The Chicago Bears need a quarterback. They desperately, desperately need a quarterback. This isn’t anything new. It’s been the case for the better part of four decades. Jim McMahon, Erik Kramer, and Jay Cutler provided brief glimpses of hope but never managed to establish themselves as long-term options. Mitch Trubisky was a failure. Now belief is the team will go hunting for help in 2021. That is where the Sam Darnold inquiries come in.
It’s hardly a secret at this point. The New York Jets are penciled in for the #1 overall pick next April. That means holding the rights to Clemson star Trevor Lawrence. In the event this unfolds, that means Darnold will no longer have a place on the roster. Expectations are the New York Jets will look to trade him elsewhere. No doubt to a team willing to take the risk.
Darnold is a former #3 overall pick and still just 23-years old.
Nobody disputes his physical talent. It’s top quality. He has a strong arm, throws with impressive accuracy, and is highly mobile. The problem is his inconsistency (he too much of a gunslinger) and the appalling lack of help he’s had around him. Few receiving options and a laughable offensive line that’s been getting him hit a lot the past three years.
Ralph Vacchiano has covered the Jets for years for SNY. He believes Darnold still has plenty to offer a team provided he gets better coaching and more help. In his mind, several teams might benefit from his presence, but two stand at the top of his list. The Indianapolis Colts and the Bears. Why? Namely, because they aren’t in a great position to draft a top quarterback this year.
“The Mitch Trubisky experiment is over, and it should be clear to everyone now that Nick Foles is just an NFL backup. And since the Bears won’t be drafting high enough to take an elite quarterback, spending a couple of picks on an already seasoned Darnold makes a lot of sense.”
Sam Darnold would be a major calculated risk for the Bears
It always comes down to this. Would the Bears be better off sending say a 2nd and 3rd rounders to the Jets for Darnold or drafting the 4th or 5th quarterback in the 1st round of this upcoming draft? It doesn’t feel like there’s a right answer here. Optimism is high for the 2021 QB class but usually, the odds of hitting on the 4th or 5th QB on the board are long. So the risk is probably no different than going after Darnold.
To this point in his career, he hasn’t delivered. He’s completed just 59.6% of his passes with 39 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. Again, the poor guy has had few weapons, minimal protection, and also gone through several different offensive coordinators. This makes it incredibly difficult to evaluate him. Would he be more capable in a better offensive structure or is this perhaps who he is?
The Bears would need to have a plan for him.
They’d have to put together a coaching staff that understands what he brings to the table. More importantly, they’ll have to shore up the offensive line, which hasn’t exactly thrive the past few years itself. This team has tried such a venture before. Think Jay Cutler but less proven. Sam Darnold has the same level of talent but isn’t coming off a Pro Bowl. The Bears completely blew it trying to build around Cutler.
Are they capable of avoiding the same pitfalls with this kid? The next regime will have to find an answer to that question.