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2024 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears select QB Caleb Williams with No. 1 overall pick in 1st round; Bears take Rome Odunze with 9th pick



2024 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears select QB Caleb Williams with No. 1 overall pick in 1st round; Bears take Rome Odunze with 9th pick

CHICAGO (WLS) — The Chicago Bears chosen USC quarterback Caleb Williams on Thursday with the No. 1 general choose within the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Bears had one other first-round choose within the draft. They used it to pick out Washington vast receiver Rome Odunze because the No. 9 general choose

La Grange Park, Illinois, native and Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 10 general choose within the first spherical.

Many followers who gathered at Soldier Area Thursday known as the night time a watershed second for the franchise.

This is not the primary time a Bears quarterback has come into the group with excessive expectations, however many followers instructed ABC7 they only have a sense this time shall be totally different.

I am prepared.

Caleb Williams, Chicago Bears quarterback

Bears followers piled into Soldier Area Thursday night forward of the draft because the Monsters of the Halfway had two first-round draft picks for the primary time in many years. Deciding on Williams is a second that followers mentioned could possibly be a sport changer for the franchise.

“That is the best day within the historical past of the franchise apart from after they received the Tremendous Bowl in 1985,” ESPN Chicago Radio’s David Kaplan mentioned Thursday morning.

Bears hype was reaching a fever pitch Thursday morning, simply hours earlier than the group drafted the previous USC quarterback and Heisman winner on the very begin of the primary spherical of the NFL Draft in Detroit.

“I have not been with a soccer group since November 18, so that is the hardest half for me and one thing I actually need to get again to get in a locker room,” Caleb Williams beforehand mentioned.

Williams made an look on the draft purple carpet in Detroit forward of the beginning of the draft to indicate off his search for the night.

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Caleb Williams appeared through hologram from Detroit at a Soldier Area NFL Draft watch get together Thursday, and he promised Chicago Bears followers a brand new era of successful.

For many who could not be in Detroit for the draft, the watch get together at Soldier Area was in all probability the subsequent smartest thing for Bears followers.

“Tonight is a dream, like I have not had a quarterback my whole life, and now my son goes to get up to an unbelievable quarterback in Caleb Williams,” Bears fan Greg Feltes mentioned.

VIP tickets had been obtainable for the United Membership at Soldier Area, the place ESPN Chicago radio broadcasted the draft from. They remotely interviewed Williams, who appeared through hologram from Detroit and promised followers a brand new era of successful.

“It is nice. I am prepared. I am prepared,” Williams mentioned.

The choose wasn’t a shock, however that didn’t diminish the joy felt by Bears followers.

“It is surreal to be on the sphere to see that occur on the large display screen, all of the applause round us,” Bears fan Chris Nemeh mentioned. “Actually excited for this second in Bears historical past.”

Hundreds gathered for a sold-out Soldier Area watch get together, absorbing all issues Bears.

“Hopefully it is their turnaround swap from being a pungent group,” Bears fan Allan Swanson mentioned.

“Let’s Bear down! We’re prepared for it! We’re prepared for it! We’re prepared for everyone,” Bears fan Terry Dunlap mentioned. “And we’ll beat the Packers! Each video games this 12 months!”

“It is about time we get a franchise QB, and we’re prepared for that 30-plus touchdowns from Caleb Williams, 12 months one,” Bears fan Steve Albergo mentioned.

An hour after the Williams choose, followers lauded the selection of the Bears’ new vast receiver Odunze.

“That is it. That is the beginning of a brand new franchise,” Bears fan Sean Zingsheim mentioned. “Time to rebuild, and take… the outdated Bears are gone. That is the brand new Bears.”

Pleasure was seen in La Grange Park Thursday as native and College of Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings within the NFL Draft.

The thrill was additionally very seen in west suburban La Grange Park, the place College of Michigan quarterback and Nazareth Academy graduate J.J. McCarthy was among the many high ten chosen.

His former Nazareth coach Tim Rack known as him a pacesetter on and off the sphere.

“Extra importantly how he comported himself off the sphere, within the classroom,” Rack mentioned. “Even children that did not play soccer cheered for him as a result of he’s such a pleasant, humble unassuming child.”

Chicago Bears followers descended on Soldier Area forward of the NFL draft Thursday, hoping to see the start of the street to the subsequent Bears Tremendous Bowl group.

Forward of the draft beginning, folks had lined as much as get into Soldier Area to look at the draft amongst fellow Bears followers, together with plenty of gamers.

“And it has been a very long time, a very long time of struggling, a very long time of like, ‘is that this the quarterback? No, it isn’t,’ however this 12 months is in contrast to every other,” fan Ali Rothschild mentioned.

By the point the draft rolled round, about 5,000 followers are anticipated to be at soldier area. The draft was proven on the jumbotrons, and there was additionally interactive video games on the sphere. Followers had an opportunity to satisfy among the Bears gamers too.

“I actually suppose they have all the celebs aligning right here, with the proper folks within the administrative and government positions, they usually’re making nice selections, and I feel that is going to be a serious change at this time,” Bears fan Kevin Maynard mentioned.

The group mentioned the occasion offered out weeks in the past, and it is all due to the joy surrounding the No. 1 general choose.

“I am actually excited for the whole lot’s that going to occur tonight, and I will partake in the whole lot that I probably can and simply let all of it soak in,” Bears fan Marquita Schaeffer mentioned.

Rob Davis handed the time ready for the gates to open by tossing the soccer along with his 7-year-old daughter Payton. She’s named after Walter Payton. Davis was at Soldier Area to look at the beginning of what many followers hope would be the street to the subsequent Bears Tremendous Bowl group.

“That is gonna be the draft that films the Bears future ahead,” Davis mentioned. “Caleb is available in… we beat Inexperienced Bay, win the division, and get to the Tremendous Bowl.”

Among the many crowds was fan Jerry Daughty and his son Bobby, who drove ten hours from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to be in Chicago to look at.

“Having the ability to be right here and really having the ability to see it first hand is gonna be unbelievable,” Bobby mentioned.

It was father-son bonding time for them, they usually’re hoping to get some autographs on the Bears helmet they introduced.

“It is a as soon as in a lifetime factor,” Jerry mentioned. “I have been a die-hard Bears fan because the day I used to be born.”

It was the calm earlier than the storm early Thursday afternoon for Victory Faucet within the South Loop forward of the Chicago Bears No. 1 choose within the 2024 NFL draft.

It was the calm earlier than the storm early Thursday afternoon for Victory Faucet within the South Loop.

“I feel that is the 12 months they will actually take a step ahead, in the event that they do the proper issues at quarterback,” mentioned Jason Wedner with Victory Faucet.

The bar anticipated a giant crowd of Bears followers to look at the draft.

“On this case, it is universally accepted that Caleb Williams is the most effective prospect,” retired sportswriter Fred Mitchell mentioned.

Because the Bears had two first-round picks, many are hoping for a return to the legendary 1965 draft, when the group picked future corridor of famers in operating again Gale Sayer and legendary center linebacker Dick Butkus with their first two picks. Sadly, that dynamic duo by no means received a championship.

“Chicago has a sports activities downside,” mentioned Shannon Taushman with Firehouse Restuarant. “We want this win… want one other Tremendous Bowl. We want a generational Bears win.”

It has been simply over twenty years because the Bears had two first spherical picks.

“You are speaking about taking a group that was irrelevant when it comes to competing for titles and making them one of many favorites within the league going ahead,” Kaplan mentioned.

Life-long Bears fan Preston Braxton mentioned with the Bears having first dibs on the draft, it might usher in a brand new period of Bears soccer.

“Noticed them after they received their first Tremendous Bowl,” Braxton mentioned. “The Bears imply so much to me. It might undoubtedly raise town, it has been awhile since ’85. It might undoubtedly convey again town.”

Spherical 1 of the draft started at 7 p.m. Thursday on ABC7. Rounds 2 and three will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, with Rounds 4-7 getting underway at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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