Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Here Are The Chicago Bears’ Odds Of Landing A Good QB With #1 Pick


The Chicago Bears are trending towards a change at quarterback this off-season. While they love how Justin Fields has matured as a leader, his slow progress as a passer makes it difficult to justify picking up his 5th-year option. Even so, they probably still would’ve kept him if they hadn’t secured the #1 overall pick in the 2024 draft, thanks to the trade with Carolina. Some Bears fans aren’t eager to venture back into the unknown, especially given this team’s track record for drafting and developing that position.

That leads to an interesting question. What are the actual odds Chicago will end up with a good quarterback if they take one at #1 overall? To find an answer, I went back and listed every QB taken at that spot since the merger in 1970. I then gave each of them a letter grade to determine how well their careers went. The key is belong to help explain.

A: Was top 5 at the position

B: Became a solid starter for at least a few years

C: Had maybe one or two okay years

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D: Failed starter who became a decent backup

F: Bust

  • Bryce Young – C*
  • Trevor Lawrence – B
  • Joe Burrow – A
  • Kyler Murray – B
  • Baker Mayfield – B
  • Jared Goff – B
  • Jameis Winston – C
  • Andrew Luck – A
  • Cam Newton – B
  • Sam Bradford – C
  • Matthew Stafford – A
  • JaMarcus Russell – F
  • Alex Smith – B
  • Eli Manning – B
  • Carson Palmer – B
  • David Carr – D
  • Michael Vick – B
  • Tim Couch – F
  • Peyton Manning – A
  • Drew Bledsoe – B
  • Jeff George – C
  • Troy Aikman – A
  • Vinny Testaverde – C
  • John Elway – A
  • Steve Bartkowski – B
  • Jim Plunkett – B
  • Terry Bradshaw – A

Of the 27 quarterbacks to earn the honor over the past 53 years, 19 of them reached at least a B grade in their careers. That means they became solid starters who played multiple seasons at a high level. Most reached at least one Pro Bowl. The only ones who didn’t, Plunkett and Mayfield, won multiple playoff games. This data says there is a 70.37% chance the Bears will end up with at least a good quarterback at #1 overall.

Of the 30 quarterbacks listed above, seven reached a B grade, and four reached an A. If that trend is consistent, it means the Bears have around a 36.67% chance of landing at least a solid starter at quarterback. That might not sound great, but it’s far better than the odds of landing one later in a draft.

The Chicago Bears have been painfully close on multiple occasions.

There have been two notable instances since the merger where they almost landed the #1 pick. One was in 1970, and the other was in 1998. Bradshaw and Manning went in those respective drafts. Suddenly, the Bears landed the pick twice in a row. They passed on a quarterback last year, feeling the options weren’t strong enough to justify moving on from Fields, especially with how weak the roster was. This year feels different. Experts insist this class has three high-caliber prospects in Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels. If GM Ryan Poles has done his homework, there is a reasonable chance he will take one that should pan out.

Now, it’s important to note something. The odds of the Chicago Bears landing the next Patrick Mahomes are beyond long. Of those 27 quarterbacks taken, only four ended up in the Hall of Fame. Stafford will likely be the fifth. It is never wise to bet the #1 pick will have a gold jacket waiting for him in Canton. The idea is to shoot for the best mix of talent and mental fortitude. Those guys tend to win the most games and give you the best shot at a championship. Anything else is a bonus.


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Feb 19, 2024 12:43 pm

SOS just another day!

Jim Jones
Feb 19, 2024 12:39 pm

Only 66 days until it’s official y’all! Gonna be a fun time using that historic level of capital to build around our QB. Can’t wait until the end of April to make the most of out it!

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Feb 19, 2024 12:33 pm

Mr. Poles, it’s cognitive dissonance: statistical empiricism v. philosophy of science v. contextual relativism v. da bears?

Hence, trade Fields and Herbert to Atlanta for Bijan! Such would be victorious causation over mere correlation in football.

Feb 19, 2024 12:01 pm

– Yes it’s 3m cheaper next year, but the next year it swells by quite a bit, hindering who else you could build around a below average QB.
I didn’t say the NFL was designed around mega contract. But the Mega contract hinders your ability to sign more quality guys, and most guys are on 3 or 4 year deals, so there is constant churn. The QB position is the highest contract on most teams that don’t employ the rookie contract at the position.

Feb 19, 2024 12:00 pm

Better odds…trade down for more picks, put Joe Alt at LT, move Braxton to guard, trade Nate’s contract and get an experienced FA center you can count on for a few years.
OL set for a decade, more draft picks, more cap space.

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