I know, we’re all tired. It has been months upon months of talk leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft. You’ve heard about all the guys that might be on the board at ninth overall for the Chicago Bears. Peter Skoronski, Paris Johnson, Jalen Carter, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Bijan Robinson… yada yada yada.
We’ve been through this.
Chicago has plenty of needs, and there are roughly 10 different directions GM Ryan Poles could go depending on how the board shakes out ahead of him.
Picking immediately after the Chicago Bears is the defending NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles, who have the 10th pick via the New Orleans Saints. There is plenty of smoke around Robinson going to the Eagles if he’s on the board, which would be an utterly terrifying prospect for the rest of the league. Apparently, there are NFC teams that really, really don’t want to see that happen.
I’ll just say this. A couple NFC teams I talked to this weekend DO NOT want the #eagles to draft RB Bijan Robinson. The thought of that offense with his addition is scary in their eyes. My report on NFL NOW on @nflnetwork. pic.twitter.com/YrAJrthLiL— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) April 24, 2023
An offense with Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and Bijan Robinson operating behind an elite offensive line would be borderline unstoppable.
If he isn’t already, Poles should be picking up the phone and calling every team in the NFC to let them know that if they want to make sure Philly doesn’t land a generational running back, that they should be trading up to nine to prevent it from happening.
There are multiple teams that could fit this bill, but one option keeps sticking in my mind:
Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.
I know Jerry Jones commented just this week on the fact that Ezekiel Elliott, who he took at fourth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, was picked too high. Taking a running back early is becoming increasingly rare due to their short shelf life.
But faced with the possibility of moving up to draft a truly special playmaker – and Jerry Jones loves playmakers – while also keeping that player away from his fiercest division rival, it seems like a possibility that Jones would pull the trigger on.
Would he rather have Robinson on his team, or watch his defense get destroyed by him twice per year for the next five-plus years?
Poles could potentially find himself in a position of leverage if Robinson is still on the board when Chicago is on the clock on Thursday night.