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Chicago Bears Draft Recap: The Caleb Williams Era has Arrived

April 25 will be a day-long remembered in the hearts and minds of Chicago Bears fans. It could be the start of uncharted territory for this franchise and fanbase, with GM Ryan Poles selecting USC quarterback Caleb Williams No. 1 overall in the draft.

Williams has all the talent in himself and around him to make him the greatest quarterback in Bears franchise history.

"My goal isn't to break those records (Bears passing records), my goal is to get as far into February as I can, that's the point of playing football, it's to win championships (and) it's the reason I play," Williams said to the media on Thursday. "You get far enough into February, you tend to break records, you tend to be able to hit self milestones but that's not what I'm necessarily playing for."

His energy and passion to be a Bear were apparent all night, starting with his walk across the stage in Detroit. It's the type of fire that I don't think people are used to. In every aspect, Caleb Williams is different. From his play on the field to his fashion choices and unrivaled joy and passion at the quarterback position, he doesn't fit the normal mold. For a team that has been mired in quarterback futility, being different is exactly what they need.

The night continued to show a new age in Chicago football, as instead of reaching for a defender at No. 9, the Bears went with Washington Reciever Rome Odunze to give the Bears one of the best wide receiver trios in the league with Keenan Allen and D.J. Moore. Odunze slots in perfectly as the other outside receiver next to Moore, with Allen in the slot. I never thought I would see the day the draft board finally fell the Bears' way.

It started after the top four picks went as most expected, with LSU QB Jayden Daniels going to the Washington Commanders, North Carolina QB Drake Maye heading to New England Patriots at three, and Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr to Arizona Cardinals at No. 4. Then at No. 5, rather than take Malik Nabers, the Los Angeles Chargers took Notre Dame tackle Joe Alt to protect Justin Herbert. The New York Giants would go Nabers at six, the Tennesse Titans at No. 7 went with the next best tackle with Alabama's J.C. Latham. Then the shock of the draft came with the Falcons at No. 8 when Atlanta, after signing Kirk Cousins to a four-year $180 million, drafted Washington QB Micheal Penix. Being in Detroit and seeing everyone react to Penix selection was even a bigger shock than seeing the Texans trade up to No. 3 last year in Kansas City. After all of that, the Bears got their guy and the best player available on the board with Odunze. Outside of his scheme fit, he's perfect for the Bears, as he is a huge Devin Hester fan growing up.

"I've been a fan of the Bears since I was a child, I've been a fan of Devin Hester for a long time now, so when I got that call that's when it came to fruition and I was like 'ok, let's do this thing'," Odunze said.

The Bears went on to nab three more pieces in the draft with Yale offensive lineman Kiran Amegadjie in the third round, Iowa punter Tory Taylor (shout out to TDT Media writer Sy Ingersoll) in the fourth and they traded back into the draft in the fifth round to select Kansas edge rusher Austin Booker.

It will take time to see if these picks will truly change the fortunes of the Chicago Bears, but GM Ryan Poles has at the very least, brought this team in a wildly different direction than all of his predecessors. Whether his strategy will pay off has yet to be seen, but the foundation of the team and the changes on paper have the Bears in a great position to do some great things heading into the 2024 season.

Cover Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Moreano on Twitter/X


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