Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has been on top of everything this offseason. He had the Andy Dalton signing before anybody else. He had the heavy interest in Trent Williams and Kenny Golladay. Last but not least, he had Kyle Fuller leaving. The guy has had his finger on the pulse of this team since the offseason began. Now he took a swing at the Chicago Bears draft.
For the past week or so, Biggs has stated his firm belief that the Bears will go in one of two directions with their 20th overall pick. Either they will draft a wide receiver or they’ll draft a cornerback. Offensive tackle is possible but it seems pretty clear the team is aiming for a skill player in the 1st round. The insider conducted his first mock draft. His choice? Probably not who fans expected.
Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley.
“The Bears need to fortify an offense that was 22nd in scoring last season and 29th in 2019. There is also a gaping hole in the secondary after another former Virginia Tech cornerback, Kyle Fuller, was a cap casualty. Farley’s stock has taken a hit because of a back issue, but if medical info checks out, he’s a worthy first-round pick. He once was the potential top corner off the board.”
This is a bold pick. Farley is a physical freak. He’s 6’1 with legit speed. Clocks had him running the 40 at 4.28 seconds. Even if that’s a bit generous, it doesn’t change the fact he can fly. Farley uses his hands well, has fluidity in his backpedal, and isn’t afraid to play physical. What Biggs says is true. He’d probably be the first cornerback off the board under normal circumstances.
What makes this pick so dangerous is Farley may already be damaged goods. He reportedly underwent a surgical procedure on his back on March 23rd. It’s called a microdisectomy. Put simply it involves removing portions of a herniated disc in order to relieve pressure on the spinal column. Anybody who has followed football long enough knows that back problems in a player rarely go away. So this is an incredibly risky pick.
Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley, a projected first-round pick, will have a microdisectomy Tuesday with noted back-specialist Robert Watkins and will not work out at his pro day Friday, per his agent @DrewJRosenhaus.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 22, 2021
Such a Chicago Bears draft move would be too familiar
Fans of this team are well-acquainted with 1st round picks who have back problems. Back in 2008, the Bears selected left tackle Chris Williams out of Vanderbilt. He too had a herniated disc in his back. It eventually required surgery and he missed half the season. When he returned, he never quite looked like the player he was in college and started only 57 games in the NFL. Most of them as a guard.
Would Ryan Pace really be willing to gamble his tenure as GM on somebody like Farley? Sure he’s a blue chip talent but how much luck has Pace had with health in his 1st round picks before? Kevin White was a disaster. Leonard Floyd and Roquan Smith had setbacks of their own. This sort of Chicago Bears draft pick would just be begging to blow up in his face.
The fact Biggs is the one predicting it makes it all the more terrifying.
Is there a chance such a move works out? Yes. Farley has All-Pro potential. He’s that talented and looked that good on tape. The fact he only played corner for two years makes it all the more impressive. Yet banking on a run of clean health in a sport like football is rarely a wise thing to do. This isn’t even accounting for the fact that the Bears need offensive help way more than defense. Yet this regime has proven incredibly consistent.
Pace likes athletic standouts and he covets defense. So this kid does make sense in that context.