Up, Down or Stay? Should Chicago Bears trade their pick?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

With a strong quarterback class in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Bears are in a prime position to trade down and acquire extra picks.

At this point, it doesn’t seem like the Bears will trade up, unless they believe there is truly a game-changer available. Not doing anything at all is also an option the Bears could take, considering how the rest of the top ten looks as of right now. In the NFL, if you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t win. It’s just the reality of the game. Luckily, the Bears addressed their quarterback woes last year by trading up for Mitchell Trubisky. Now, heading into 2018, Chicago no longer has the burden of trying to get a quarterback, like so many other teams, do. With that in mind, the Bears could do one of three things: Trade Up, down, or stay. I’ll be making a case for each one of those.

Before we go any further here’s a quick recap of the Bears-49ers trade on draft night in 2017.

Bears get: 2nd overall pick (2017)

49ers get: 3rd overall pick (2017), 4th round pick (2017), 3rd round draft pick (2018)

In short, the Bears essentially swapped their 2017 first-round pick with the 49ers, while only giving up two mid-round picks.

Trade Down

It’s fair to wonder if the Bears will be looking to trade down to accumulate extra mid-round picks be it in 2018 or 2019. With four quarterbacks that might come off the board with the first eight picks, the Bears could choose to strike a deal with a team like the Arizona Cardinals (15th overall) or the Los Angeles Chargers (17th overall). Both teams have needs for the quarterback position and could possibly be interested in jumping up to 8th overall and getting in on the chance to get a guy like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, or Josh Rosen.

With Carson Palmer officially having retired, it’s no secret that the Cardinals are in the market for a quarterback. Whether the front office in Arizona decided to address this hole via free agency, the draft, or both, the Bears would represent an ideal trade partner. A deal would work for both sides as the Bears would like to accumulate more picks, while the Cardinals get a chance to sneak into the top ten and get their hands on a quarterback, in a draft where four could likely go within the top ten. The Chargers, on the other hand, are a completely different story. Even though Philip Rivers is in the twilight years of his career, the team may choose not to take a quarterback in the first round. At this point, the likelihood of the Bears trading down is something that is merely an idea rather than something that the team could actually do.

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Trade Up

Over the last few years, Ryan Pace has shown that he’s no stranger when it comes to trading up. Pace traded up to get Leonard Floyd in 2016 and then Mitchell Trubisky in 2017. This year, things are different.  The Bears could choose to move up, however, four of the seven teams that pick ahead of the Bears will likely want a quarterback. Due to this, the Bears could see someone like Minkah Fitzpatrick fall into their laps. However, if the Bears believe that a team like the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or New York Jets are going to draft a prospect that the Bears really like, then there’s no doubt that Ryan Pace will jump up a few spots.

Another thing that is worth noting is that the Bears draft plans will be impacted by what happens in free agency and any other roster moves that the front office decides to make. Say, for example, the Bears cannot resign Prince Amukamara but do resign Kyle Fuller. Immediately, the Bears would have a massive need in the secondary and would need to find someone to play opposite Fuller. Maybe the Bears brass decides that Alabama Defensive Back Minkah Fitzpatrick is that guy this team needs. At this point, too many questions surround the Bears when it comes to trading up. Is it worth it? Can the Bears really afford to move up and sacrifice draft picks in both 2018 and possibly 2019? If the Bears are to move up, then what will the teams’ plan be when it comes to picking in the later rounds? These are just a few of the potential handful of questions that the front office will have to answer.

Stay at #8

The easiest thing the Bears can do when the NFL Draft officially commences come April is stay with the eight overall pick. Recall that Pace did the same back in 2015 when the Bears were picking seventh overall. What’s so intriguing about not moving up or down this year, is that the Bears could have their way with a strong quarterback class. Essentially, the Bears could end up with the player they covet without giving up anything. At #8, there could be plenty of options that the Bears could pick from. From Quenton Nelson to Connor Williams or even Calvin Ridley, Chicago could land someone they want and not have to give anything up, while also potentially grabbing a player that another team wants. As of right now, it seems as if the Bears deciding to just stay with the 8th overall pick is the best thing the team could do.


Before making a final decision, the Bears will need to extensively evaluate all options. The goal should not be to only find the best player available but to also draft a player who can immediately help the Bears and be a plug-and-play player day get. Ryan Pace has shown that he’s willing to be aggressive in his draft approach, by getting the best value and the best player available. While things will change between now and April, the Bears could trade up, down, or just sit still with the eighth overall pick and still land a difference maker.