Chicago Bears Land QB Connor Cook in 2016 NFL Mock Draft


Unless he has a huge career year in the upcoming 2015 NFL season, Jay Cutler‘s days as quarterback of the Chicago Bears may be limited. Cutler is a very talented player, but his struggles with inconsistency and an inability to lead his team have been well documented. With a completely new regime in place in Chicago, I would not be surprised to see Cutler shown the door when a capable replacement becomes available.

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According to a recent 2016 NFL Mock Draft (I know, it is way too early, but I cannot help myself here), the opportunity to find a new quarterback may come next off season. Charlie Campbell of has put out his most recent 2016 mock draft, and it begins with the Bears selecting Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook. Obviously, since they end up with the first overall pick, Campbell is predicting an extremely tough year for the Bears in 2015, but landing a potential franchise quarterback would not be a bad consolation prize for an extremely poor season.

Campbell’s take on Cook to the Bears:

"The Bears are stuck with Jay Cutler in 2015, but that won’t be the case next year. I bet Chicago cuts him after the season and brings in a new franchise quarterback. Cook completed 58 percent of his passes in 2014 for 3,214 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has shown NFL evaluators that he has a big arm, pocket presence, reasonably precise throwing and the mobility to avoid rushers and roll out. The 6-foot-4, 218-pounder plays in a pro-style system and has shown steady improvement with his ability to function out of the pocket while working through his progressions. Cook does need to improve his accuracy though. He will make some amazing throws and then miss on routine passes. The senior should be able to do that in 2015.Cook completed 59 percent of his passes in 2013 for 2,755 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. He improved throughout the season and was very impressive against Ohio State and Stanford to close out the year."

Cook is an extremely polished quarterback who also possesses all of the tools necessary to succeed at the NFL level. It would have to take a completely awful 2015 season for Cook to not be considered one of the top quarterback prospects in this draft class. He is a prime NFL QB prospect with a very bright future ahead of him.

Campbell talks about cutting Cutler, and while that would be getting more realistic next off season, it would still be a tough pill to shallow for the Bears. According to, if the Bears release Cutler in 2016, they are still hit with a cap hit of $13 million, with his cap hit being $17 million if he is still on the roster. In 2017, the Bears would have a better opportunity to release Cutler, with his dead cap number being only $2 million, and he will be set to make $12.5 million.

Would Cutler be worth keeping around in a situation where he would likely be playing second-fiddle to the number one overall pick? It is hard to say, but I could certainly see that situation playing out poorly for everybody involved.

The idea of adding Cook and letting him go in this Bears’ offense that is actually pretty talented is extremely enticing. That being said, having a chance to draft him likely means a sitting through a historically bad 2015 season. We all know that the Bears are in a bit of a transition period, but is it actually going to get that bad? Would you like to see the bottom fall out, so the Bears can find their franchise quarterback? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Also, for what it is worth (not much at this point in the process), Campbell has the Bears selecting Oregon OT Tyler Johnstone in the second round of the same mock draft.

Next: Projecting the Bears' Offensive Starting 11

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