Back in 2017, there was no denying who the leading man was in the Chicago Bears‘ quarterback search. That was Ryan Pace. He had a plan even before the start of free agency. Sign a veteran who can play that season and then draft the franchise guy. It wasn’t a bad idea. The execution? That was where the problems came in. Mike Glennon, a career backup was the veteran choice. Then in the draft, Pace went all-in on Mitch Trubisky.

Both choices proved massive failures. Glennon flamed out after just four games. Trubisky had a nice 2018 but was otherwise below average most of his four seasons in Chicago. What made it worse were the details that came out afterward. How Pace cut a lot of his people out of the loop including head coach John Fox who reportedly preferred Deshaun Watson over Trubisky.

Pace should consider himself lucky.

Most GMs would’ve been fired for that kind of blunder. Yet here he is being given a priceless second chance by George McCaskey and Bears ownership. That leaves the important question. Has he learned from his mistakes? Plenty of people aren’t happy that Pace has the final say on such a vital decision. Yet history says most GMs don’t do well with a second chance at drafting a QB.

There is some good news though. According to a source, the nature of this search isn’t what it seems. While Pace has the final say on roster decisions, the word is that he is acquiescing to head coach Matt Nagy when it comes to the quarterback question. This is “his show” were the words used. This is a welcome sign that, despite all the jokes, Pace is adhering to what he promised back in January. Collaboration.

Nagy is the QB expert. It’s his offense. It only makes sense that he has the ultimate call at that position.

Ryan Pace is still involved but don’t expect a hijacking of the process

No keeping Nagy in the dark until an hour before the draft kicks off. Both men are in the loop at all times. It comes down to how the board ultimately breaks. With six days to go, it’s a surefire bet they know who they want. What nobody knows for sure is who they are and how the Bears plan to get them. Whispers continue to be they like both Justin Fields and Mac Jones as 1st round options while Davis Mills is somebody they would consider on Day 2.

It’s unclear how the Bears plan to acquire any of those guys. Several experts are convinced they’ll trade up in the 1st round for somebody they want. Ryan Pace has a longstanding reputation for being aggressive. It’s unlikely any of the top five QBs make it out of the top 10 picks. Let alone to the #20 spot. So if they don’t move up, one has to presume they’ll be looking for their guy in the 2nd round.

As always, they will be at the mercy of 31 other teams.

One thing is for certain. Pace and Nagy can’t afford to bungle this draft. The QB decision alone is huge but they also need to get as many picks right as possible. This roster is aging in some bad spots and needs a youth infusion. They have eight picks at their disposal. It is a prime opportunity to bring in some cheap help. Landing a quarterback would certainly get things pointed in the right direction.

Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.