The NFL draft is still over a month away. GM Ryan Pace has plenty of work to do for the Chicago Bears until then. Free agency remains in its first official week and there are plenty of quality players available. Despite a limited amount of salary cap space, one can expect the Bears will try to secure more help for their roster. At the right price of course.
Yet the same topic of conversation is driving this team. What are they going to do at quarterback? The plan right now doesn’t seem overly clear. Andy Dalton was signed to a one-year deal a few days ago. All signs point to him being the starter. Beyond that? It’s a mystery. Nick Foles remains on the roster as a backup for now but expectations are the Bears might try to trade him.
That would leave just Dalton on the roster.
Could this be an indication the team plans to go hunting for a fresh arm in the draft? Yes. Pace is known for doubling down on a position of need before. He actually did it at quarterback in 2017. Everybody remembers signing Mike Glennon in March of that year only to see them draft Mitch Trubisky in April. Are the Bears angling to repeat that same procedure?
Perhaps, but not in the same fashion people think. According to a source, Chicago is doing plenty of leg work on the 2021 quarterback class. However, most of their attention is focused on three key names. Kyle Trask of Florida, Kellen Mond of Texas A&M, and Davis Mills of Stanford. In case people don’t see the connection between the three, all are expected to go somewhere on Day 2 of the draft. None are projected 1st rounders.
Chicago Bears unlikely to go hunting for a 1st round quarterback?
That is the assumption right now. With the 20th pick, the team is not in a premium spot to draft one. Current projections have at least four quarterbacks going in the first seven picks. Maybe five in the top 10. That means the Bears would have to move up in order to get one, and that is obviously expensive. After giving away multiple high picks in previous trades for the likes of Khalil Mack and Anthony Miller, throwing away more for what could be the fourth or fifth-best QB in this class would be exceedingly dangerous.
Now people will say Pace was just spotted evaluating Trey Lance up in North Dakota. Well, he was also spotted at Deshaun Watson’s pro day too. Everybody knows how that went. There is a degree of misdirection involved with such appearances.
Unless somebody unexpected happens to fall, the Chicago Bears will likely focus on other positions in the 1st round. What will those positions be? Offensive tackle, cornerback, or wide receiver depending on how the board falls. All three positions are strong in this draft and all three are needs for them. Germaine Ifedi and Charles Leno aren’t long-term solutions at tackle. Kyle Fuller is about to depart via release or trade. Allen Robinson is only back for one more year on the franchise tag.
Adding fresh bodies now would be a wise decision for next year.
Some names to watch for the 20th pick include Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech OT), Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State OT), Jaycee Horn (South Carolina CB), Gregg Newsome (Northwestern CB), Rashod Bateman (Minnesota WR), and Terrence Marshall (LSU WR) among others. There is no doubt the Bears will be aiming for somebody who can help them right away.