I’m not comfortable with Jordan Palmer as Jay Cutler’s backup. He has never started an NFL game and only has 28 NFL snaps on his resume. Marc Trestman worked wonders with Josh McCown last year, so maybe he can do the same with Palmer, but I’m skeptical. The Bears brought in a few QBs for workouts in the off-season so I have a feeling they might be looking for another option in the draft. Jay Cutler is due a large chunk of guaranteed money the next three seasons, so I don’t think the Bears will be drafting an eventual replacement, but a guy they can develop as a reliable back-up makes sense.
I have listed the players below that I like best for the Bears in every round at each position of need.
QB Depth Chart:
Jay Cutler, Jordan Palmer, Jerrod Johnson
Round 1 (#14) – None.
Round 2 (#51) – None.
Round 3 (#81) – Zach Mettenberger, LSU (6’5, 224): I don’t think the Bears will use a 3rd round pick on a QB, but if a guy with Mettenberger’s skill set drops, I think his name will at least get mentioned in the war room. Considering what Trestman was able to do with a limited talent like McCown, a guy like Mettenberger with ideal size and the best arm in the draft could eventually become the Bears starter under Trestman’s direction. I’ve had Mettenberger pegged as a 2nd round pick all off-season, but his back issues and failed drug test at the combine may drop him to the 3rd or even 4th round. He also had a knee injury has kept him from working out at the combine, but he had a solid pro day and there are no doubts about his arm strength. Mettenberger throws a nice deep ball and would be a potent match with the Bears deep weapons at wide receiver. His main drawback is a lack of mobility but the Bears O-line was solid last year and should be able to keep him clean in the pocket.
Round 4 (#117) – Garrett Gilbert, SMU (6’4, 223): The former 5-star recruit for the Texas Longhorns struggled early in his college career, but graduated in three years and transferred to SMU to work with quarterback guru June Jones. Under Jones, Gilbert resurrected his prospect status. Gilbert was leading the nation in total offense before injuring his knee late in the season. He has ideal size and all the physical traits NFL teams look for in a QB, but hasn’t been productive enough to be on team’s radars until this year. Gilbert also had a solid pro day, completing 87 of 88 passes and showing above average athleticism in the speed and agility drills. He is a late riser, but has as much upside as any mid-round prospect.