The Chicago Bears team brass has literally been everywhere this offseason. A necessity given the lack of available data on every NFL draft prospect. Several of them didn’t play in 2020, which is bad enough. Yet teams also didn’t get to see them at the scouting combine either. This has made college pro days more important than ever before. That is why everybody in the Bears organization has traveled like crazy to get up-close looks at guys.
This is especially true of the quarterbacks. Put out any notable name at that position, there was likely a Bears representative present to watch them throw. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Chicago has the look of a team that is going to draft one and draft one early. It’s a matter of determining who that guy is and when they’ll grab him. Several experts believe they are a dark horse to jump up in the 1st round to grab one of the top five names.
Who could that be?
One of three names remains possible. Mac Jones of Alabama, Justin Fields of Ohio State, and Trey Lance of North Dakota State. One of those three will go at #3 to San Francisco. So it will be up to the Bears to decide if one of the remaining two is worth moving up for. Could Lance be one of them? If so, they certainly are sending mixed signals about their interest in him according to Albert Breer of the MMQB. Apparently they will not have anybody in attendance for Lance’s second pro day.
“For this one, I’m told the Falcons will have assistant director of college scouting Dwaune Jones and QB coach Charles London in attendance, the Patriots will have assistant director of player personnel Dave Ziegler and exec Eliot Wolf there, and the Broncos are sending OC Pat Shurmur. My understanding is neither the Bears (Nagy was at Fields’s second pro day because he missed the first, and Chicago had both him and GM Ryan Pace at Lance’s first pro day) nor Washington (GM Martin Mayhew, OC Scott Turner and Gribble were at Lance’s first one) or Carolina (Rhule, GM Scott Fitterer and OC Joe Brady were at the first one) are making the trip.”
That is interesting. One would think if the Bears were really interested in Lance they’d at least send somebody to get a second look at Lance. Even if it’s just a position coach or one of their scouts. To send nobody at all? Quite odd. This makes it pretty clear that two things are possible. Either Chicago doesn’t have enough interest in Lance to be bothered with a second trip. Or they like him a lot and don’t want to tip anybody off how much.
Chicago Bears likely know who they want already
With just 10 days before the start of the draft, the Bears aren’t going to get much more data than they already have on Lance and other quarterbacks in this class. Their board is almost certainly set and going through some final tweaking. With quarterback being such a vital position, it’s a safe bet they know exactly who they do or don’t want. So while not attending Lance’s second pro day is interesting, it doesn’t tip their hand.
One thing remains certain. Lance might be the most perplexing evaluation in this entire draft class. Physically? He’s as talented as anybody in the entire draft. Big, strong, athletic, and fast. When he decides to turn it loose, he can put velocity on the ball. The problem is he only threw 318 total passes in his college career. All of them against FCS competition. The guy was never really tested. Never had to run a two-minute drill or throw his team to victory.
That makes it difficult to know if he can do it in the NFL.
Evaluators laud his personality and intelligence. He already knows how to play in a pro-style offense and make checks at the line of scrimmage. Even so, he is unproven as a passer. Are the Chicago Bears willing to mortgage more of their future by moving up to get him? It would be an incredibly big risk. Perhaps this is why they’ve decided not to waste more time and money watching up close.