The NFL Draft is just three days away, and a bunch of us at WCG have been sharing our thoughts on the soon-to-be-announced picks from the Chicago Bears picks in this five-part roundtable.
The first topic was the one offensive lineman we hope the Bears will draft, our second topic was the one defensive lineman we hope Ryan Poles will grab, and yesterday was the one "skill position" player we want the Bears to take.
Here's question four that was posed to our writers.
Who is the one player you want the Bears to avoid at all costs?
Bill Zimmerman: This will sound odd because he's a dynamic player, but it has to be Bijan Robinson. I'm a firm believer in positional value in round one, and while I think teams ready to win the Super Bowl now can throw those values out the window and take someone like Robinson in round one, the Bears aren't there, and they need to spend their high-end draft capital on a key position and not a running back. While Robinson has the ability to be a perennial pro bowl player, the Bears aren't in a position to commit this level of draft capital to the running back position.
Jacob Infante: I'm going to say running back Bijan Robinson (Texas), and it's not because he's a bad player or anything. In fact, I think he's the most talented running back to enter the draft since Saquon Barkley in 2018. He deserves to go in Round 1, and there lies the problem with him as a fit for the Bears. The positional value and need aren't strong enough to warrant picking him in the first round. Even if they trade back from No. 9, it would likely still be somewhere in the top 20, a range in which I wouldn't draft a running back in their situation.
Jeff Berckes: Bijan Robinson, Texas RB. This certainly has nothing to do with the talent level, but specifically, if the Bears draft Robinson at number nine overall in this draft, I will lose faith in what Ryan Poles is doing. This is a deep running back draft, and the Bears are not in a position to draft a back with so many needs on the roster left to fill. I'd have a hard time with this selection even after a trade back for more draft capital.
Josh Sunderbruch: Bijan Robinson. Great player, but some team is going to fall victim to one of the classic blunders, '
never get involved in a land war in Asia'' never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!' never draft a running back in the first round. The Bears have too many needs to draft like it's 1979.
Robert Schmitz: Bijan Robinson. He might be a Hall of Fame running back, but when you look at careers like Saquon Barkley, Leonard Fournette, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and other 1st round runningbacks and compare them to stud late-round/UDFA running backs like Aaron Jones or Austin Eckler, it becomes clear that the juice of what they might offer isn't worth the squeeze. I'm sure Bijan will do a few inhuman things every Sunday for whichever team drafts him, but I hope that team isn't Chicago.
Sam Householder: I understand the Bijon Robinson avoidance at No. 9. There's no value there, I get it. But Quietin Johnson scares me. He's been falling throughout the process as more and more scouts seemed to dig deeper into his film. But again, to me, this is about value and draft position. If he falls into the middle or end of the first, ok, but with a top 10 pick? No thanks.
Patti Curl: TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston. He's a fine player who projects somewhere on the Kevin White to Chase Claypool spectrum, but I don't see the value in the first two rounds where he's being projected. I get that not a lot of people his size can move like he can. But he doesn't actually play up to his size, so just draft one of the smaller receivers who move as well as him and are actually good at gaining leverage and pawing in contested catches.
Aaron Leming: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU. Yet another guy that was a projected 1st round pick that has fallen off a cliff due to production and athletic concerns. Not only did Boutte have a brutal combine with a 4.97 RAS, but there were also quite a few questions about his overall commitment this past season on the field. I'll never jump into speculation on a player without concrete evidence, but there are many "red flags" that are visible to the naked eye on the football field that would keep me far away from him.
Ken Mitchell: Brenton Cox, DE, Florida. Not for talent reasons, but the man owns a very unattractive off-the-field reputation. China may call him up to borrow some of his millions of red flags for the next May Day parade.
Editor's note: Ken is looking at the later rounds for all his responses.
ECD: I won't say, "at all costs," here, but I'm standing on my hill and saying Jaxon Smith-Njigba is fool's gold. You don't need to pick him in the first round. I'd like him much better in the second round. He's likely stuck in the slot for his career and had just one (massive) season sandwiched in between two nothing burgers. Spare me with the single-game records he set, give me a player who I know can consistently produce for multiple seasons.
EJ Snyder: Abstain
Editor: EJ didn't have one specific player he wanted the Bears to avoid, but he did give us two selections for yesterday's topic, so make sure you check that one out.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: This will seem like a cop-out answer, but I don't imagine Poles has his sights on any players that aren't perfect scheme fits for Alan Williams' defense and Luke Getsy's offense. If he values arm length at tackle, then he won't take Peter Skoronski. If he wants a quick one-gap penetrator at DT, then I doubt Siaki Ika is on their board.
I only want them to avoid drafting a running back, wide receiver, or defensive back at nine. Trade back or take the top lineman on their board.
Now it's your turn; who is the one player you want Ryan Poles to stay away from?