The Chicago Bears’ critical offseason of talent acquisition has one more – very important – step: The Draft.
After GM Ryan Pace added several starting-calibre players to short-term deals in free agency, the organization’s focus now shifts back to the future and long-term health of the organization.
And because of the team’s many needs, we’re going to take a look at some of the best prospects at various positions of interest everyday leading up to the draft.
In 2016, Bears quarterbacks ranked 25th in passer efficiency rating, 24th in touchdown passes thrown, and 19th in completion percentage. Yeah, finding a quarterback should be a high priority for this franchise.
It’s the most important position in football, and arguably the most important position in all of sports. Unfortunately, it’s the position the Bears haven’t able to fill with an elite player in the era in which the passing game has been its most important. Hell, Jay Cutler holds all the important passing records in franchise history, and yet, it wasn’t enough to win over the Bears’ faithful.
Currently on the Roster (2016 Pro Football Focus Grade)
- Mike Glennon (69.0)
- Mark Sanchez (47.1)
- Connor Shaw (Did Not Play)
Top 5 Prospects (Pro Football Focus Overall Rank)
- Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina (13)
- Deshaun Watson, Clemson (17)
- Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech (29)
- DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame (65)
- Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh (105)
Best of the Rest: Brad Kaaya, Miami (115); Chad Kelly, Ole Miss (183); Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee (194); Davis Webb, California (195); C.J. Beathard, Iowa (219)
The Bears have committed $19.5 million in fully guaranteed money to Glennon and Sanchez, but the structure of those deals will allow the Bears to rid themselves of their contracts quickly if they so choose/need. And if it comes to that, it will likely be because the Bears believe they’ve found the quarterback of the future.
But because of Glennon’s presence, finding a potential fit in the draft is a bit more challenging – it means the Bears will be using a roster spot on a player who might spend a year buried on the depth chart, when it could be used on a player who could make a difference elsewhere and immediately.
Most Likely to be Available When the Bears Are on the Clock:
Assuming that the Browns and 49ers pass on addressing the quarterback position with their respective first picks, the Bears could have their pick of the best quarterback available. A more likely scenario would be the team picking one on day two, whether it’s a player they have worked out and met with privately recently (Mahomes, Kizer) or one they took a close look at during Senior Bowl week (Peterman).
If I Had to Pick One:
Deshaun Watson has the feel of the safest quarterback prospect, but Patrick Mahomes is the most alluring quarterback in this class. He has a big arm, a ton of athleticism, and the aura of confidence a good quarterback needs to succeed.
He also has the pedigree of a professional athlete – his father was an MLB pitcher from 1992-2003 for the Cubs, Pirates, Rangers, and Mets (among others). Mahomes has mechanical issues that need to be smoothed out, but with Glennon in tow, he could work the kinks out in his game without having to step right into being a franchise savior right away.