Although there are a number of crucial, moving pieces in 2017, the Chicago Bears’ quarterbacks will undoubtedly (and perhaps rightfully) be the primary focus of the upcoming season.
And with quarterbacks on the brain, let’s take a look at a piece from Rotoworld’s Patrick Daugherty, who recently sized up each NFL team’s quarterback room entering the 2017 season.
Perhaps to no one’s surprise, the Bears don’t exactly grade out well here – and haven’t for a while. Daugherty ranks the Bears’ quarterback situation 23rd overall – which happens to be two spots down from where the team was heading into last season (and one spot down from the season before that). I think it’s more than safe to say that this group hasn’t exactly been where anyone wants it to be for a few years. And that goes double, when considering that the divisional rivals in Green Bay and Detroit both rank in the top 10.
Here is part of what Daugherty had to say in his assessment of the room:
“The Bears were so ready to get rid of Jay Cutler they accidentally followed the 2016 Eagles’ quarterback plan, overpaying a stop-gap veteran before investing all their draft capital in a questionable prospect. Urgency is a virtue at quarterback — it’s nearly impossible to get anywhere without one — but impatience is a vice. The Bears are operating with more of the latter than former. Mike Glennon has earned zero deference through four years as an NFLer, but Mitchell Trubisky was a hope and a prayer at No. 2 overall.”
For what it’s worth, the Eagles’ plan has resulted in the team’s quarterback room moving up five spots in the rankings from 2016-2017, (26th to 21st). Which, sure, that’s not the greatest mark of improvement, but at this point, the Bears will gladly take any step forward at the position they can get.
There is a high level of risk on the Bears’ quarterback depth chart, which features three quarterbacks learning a brand new system who are vying for practice reps and playing time. Leading this group is Glennon, who hopes to live up to a big free agent contract, while simultaneously auditioning for 31 other teams who could seek his services in the future.
And this situation came about because the Bears drafted Trubisky, who will open up third on the depth chart this season is the team’s ideal long-term answer to the long-standing question at the position. And to think, both will also lose practice reps to Mark Sanchez, who enters the season as the primary backup despite suffering a knee injury in OTAs.
Three players fighting for snaps at the one spot on offense (where you can’t really spread the ball around) has made for a muddy situation. So perhaps that spot in the lower third of the NFL’s quarterback rankings is richly deserved.
But let’s move the spotlight to Daugherty’s thoughts on Trubisky, who is arguably the quarterback whose development matters most:
“That does not mean Trubisky will automatically bust. The odds are simply not what they should be for a quarterback drafted ahead of 253 players. Going on 23, Trubisky has made 13 starts since high school. You could argue we know less about him than any quarterback to go in the top five in NFL history. That’s more reckless than bold. The risk comfortably outweighs the reward, which is not a calculation you should make at No. 2. If Trubisky flops, the Bears will be set back with the force of 1,000 Cutlers.”
I apologize if this doesn’t exactly instill confidence moving forward, especially with the added perspective of Trubisky making just 13 starts since his senior year of high school.
However, I would argue that the reward actually outweighs the risk – albeit, not by much. If Trubisky flops, there isn’t much of a tumble the Bears can take from being a losing team with a quarterback situation that ranks 23rd in a 32-team league.
On the other hand, if Trubisky succeeds, the cost of moving up was ultimately a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft. Could you imagine the rage if the Bears drew the line in the sand to acquire a potential franchise quarterback at a future fourth-round pick? I’d prefer to not go down that road.