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Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles says team hopes to make QB decision quickly

Bears GM Ryan Poles says team hopes to make QB decision quickly
Bears GM Ryan Poles says team hopes to make QB decision quickly 01:59

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (CBS) – The Chicago Bears have the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft in back-to-back years.

Last year, general manager Ryan Poles traded the team's top pick to the Carolina Panthers to get several picks and wide receiver DJ Moore. This year, what the team does with its first overall pick will determine quarterback Justin Fields' future.

Poles said contrary to reports, he didn't arrive at the combine in Indianapolis with a master plan of what he's doing at quarterback. But unlike last year, when he said he'd have to be "blown away" to draft a quarterback and trade Fields, he talked much more openly about the idea of a trade.

"If we go down that road, I want to do right by Justin as well," Poles said. "No one wants to live in gray. I know that's uncomfortable. I wouldn't want to be in that situation either. So, we'll gather the information. We'll move as quickly as possible."

Of course, drafting a quarterback first overall, even USC's Caleb Williams, wouldn't guarantee success, especially when looking at the history of QBs taken at the top of the draft.

Poles feels the Bears have things in place other teams picking so high don't usually have.

"There's a lot there, right?" Poles said. "So, what's the infrastructure look like? What's around the player? I think that's key and I think that's probably messed with the numbers a lot when you're talking about the top of the draft. I think that's what makes our situation unique and why we really have to do a deep dive into it. I think the person is a huge part. I've talked about that a lot. What's the makeup? The leadership? How do they handle pressure? How do they handle pressure in a big city like ours?"

Both Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus were confident in their ability to evaluate the QB position.

"I'm really fortunate to kind of see multiple phases and different types of processes put in place with bringing a quarterback in from a trade to drafting," Poles said. "So again, there's a process, so I can definitely tap into that experience."

Eberflus said, "I've been looking at quarterbacks all my life and I know what a good quarterback looks like and what's hard on a defense and a guy that has the ability to create. A guy that has the ability to throw with timing and accuracy and the guy that could move the ball down the field when it's critical moments."

Poles was working for the Kansas City Chiefs when they drafted Patrick Mahomes, and he said he sees some similar traits in Williams.

"There're pieces that are similar," he said. "Obviously the one that stands out to everyone is just different arm angles. That's a unique trait. Not a lot of guys can do that."

The Bears will meet in person with Williams and other prospects at the combine.

Poles also said the Bears were "in the process" of getting a deal done with free agent cornerback Jaylon Johnson, something that made Eberflus very happy.

"I'm so proud of Jaylon the way he improved and the way he really took the challenge to be a ball guy, and he certainly did that," Eberflus said. "He's a great leader, not only in our defensive back room, but in our whole defensive room too."

The Bears were at the center of this year's NFL Combine universe as the team holds the No. 1 and No. 9 picks, along with the potential trade chip of Fields. Poles said his phone has already been blowing up.

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