The Bears need at least one new quarterback in 2017, but it might make sense for them to grab a development option as well. As of today, the Bears have just one quarterback on the roster, Jay Cutler, and it’s almost a certainty that he will be released in early March once the new NFL season begins.
Of the Bears quarterbacks who were on the roster at the end of the year, Matt Barkley, Brian Hoyer, Connor Shaw, and David Fales all free agents with none of them being a sure thing to return to Chicago in 2017. The Bears will almost definitely add a starting caliber quarterback be it through free agency, the draft, or trade, but with zero other quarterbacks on the roster right now it may make sense to add a development QB late.
Hopefully, that late pick quarterback develops into a solid backup or even better, a trade chip in a couple of years. If the Bears top choice at quarterback doesn’t pan out, a quarterback drafted late this year may even end up becoming a viable starting option eventually.
It’s not a particularly good draft at the quarterback position, but there are some intriguing late round options. I’ll break down the ones that may be available on day three of the draft that could interest the Bears and have the potential to develop into a useful NFL quarterback. They are listed in order of preference.
Day Three QB Targets
Davis Webb, California (6’5 | 223 | 4.87) – Took over for last year’s #1 overall pick, Jared Goff, as Cal’s quarterback. His numbers weren’t quite as good as Goff’s but were solid with a 62% completion rate, 4.295 yards, 37 touchdowns, and just 12 interceptions.
While Webb fell a little short of Goff’s stats last year, it was just his first season at Cal after transferring from Texas Texas. He’s also bigger, faster, and may have a better arm than Goff. Webb gets high marks for his smarts and work ethic from Cal coaches and was named a captain at both Texas Tech and in his only season at Berkeley.
Webb has ideal size and a big-time arm. He can make all the NFL throws with easy power and occasionally flashes elite touch and anticipation. He can progress through reads, uses his eyes well to fool defensive backs, and he’s not a statue in the pocket either with the ability to move around and keep plays alive.
The primary knock on Webb is whether he will be able to transition from Cal’s extreme spread scheme to an NFL offense. It’s a legitimate concern as we saw this year with Goff, who didn’t see the field until late in the season for a bad Rams team. Webb’s decision making is suspect at times as well, but it’s hard to complain too much about a 37 TD / 13 INT ratio.
I have Webb projected as a third rounder, but surprisingly most sites have him as a day-three pick. I’m not sure why, as his skill-set isn’t much different than Goffs. Webb has all the physical tools to be a quality NFL starter. It may take him a couple of years to get there as he adjusts to an NFL scheme, but Webb has the natural talent to be the best QB in this draft.