The Chicago Bears would be wise to trade down for a variety of reasons. It just so happens the best case scenario for the Bears also aligns with their position in the draft.
The Chicago Bears are in a great spot to trade down in the upcoming NFL Draft. The reason for that is quarterback uncertainty. If the Bears are wise, they can use that uncertainty to exploit another team’s desire for a specific player.
The Value of Quarterbacks
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Success in the NFL is almost always linked to QB success. Bears’ fans should know this all too well by now. The 2017 NFL Draft has three upper-echelon QBs before a large drop off in talent occurs. Deshaun Watson of Clemson, Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina, and DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame all have their advocates and detractors, but they are clearly the top three in the draft.
To the Bears’ advantage, there isn’t a consensus. That means a team hoping for their favorite guy to fall might get a little nervous and want to strike a deal.
Several Teams Need a Quarterback
There are multiple teams that draft just after the Bears that could take a QB with their pick.
- Jacksonville fans may not be happy about the idea, but they are in the market for a QB with the #4 pick. Their executive VP of football operations (Tom Coughlin) recently created a buzz when he all but said the Jaguars were not happy with incumbent starter Blake Bortles. Bortles has thrown just as many pick-6 INTs in his career as he has wins, so it’s obvious why Coughlin might have that opinion.
- The Jets sit at #6 in the NFL Draft, and they don’t appear to have any urgency about pursuing a legit, starting QB in free agency after dumping Ryan Fitzpatrick. That could mean they really love Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty as this year’s starter. But that is unlikely. After letting Josh McCown walk away over the weekend, and without a contract in hand, they appear to be leaning heavily towards drafting a QB.
- The Buffalo Bills basically took $10M off Tyrod Taylor’s table, and proved they don’t see him as the franchise QB. It wouldn’t be shocking at all for them to use the #10 pick on a future, franchise QB who would sit behind Taylor for one year.
- The Browns hold the #12 pick, and it would not be a surprise if they are thinking QB. Just about everyone agrees that Myles Garrett is a slam dunk pick at the #1 position, and, barring a trade up, that means Cleveland fans will be biting their collective fingernails for a QB to fall. It’s not like anyone has confidence in Brock Osweiler at this point.
As the saying goes, Father Time is undefeated. Better training, diet, and preparation of today’s quarterbacks may mean extended playing age, but it doesn’t mean immortality. There are several teams who having stars nearing the 40-year old ceiling, and they need to prepare for the future.
- The Chargers have the #7 pick, and there have been rumblings about finding an eventual successor to their 35-year old QB, Philip Rivers. New head coach Anthony Lynn may just want to find “his guy” in the draft, like new coaches often do.
- The Saints hold the #11 pick, and Drew Brees doesn’t appear to be showing any sign of aging at 38. He’s only two years away from 40, however, and now would be a good time to stash an apprentice QB for Brees to mentor.
- The Cardinals sit at #13, and Bruce Arians likes this year’s QB class. Including the parents of the three top QBs, that makes seven people. Nonetheless, a team like the Cardinals has to be looking at QB since Carson Palmer is 37 and their lineup appears to be ripe for an overhaul.
- “Geno Smith to the Giants” scares nobody in future years. With Eli Manning’s 36 years and propensity for interceptions, the Giants have to be thinking about a QB of the future.
- Tom Brady may be pulling a bizarro-world Danny Almonte on everyone, but it it’s more likely he doesn’t have many years left as a NFL QB. It wouldn’t be shocking for the Patriots to snag a QB late in the first. They are willing to deal backups, and teams hoping for a QB to fall to the second should worry about the Patriots.
The Bears have several holes to fill before they’re good. About half the league would like to improve their QB status. It’s very likely the Bears will have first crack at the 2017 QB class, and that makes their position in the draft perfect for trade partners. They should leverage their advantageous position, and put out QB smokescreens. Make teams believe a QB is the selection, and use that to work for a trade in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.