Will Anderson. Jalen Carter.
Jalen Carter. Will Anderson.
The most popular Bears draft process had the Bears gaining picks by trading with the Indianapolis Colts, but also drafting an impact player with Carter or Anderson still on the board at No. 4 overall. The Bears could not lose with either one.
That is not the case anymore.
Carter will in all likelihood still be on the board at number four, but the Bears’ draft board might change with the disturbing news that Carter was drag racing and has been charged with reckless driving and racing in relation to a crash that killed teammate Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy.
Drafting Carter and having him negatively impact your locker room would be a loss even if the talent remains.
The Bears have prided themselves on the culture they have been building. Drafting someone in the top 5 who at best has made some really bad decisions does not seem to fit what the Bears are going for. At all.
Meanwhile, the Colts are starting to sound a different tune about their desire to move up and move “heaven and earth” to do so.
Colts General Manager Chris Ballard met the media on Day 2 of the combine and had this to say about drafting a quarterback, which the Colts absolutely have to do.
“Everybody has just automatically stamped that you got to move up to (pick) No. 1 to get it right,” Ballard said. “I don’t know if I agree with that. Who’s to say we won’t get one at four?,” Ballard said.
Ballard could be doing his best poker face to try and bring the price back down to move up. Or, he might not be blown away by any one quarterback and believes the Colts could tailor an offense around Bryce Young or CJ Stroud or Will Levis or Anthony Richardson.
Doing the Carter and Colts math, it appears Ryan Poles is going to have to at least bring the Raiders and Carolina aggressively into the conversation. Poles may have to be willing to draft an edge rusher and or offensive lineman and continue to build back the Bears in a methodical manner filled with many 2024 draft picks.
Poles is still in the driver’s seat, owning the number No. 1 overall pick, but the Carter news changed the day from sunshine and 80 degrees to cloudy with a chance of rain.
Rebuilds take varying degrees of time. The Bears timeline might have gotten a little longer with the Carter news of the day.