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Where are Bears drafting in first round after Week 16? Who might they pick in mock draft?

We look at the Bears’ draft position after this week and break down who they may select in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans walks off the field after losing against the UCLA Bruins at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears currently have two first-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. They have the Carolina Panthers pick and then their own. Luckily, the Panthers have had a season to forget, and their 2-13 record heading into Week 17 has Chicago sitting with the No. 1 pick in the draft. The Bears haven’t had a great season sitting at 6-9, but it translates to the No. 8 overall pick.

Bears draft order: 1st/8th picks

No. 1: Chicago Bears (via Panthers)
No. 2: Arizona Cardinals
No. 3: Washington Commanders
No. 4: New England Patriots
No. 5: New York Giants
No. 6: Los Angeles Chargers
No. 7: Tennessee Titans
No. 8: Chicago Bears
No. 9: New York Jets
No. 10 Atlanta Falcons

There are two games left in the regular season, so there is plenty of time for this to change. The highlight from Week 16 was that the New England Patriots beat the Denver Broncos on a field goal as time was winding down. This moved the Commanders up to the No. 3 spot with their loss, and the Patriots dropped to No. 4. This could be huge for the Bears whether it puts more pressure on them to take a new quarterback early or gives them a shot to trade down from the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row.

Bears mock draft: Potential first-round picks

For the purpose of this mocks, we are going to assume that they stay at No. 1. If they trade back, I think they retain Justin Fields and then draft one of the best wide receivers available to pair with D.J. Moore if they can stay top four or five. If they move back past that, it could be an offensive lineman, defensive end, or the best player available.

1.01: Caleb Williams, QB, USC
1.08: EDGE, Laiatu Latu, UCLA

I have Chicago reaping the benefits of the practically folding Pac-12. Williams projects to be the No. 1 quarterback in the class from his skill set despite how the Trojans finished out their season. Justin Fields is a solid quarterback and has improved over his NFL tenure, but this is a financial decision. It resets the quarterback clock for when they will owe a big payday to a QB and gets them the top option in the class. Williams ends his college career with 10,082 passing yards with 93 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 37 career games. He added 966 yards and 27 more touchdowns on the ground.

Latu played three seasons in college. He went to Washington in 2019, then transferred to UCLA and played for the Bruins in 2022 and 2023. Latu played in 33 career games and logged a combined 100 tackles with 24 sacks. He had a career-high 13 sacks for UCLA last year and is among the top edge rushers in the class. Assuming that Malik Nabers doesn’t fall this far, Latu would start Week 1 for the Bears’ defense.