Chicago brought in D’Andre Swift but he has not proven he can handle a full workload or stay healthy for a full season.

Adding a running back later in the draft will give them another ball carrier and take the load off Swift.

Swift can play passing downs, so Chicago should draft a red zone and short yardage back to get them the tough yards Swift is unable to.

Giving Caleb Williams an improved rush attack will just further help the rookie QB.

Chicago is in a position in this draft to help their future look bright.

This is an exciting time for the Bears organization and fans.

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