The Chicago Bears have a ton of work to do looking towards 2021. Some tough decisions lay ahead. Sacrifices could end up being made due to the dropping salary cap. The big question is how deep will the cuts go? Only those in charge, whether it’s Ryan Pace or his replacement, will be able to answer that. Yet one topic will remain prevalent for the next several months.
Do the Bears draft a quarterback in the 1st round? This will mark the first time since 2018 they hold a pick that high. Mitch Trubisky was a failure. Nick Foles doesn’t look like anything more than a high-quality backup. Teams don’t win in this league without quarterbacks. Chicago hasn’t had one in decades. They almost have to grab one next April, right?
Well, that argument can easily be made. At the same time, there is one that can be made against it too. Here’s why.
Why should the Chicago Bears wait? Three key reasons
1.) Draft position
This could change over the final six games but right now the Bears are looking at the 16th overall pick in the 2021 draft. In case people haven’t done their homework in recent years, it’s difficult to find a true franchise quarterback outside the top 10 these days. It’s not impossible. There are some exceptions like Derek Carr, Russell Wilson, and Dak Prescott. Yet the reality is most of the younger generation of franchise signal-callers go in the first 10 picks.
Looking at this upcoming class? The odds are they’d be lucky to have a shot at the 4th QB available, it being Kyle Trask of Florida or Trey Lance of North Dakota State. Both have potential in different ways but could the Bears justify taking them when there will likely be players at other positions who rate significantly higher? Now the Bears could trade up, but considering they’ve already done that a number of times in recent years that would only deplete their reservoir of young, cheap talent even further.
2.) Roster status
Stop and ask an honest question. Is this really the environment to bring in a young QB right now? The Chicago Bears are fielding their worst offensive line in easily a decade. It is a position group in dire need of an overhaul. Throwing a rookie QB behind it would be inviting disaster. To say nothing of the other issues.
Allen Robinson is looking more and more like a lock to leave in the offseason. He and the Bears are at an impasse on a new contract. Does he really want to be part of a rebuild on that side of the ball with no guarantee they finally find him a QB? That seems unlikely. So that means the Bears will be without their best weapon as well. Maybe the Bears should use this 2021 draft to set the table and find their guy the next year.
3.) 2021 schedule
This is the primary reason to wait is because an early look suggests the Bears will be picking much higher in 2022. Credit to SM colleague Dhruv Koul for pointing this out. Their schedule next season looks positively brutal. The always-tough games against the NFC North. Then a trip around the AFC North and NFC West divisions. Two of the absolute best in football.
To spread some holiday cheer one week before Thanksgiving, let's check in on the Bears' 2021 list of opponents:
– NFC North games (home and away)
– vs. BAL
– vs. CIN
– vs. AZ
– vs. SF
– vs. NFC East like-finisher
– @ NFC South like-finisher
– @ CLE
– @ PIT
– @ LAR
– @ SEA
— Dhruv Koul (@DhruvKoul) November 19, 2020
Even if their defense is still good next year, the odds of the Bears navigating that slate to the playoffs is next to impossible. It’s far more likely they endure a tough year with a losing record. Maybe one of the worst in the NFL. While it will be tough to swallow, it also might be a blessing in disguise. Having spent the 2021 offseason reloading the offensive personnel, this schedule could deliver them a top 5 pick in 2022.
That would present the perfect opportunity to go after their next quarterback.