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With 2024 NFL training camps on the horizon, we’re starting to understand how 2024 NFL draft classes will impact each roster this season.

Let’s look at the Chicago Bears, breaking down the most likely instant-impact rookies from each class, while also providing some insight into why certain early picks may not see the field.

Who are the Chicago Bears rookies?

  • Caleb Williams — QB — Round 1
  • Rome Odunze — WR — Round 1
  • Kiran Amegadjie — OT — Round 3
  • Tory Taylor — P — Round 4
  • Austin Booker — EDGE — Round 5

Chicago Bears Draft Class Grade:

The Chicago Bears received an A draft grade from Sharp Football.

Which Bears Rookies Will Make An Impact?

No team improved more than the Bears on Day 1 with the additions of Caleb Williams (first round) and Rome Odunze (first round). Williams is certainly not a finished product, but he was the obvious choice given his elite playmaking potential. He’s the closest thing we’ve seen to a prospect with Patrick Mahomes-like traits since the Chiefs selected him in 2017. 

The fear regarding Williams’ ability to play on schedule is likely overblown. When throwing from the pocket with no pressure, Williams completed 78% of his attempts (ranked third in FBS) at 9.9 yards per attempt (ranked ninth). Much of the “hero ball” we saw from Williams was out of necessity due to the lack of talent around him. 

Odunze may have been the third receiver off the board but would have been the first in most draft classes. He’s known for his ability to produce down the field, but his production after the catch is underrated and worth highlighting. Based on route-adjusted data, Odunze gained 18% more yards after the catch than expected over the last two seasons on the most common NFL routes (screen, slant, curl, dig, drag, flat, out). 

Kiran Amegadjie (third round) is a developmental prospect who has the length to play tackle but also the power to play on the interior. With just three years of experience against FCS competition, he’s probably not ready to see the field. Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins are in the final year of their rookie contracts, so Amegadjie’s development likely plays a significant role in the future of those linemen in Chicago. 

Special teams selections before the final rounds are unnecessary risks, so it’s impossible to praise the selection of Tory Taylor (fourth round). Given the volume of his workload at Iowa, he might be the first punter in college football history to get enough recognition to be considered overrated. When punting from inside his own 40-yard line, Taylor flipped the field and pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line 19.6% of the time. 

Austin Booker (fifth round) looks like a potential steal as he was expected to be in consideration to come off the board on Day 2. Although Booker’s production was inconsistent, he elevated his performance against top competition. In three games against teams ranked in the top 50 of pressure rate allowed, Booker generated a strong 19% pressure rate. Booker is just 21, so the inconsistent play is less of a red flag. It’s certainly reasonable to focus on the flashes to top-tier production given where Chicago landed him in the draft. 

Although a five-man draft class typically doesn’t shape a roster in any meaningful way, the additions of Williams and Odunze alone could make this a franchise-altering draft for Chicago. You can nitpick the other selections (especially Taylor), but none of that matters if Williams lives up to his potential. 

This analysis continues in the 2024 Football Preview

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Draft Class Analysis for All 32 Teams
Arizona Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons
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Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears
Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns
Denver Broncos
Dallas Cowboys
Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers
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