The Chicago Bears made two in-season trades last year - sending Jon Bostic to the Patriots and Jared Allen to the Panthers - that netted the team two extra sixth-round picks in this year's draft.
At the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine today, GM Ryan Pace said that having nine total picks will give him a lot flexibility during the draft.
“It’s awesome. Last year we only had six [picks]," Pace said. "So now we have some flexibility to move around within the draft, not just acquire more players but possibly move up or move back. It just gives us more flexibility in the draft and that’s exciting.”
The Bears have the 11th overall pick in the draft and numerous holes on the roster to fill. Sixth-round prospects aren't typically impact players, so there's a real possibility Pace will package one or two of his mid- or late-round picks to move up in the early rounds.
“You have ammunition now," said Pace. "You can be more aggressive with moving up and down in the draft.”
On the flip side, the Bears have so many holes to fill that Pace may be willing to trade back early in the process in order to acquire even more young talent.
Bottom line: don't expect Pace to just sit on his hands with nine picks at his disposal. One way or another, he's going to shake up the draft by executing at least one trade. Whether that's to move up and grab an elite prospect in the Top 10 or move back to stock up on rookies remains to be seen, but this won't be your boring Angelo-esque Bears draft. Pace is about to make some moves.