Matt Ryan believes GM Ryan Poles can find 'value picks' for Bears originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had plenty of praise for new Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles.
Ryan, who played college football with Poles at Boston College, went on ESPN Chicago's Waddle and Silvy Wednesday to discuss the hiring of the former executive director of player personnel for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 2016 MVP believes that Poles, a former Bears offensive lineman, will be able to bring a keen eye for getting value players, especially along the offensive and defensive line.
"I think, you know, as much as people think the game has changed ... it's still about the offensive line [and] defensive line," Ryan said. "That's a tale as old as time. If you're really solid up front on both sides of the ball, it gives you a chance week in and week out. And I think that's been an area of expertise for [Poles], finding value picks along the way on the offensive line and defensive line.
"You know, a lot of the guys that get attention are first- and second-round picks. But a lot of the difference that gets made for your teams is is in those [fourth-round], [fifth-round], free agent guys that you can pick up that create value to your team."
Poles may be looking at having to reshape both the Bears' offensive and defensive lines. Offensive tackles Jason Peters and Germain Ifedi are free agents, as well as guard James Daniels. On the other side of the ball, both defensive tackles Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols are UFAs.
The Bears' offensive line allowed the most sacks this season with 58, while the defense totaled the fourth-most sacks in the NFL with 49.
If what Ryan says is true about Poles, one of his strengths will help out one of the Bears' biggest weaknesses.