Chicago Bears: History brings more questions than answers at quarterback

Chicago Bears (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears have been one of the worst teams at evaluating quarterbacks throughout history.

Looking at the recent history of quarterbacks that have been long term starters for the Chicago Bears we have seen Mitch Trubisky, Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton, Rex Grossman, Jim McMahon. Lesser stints have shown Chase Daniel, Mike GlennonBrian Hoyer, Jimmy Clausen, Josh McCown, Jason CampbellCaleb Hanie, Brian Griese, Chad Hutchinson, Craig Krenzel, Kordell Stewart, Chris Chandler, Jim Miller, and more. Is the issue the evaluations or something different?

This issue is long term and goes way beyond Ryan Pace. However, is the quarterback the reason the Bears have been inconsistent? It feels like the Green Bay Packers always have found Hall of Fame quarterbacks or solid long term prospects that have worked out on other NFL teams.

Teams like the New England Patriots have found guys like Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady, and Jimmy Garoppolo. The Colts found themselves a star in the making after not keeping future hall of fame QB Peyton Manning in Andrew Luck. Again, is quarterback that important?

With Luck, the Colts had a 53-33 win/loss record. They made the playoffs every year but one when Luck was fully healthy. Yet, the Colts never made a trip to the Superbowl. So the question remains, how important is it that a team needs a top tier quarterback?

Does solving the quarterback situation that has plagued the Chicago Bears for so long solve the main issue? I mean even Rex Grossman made a Superbowl. Jay Cutler played in Chicago for eight years and made the playoffs only once. In three seasons, Cutler found himself not playing in 15 games. What would have happened had he played?

One main factor that could be the reason why the Chicago Bears have struggled to find a top quarterback is that the team has hardly prioritized the quarterback position early in the NFL Draft.

Before the Ryan Pace (34-46) and the Phil Emery (23-25) eras, Jerry Angelo (95-81) was always bringing in quarterbacks. He too found that he had the same poor luck of not hitting big at the quarterback position.

Mark Hatley (19-45) and Bill Tobin (56-39) have brought in the most quarterbacks via the draft than any of the other recent general manager. I am showing their record to reflect that it is very up in the air if bringing in more quarterbacks matters. Bill Tobin had a solid record while bringing in around the same amount of quarterbacks via the draft as Mark Hatley who had a horrible record. Is there really causation in play here or just correlation?

Does this mean the Chicago Bears do not know how to draft quarterbacks? The team has brought in12 since 1990. In comparison, the Green Bay Packers have brought in 15 during that same span. Both teams only have two left still playing. Mitch Trubisky, David Fales, Brett Hundley, and Aaron Rodgers.

This tells me that the draft seems to become a bit of luck. If you look back at history grabbing a quarterback in the first round does not guarantee success. There were 30 quarterbacks drafted in the first round from 2010 until now. Nine are already out of the league and another five are backups. That is not including Cam Newton or Jameis Winston.

If we extend the search to 2004 and roll it up to 2009 we have 17 first-round quarterbacks drafted. Eight of them are still playing and that includes Alex Smith and Joe Flacco. Of the nine that are no longer playing, only Mark Sanchez and Jay Cutler finished with 10 or more years in the NFL.

From 1991 to now there were 31 quarterbacks drafted in the second round. Nine are still playing. Of those 31 quarterbacks, only Brett Favre was inducted into the Hall of Fame and Drew Brees should quickly follow. Andy Dalton, Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo have been seen as long term starters. Pending debate, Colin Kaepernick was another consistent starter before tainting his own career in various ways.

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So the question is still out there? Can the Chicago Bears evaluate quarterbacks? Do they draft enough every year? Is it just bad luck? Should teams grab first-round quarterbacks even if they have shown limited success? It seems we have many more questions than answers. Luckily most other teams struggle with the same questions.