There had to be some push back eventually, right?
After weeks with one mock draft after another sending defensive players to the Chicago Bears in the first round, there is a growing belief in the team using a first-round pick on a quarterback. Because even after signing Mike Glennon to replace the outgoing Jay Cutler as starter and adding Mark Sanchez as a back-up, there is a distinct possibility that Glennon isn’t a viable long-term solution.
So here are the Bears with a need, but without a perceived sure-fire pick worthy of being the first quarterback selected with the third overall pick.
Or maybe not?
CSN Chicago’s John Mullin writes that the Bears look to be set on drafting a quarterback in the first round. Mullin is the latest to share this belief, joining former Bears scouting Greg Gabriel among those who see the Bears picking a quarterback in the first round.
With less than two weeks left until the draft, Mullin has come to the conclusion the team will use their third overall selection – or may trade up if necessary(!) to draft a quarterback. This is coming after it seemed as if the Bears looked locked on a safety, such as LSU standout Jamal Adams. Instead, extensive evaluations of the draft’s top prospects such as Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, and Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes could have the Bears lining up to find their quarterback of the future in the first round.
Adding fuel to the fire, Mullin believes the pick will be Watson, the two-time Heisman Trophy finalist who just led Clemson to a national championship win against Alabama. How general manager Ryan Pace and the Bears maneuver to get Watson might be more interesting than drafting him altogether, as Mullin digs in on possible trade scenarios, worth your perusal if for nothing more than the intrigue.
Then again, what if Watson isn’t the guy?
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports the Bears have done a deep dive into researching Mahomes, whose stock has been on the rise for quite some time. In one of the most recent mock drafts, former Bears scouting director Greg Gabriel has Mahomes as a top-10 pick coming off the board to the Jets, who own the sixth overall pick. NFL Draft guru Mike Manock also sees the arrow pointing up on Mahomes’ stock, moving him ahead of Kizer in his most recent quarterback rankings and into the top three, settling behind Watson and North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky.
Pace, head coach John Fox, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, and quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone were among those who made the trip to Texas Tech for a Mahomes private workout. He was also scheduled to visit with the Bears. It’s hard not to be intrigued by Mahomes, who has the build, ideal arm strength, an athletic pedigree, and upside. Of course, there are still holes in his game that need to be smoothed out as he develops. And comparisons to former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler won’t be easy to escape if Mahomes was the Bears’ pick. However, Mahomes’ skills to make things happen on the fly had Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury drawing comparisons to Packers legends Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
“When you’re talking about guys who can make those unbelievable throws, and Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre are all-time greats so I hate to make that comparison, but his style of play is that,” Kingsbury told the Tribune. “It might not always be on schedule. It might not always be pretty. But he has an ability to extend plays, to move to his right and move to his left, and make incredible throws down the field that most quarterbacks simply can’t attempt. That’s a special talent.”
Fox believes the Bears are close to being a competitive team. And the Bears have made some positive strides toward closing the talent gap between themselves and the rest of the division. However, the widest gap to bridge is the one at the quarterback position. And maybe a player with Mahomes’ talent or with Watson’s intangibles can close that gap.
Of course, all of this comes against the backdrop of a new report that has the Bears looking to trade down in the first round. Maybe they want to have their cake and eat it, too? Trade down to the middle of the first round, and pluck the best QB left on their board?
The fun is just beginning …