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Chicago Bears Rumors: Jalen Carter or Trade Down at 9?

Is the plan at nine coming into focus?

2023 CFP National Championship - TCU v Georgia Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

For those who don’t know me, I’ve had an opportunity to work in the sports media industry for the last twenty years. From time to time, I may come across a nugget of information. Some I can’t share as they are too sensitive, others I do share on the Twitter timeline or on my podcast, or in articles on Windy City Gridiron.

Recently, I was the first to suggest that the Chicago Bears were on the verge of trading the first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers.

I’ve come across some NFL schedule leaks, hall of fame announcements (or lack thereof) some surprising injuries, and I was also on top of Eddie Goldman reporting to training camp his last year in Chicago, even when the Bears franchise didn’t know exactly what his plan was.

I’m not claiming to be Adam Schefter, and I’m certainly not trying to brag. I’m just trying to show that it’s not just someone spreading made-up nonsense looking for likes on social media, just trying to share legitimate information if I get some.

Have I shared incorrect information as well? Absolutely. But I still feel this information is credible and I think it’s worth sharing with Bears fans.

After speaking with several people who I feel are in the know, I believe Ryan Poles' top option at the ninth pick will be to select Georgia’s Jalen Carter. The Bears have met with Carter twice, they work well with his agent Drew Rosenhaus, and I think that’s the plan if he’s available. I’ve heard the Philadelphia Eagles also love Carter (they have the tenth pick), which I believe is why Rosenhaus and Carter are comfortable only taking meetings with teams in the top ten.

Beyond the potential selection of Carter, I also believe that if Carter is selected ahead of the ninth pick (more likely than not), that Poles' preference would be to move down in the draft and grab more capital before making a selection in round one.

That certainly doesn’t mean that it’s a lock if Carter is selected ahead of Chicago’s spot that they’ll trade. You have to find a willing partner that wants to move up to nine, and the compensation back to Chicago has to be right as well.

If Poles wants to pick up a mid-second round pick, Pittsburgh or Washington would be ideal trade partners. If Poles wants to pick up an additional third rounder, targeting Houston or New England would work well. A trade with Tennessee would also probably net a third rounder but the Bears would probably have to send something back to even out the trade.

If Poles can’t move and Carter is gone, I would expect the selection to be Paris Johnson or Broderick Jones, but I want to stress that is more speculation from me than it would be what I’ll call a reliable rumor.

We are just a couple of weeks away from the draft and teams are definitely starting to cement their plans, especially early in the draft. Could this be pointing to Poles’ round one plan? Only time will tell.