With the Senior Bowl over and the combine a couple weeks away, it seems like a good time for my second Chicago Bears seven-round mock. You can check out my first mock here, but with prospect projections changing so quickly this time of year, it’s already obsolete.
With that being said, keep in mind that there will be even more changes in prospect status over the next two months. Free agency, the combine, and pro days, all have a massive impact on both team needs and what round a player is projected to be drafted in.
In order to keep a semi-realistic baseline of who is available in each round, I take an average of mock draft positions from about ten draft sites. That keeps me from reaching too far for a player that I hope is available for the Bears in a certain round. At the end of the day, I’m still a die-hard Bears fan.
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I normally don’t include trades in my mocks due to the fact that they are even more unpredictable than draft positions, but as we get closer to draft day I think it’s becoming more likely that the Bears make a deal for a quarterback involving at least one of their 2017 draft picks.
Rumors are also popping up on a regular basis about the Bears targeting Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Despite plenty of dissenting opinions, it makes sense as the Bears need a quarterback badly and neither the draft nor free agency has any sure-thing options.
It’s next to impossible to know what the Patriots are asking for in a Garoppolo trade, with rumors ranging from just a 2018 second rounder and one of the Bears 2017 fourth rounders to a straight up swap for the third overall pick, to the Bears giving up their first rounder this year plus multiple other 2017 picks (please no!). I used one of the standard trade value charts to come up with what I thought is a fair-ish deal. Read more below for the details of my mock trade.
Let me know what you think of the trade and my picks in the comments section or on Twitter (@MikeFlannery_)
Bears Seven-Round Mock Draft
Round 1: Trade
"The Bears trade their first round pick in the 2017 draft (#3) and a conditional 2018 pick to the Patriots for QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the Pats first round pick (#32) in 2017. The conditional pick would be anywhere from the second to the fourth round in 2018 depending on how Garoppolo plays for the Bears this season."
I think the cost of a Garoppolo deal will end up near the low end of current rumors due to the fact that Garoppolo only has one year left on his contract, so the team that acquires him will need to sign him to an expensive multi-year deal before seeing him on the field. That’s a risky investment to make for a guy with around 100 NFL snaps.
While there are two first-round picks involved in the deal, their values are vastly different. According to most of the trade value charts, the difference in value between the number three pick and number 32 is equivalent to the value of the sixth overall pick.
That’s a high price to pay for an untested quarterback… but if he stabilizes the position for the Bears, then it’s worth the cost. Also giving up a 2018 2nd rounder will be much less painful if the quarterback position is no longer a question mark in Chicago (for the first time in forever).
The cost of trading for Garoppolo is steep and the risk is high, but the risk is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Ryan Pace has had more exposure Garoppolo than most teams. The Bears and Pats held a three-day joint practice last preseason and Pace reportedly had a long meeting with Garoppolo after one of the practices. Pace and Garoppolo are also both alumni of Eastern Illinois, so it is probable that Pace has been watching Garoppolo closely for a long time.
Making a deal with Bill Belichick and the Patriots is an intimidating proposition, but if Pace is going to be the long-term GM of the Bears he will need to take some chances and prove he’s got what it takes to compete with the league’s savvier GMs. This deal could make or break Pace’s chances of a long-term job in Chicago.