Who did the Chicago Bears select in the 2024 NFL draft? Meet the 5-person class.


The Chicago Bears 2024 draft class is complete. Along with drafting quarterback Caleb Williams with the team’s first No. 1 pick since 1947, they added four more players they hope will make an impact.

Here’s a look at the players that Poles selected.

2024 Bears picks

Round 1, No. 1: USC quarterback Caleb Williams

Height, weight: 6-1, 214.

Why the Bears drafted him

The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner was the consensus top pick after throwing for 8,170 yards and 72 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions in two seasons at USC after transferring from Oklahoma. He also rushed for 503 yards and 21 touchdowns.

“An elite, elite thrower,” according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, Williams has been lauded for his ability to deliver from different arm angles and to change ball speed with accuracy. He has rare creative playmaking skills, strong pocket feel and mobility and a confidence to make big plays at big moments. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler noted he didn’t throw an interception on third or fourth down at USC, though he totaled 33 career fumbles.

In his own words

“I’d say the biggest thing is that (the Bears) want to win. …That’s what it really came down to, and that aligns with me. I want to be around people that want to win. I want to be around people that want to achieve high because it only makes me better. That only holds me accountable and it makes me excited to be around people like that.” — Williams on what he has learned about the Bears

Column: Can Caleb Williams reverse decades of Chicago Bears QB problems? The timing couldn’t be better.

Analyst’s take

“It’s not just the skillset, which is terrific. It’s also the sample size. … You’re talking about one of the best 2 ½-year runs for any quarterback prospect in college football in a long time. He immediately changes everything that you can do within the structure of your offense. And we’ve also talked about how outside of structure, one of the difficult players to defend, because even when you think you have a plan, Caleb Williams is so innovative and so creative that he might totally chop that plan in half and next thing you know you might have him running by you or you might have him throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass behind your defense.” — ESPN’s Field Yates

From the front office

“He’s got special instincts, awareness, especially in the pocket to manipulate the pocket, get in and out of the pocket, a feel for space is special. That’s his special sauce. Then once we kind of speed things up and start to identify different coverages and there’s an adjustment to an NFL offense that he’s got to go through as well. So we’re really excited to work with the tools he has.” — Bears general manager Ryan Poles

You should know

Williams is as unique off the field as he is on it. One of the first true stars of the name, image, likeness (NIL) era, Williams already has made millions of dollars and signed endorsements with Dr. Pepper, Wendy’s and Nissan, among others. Poles said evaluating such prospects in the NIL era is different but is in some ways useful to gauge maturity, and Williams, who has a team of representatives working for him, has passed those tests.

“It puts these guys in a spotlight,” Poles said. “It gives them more responsibility. It forces them to prioritize – money, business, football, school. How do they handle that? What kind of structure do they put around them to make sure they’re making good decisions? Do they have people that can say, ‘No, that’s not going to fit with my timeline.’”

Round 1, No. 9: Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze

Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze puts on a hat after being chosen by the Chicago Bears with the ninth overall pick during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze shows off a Bears cap after they selected him with the ninth pick of the NFL draft on Thursday, April 25, 2024, in Detroit. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Height, weight: 6-3, 215.

Why the Bears drafted him

Poles has done his best to build up a support system around Williams, and Odunze is the latest addition to that effort. Poles touted Odunze’s versatility to line up inside and outside and his ability to make contested catches and gain yards after the catch. He said he plays big and strong. And he touted his character and work ethic. Odunze had 92 catches for an FBS-best 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns in an All-America senior season at Washington in 2023.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

The 2024 wide receivers class was stacked at the top with Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., who went No. 4 to the Arizona Cardinals, and LSU’s Malik Nabers, who went No. 6 to the New York Giants. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said he sees “all three of them being great in the NFL.”

In his own words

“They’re getting a versatile receiver. I think I do a lot of things well on the field, honestly, from playing outside, playing inside, catching contested balls, creating separation. I feel like I do all these things at a high level. And I’m looking to come and make that immediate impact, find my role within the team with great receivers like Keenan Allen and DJ Moore already there. Just finding my role within that and creating avenues for the offense to have success.” — Odunze 

Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze fearlessly vow to raise expectations for the Chicago Bears: ‘What’s the reason to duck?’

Analyst’s take

“I like big, fast, physical, smart, tough guys who can go play above the rim and who have some route polish to them. As a player I love what he has from a skill-set standpoint. I think all of it translates. Big games in the NFL, especially going to the postseason, I think some of that space disappears. You have to have guys who can win with bodies around them. He can do that. That’s not to say he can’t run. … He can run too.

“There’s a bounce and an energy to him that I love. I love the fact that even though you might have to coach some of this out of him, he hates running out of bounds. You’ll see the competitiveness in him. When he is on the sideline, he tries to get everything he can get. He is a real, real competitive football player.” —Jeremiah

From the front office

“The kid’s just put time in, and he got better and better every single year and he’s a winner. He can impact the game at any moment. If you’re at quarterback, and you’re in doubt, you want to just go give a guy an opportunity to go finish, he’s your guy. He’s done that consistently.” — Poles

You should know

Odunze wore No. 23 in youth football because he was a fan of Devin Hester. The Las Vegas native said he stumbled across a YouTube video of the former Bears great, which sparked his fandom.

“He had this tape to a Lil Wayne track, and I probably watched it over 1,000 times of him returning kicks, returning kicks in the Super Bowl,” Odunze said. “That just really inspired me.”

Round 3, No. 75: Yale offensive tackle Kiran Amegadjie

Yale offensive lineman Kiran Amegadjie speaks at the NFL combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Yale offensive lineman Kiran Amegadjie speaks at the NFL combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Height, weight: 6-5, 323

Why the Bears drafted him

Amegadjie will have an early opportunity to compete with Braxton Jones for the starting left tackle job and impressed the Bears with his combination of size, strength and athleticism. He has shown an aggressive edge the Bears hope to tap into. Amegadjie also has the versatility to be a swing tackle and spent the entire 2021 season at Yale as the starting right guard. Still, the current vision is to pair him with line coach Chris Morgan and push him to become a potential starting option at left tackle.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Amegadjie was the 14th offensive tackle drafted and the sixth to be selected on Day 2. He missed the last six games of the 2023 season with a quadriceps injury and is viewed inside league circles as a developmental player whose technique still needs refinement.

In his own words

Amegadjie played basketball into high school and believe his five-plus years on the hardwood helped sharpen his abilities for offensive line play. “I think some of the movements translate, even though they’re not the exact same,” he said. “Foot quickness, agility, jumping, changing direction. You need all that when you play basketball. It helped me develop the skills I have now.

Column: Left tackle Braxton Jones emerged as a winner from Chicago Bears’ Round 1 draft bonanza

Analyst’s take

“He’s huge. A little bit of a project and little top-heavy at times. But he can really collapse people in the run game. There’s really something to work with there.” –  Jeremiah

From the front office

“He’s a special talent with really rare physical traits. I think he’s a player who’s on the ascent. Obviously, his season got cut a little bit short this fall. But we’re thrilled to have him. His combination of length, athleticism and size (is impressive). And he’s a sharp kid coming out of the Ivy League.” — Bears co-director of player personnel Trey Koziol

You should know

Amegadjie is the latest local product Bears GM Ryan Poles added to the roster, joining a fraternity of players who played high school football in or near Chicago, a group that includes tight end Cole Kmet and linebackers T.J. Edwards and Jack Sanborn.

Amegadjie went to Hinsdale Central High School and has been a lifelong Bears fan, with Devin Hester as one of his favorite players growing up. So, yes, he was watching the draft Thursday with curiosity to see how the Bears would navigate the night. After the team drafted quarterback Caleb Williams and receiver Rome Odunze? “How could I not be happy?” Amegadjie said. “I’m just so psyched. I’m excited to get to work with those guys.”

Round 4, No. 122: Iowa punter Tory Taylor

Iowa punter Tory Taylor at the NFL combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Doug Benc/AP Images for the NFL)
Iowa punter Tory Taylor at the NFL combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Doug Benc/AP)

Height, weight: 6-4, 224.

Why the Bears drafted him

Taylor, the Ray Guy Award winner as the nation’s top punter in 2023, set the NCAA single-season yardage record with 4,479 yards on 93 punts in 2023. His career average was 46.3 yards per punt, with a high of 48.2 yards in 2023. He had a long of 67 yards in 2023 and a career long of 70. He had 103 punts of more than 50 yards in his career.

Taylor is the second punter Poles has drafted in three years. In 2022, Poles drafted Trenton Gill, who has averaged 46.1 yards per punt and 38.5 net yards in his two seasons. Taylor said the Bears will get “someone who can kick for distance and hang time but can also pin them deep and place it where he wants.”

Bears scout Drew Raucina said Taylor also is a good holder, a key given the success the kicking unit has had with Cairo Santos in recent years.

“You put his tape on, this guy has a big frame,” Raucina said. “If you have a bad snap that goes high or left or low, he does a very good job of kind of collecting that ball, getting his hands on it, getting it set. So, that’s actually a strength of his.”

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Taylor is the highest-drafted punter since the San Francisco 49ers took Mitch Wishnowsky in the fourth round at No. 110 in 2019. A punter hasn’t gone in the third round since Bryan Anger in 2012. Given Gill is on the roster, they could have gone in another direction. But Taylor’s resume drew them in.

From the front office

“The leg strength. The way he can flip the field. He’s going to help our defense. He’s going to come in here immediately and make an impact.” — Raucina

In his own words

“I was always pretty confident that I was going to get drafted. It was really just a matter of how high. It’s funny my girlfriend’s from Chicago. I was like, ‘Imagine the Bears use their pick at 122.’ And then at 115, I just said it as a joke to my girlfriend I was like only seven picks away. There’s not many punters that are drafted high these days. It’s just really an absolute honor to be a Bear. I just can’t really believe it, to be honest. It’s crazy.” — Taylor

Analyst’s take

“Tory Taylor was an MVP guy for Iowa. He has unbelievable leg strength and drives the ball on a consistent basis. With field position being such a key component to winning close games, he can flip the field and change the game.” — Kiper, via Iowa football

You should know

Taylor is from Melbourne, Australia, and first played American football in 2019.

“When I first came over here I was like, ‘Oh, I’m just going to have fun and see what happens,’ ” Taylor said. “After a year or so, my coach said you can really be something pretty special. It wasn’t really anything that I thought about too much. I’d always known that I had a big leg. … I’ve had one pretty crazy journey, but it just really shows if you just put in the hard work usually good things prevail.”

Taylor said he received a text from Bears quarterback Caleb Williams congratulating him after he was drafted. The message? “Hey, you’re not going to punt too much here.”

“Which is great,” Taylor said. “That was pretty funny.”

Round 5, Pick 144: Kansas edge rusher Austin Booker

Kansas defensive lineman Austin Booker runs a drill during Big 12 NCAA college NFL football pro day Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Kansas defensive lineman Austin Booker runs a drill during Big 12 pro day on March 30, 2024, in Frisco, Texas. (LM Otero/AP)

Height, weight: 6-4, 240

Why the Bears drafted him

Still feeling a bit deficient in their defensive front, the Bears rolled the dice on Booker’s upside Saturday, trading a 2025 fourth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills to move back into the fourth round. According to area scout John Syty, the Bears were drawn to Booker’s potential and traits, seeing a player who is tall and possesses great length with 33 7/8-inch arms. Booker also has notable athleticism and has shown he can rush the passer in a variety of ways. In his one season at Kansas after transferring from Minnesota, Booker had eight sacks and 12 tackles for a loss. He’s a competitive prospect who consistently plays hard.

Said Syty: “Austin’s a HITS-principle kid from the start. He can win with coordination, his hands, all that stuff. But he also has a relentless motor. I think when you turn on this kid’s tape, it stands out.

Why he wasn’t drafted sooner

Booker still has a lot of room for growth. He just turned 21 in December, played only 18 games in college and declared for the draft with two years of eligibility remaining. Booker is still growing into his frame and didn’t test well at the scouting combine with a 4.79-second 40-yard dash and a vertical leap of 32 1/2 inches. He isn’t proven as a reliable run stopper and might be a situational pass rusher and special teams contributor as he breaks into the league and develops under the watch of coach Matt Eberflus, defensive coordinator Eric Washington and defensive line coach Travis Smith.

In his own words

Booker agrees with the buzz in league circles that he is “raw” with a lot of work ahead to become an NFL contributor. “One-hundred percent,” he said. “I’m 21, so I know I have a lot of years ahead of me to get stronger, get faster. I’m just looking to keep growing in the NFL.”

Analyst’s take

“He didn’t test well (at the combine). But I really like him as a player. He may drop into Day 3 and become a bargain guy there.” — Kiper

You should know

Booker hit it off with the Bears during his predraft “Top 30” visit to Halas Hall this month and specifically mentioned Smith as a coach he’s looking forward to getting to know better. For what it’s worth, Smith was with Raiders star Maxx Crosby from 2019-21 in Las Vegas.

“I know I’ll be in good hands moving forward,” Booker said.



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