Chicago Bears Draft: This quarterback is worth a late-round gamble

Chicago Bears (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Given the uncertainty at the quarterback position for the Chicago Bears, it would be wise if they took a quarterback. Iowa’s Nate Stanley is a good fit.

All signs are pointing towards the Chicago Bears electing not to pick up quarterback Mitchell Trubisky‘s fifth-year option in 2021. After a promising 2018 season, the former number two overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft regressed considerably last year. He’s set to earn $9.3 million in 2020, but a fifth-year option would cost the Bears nearly $24 million.

As a measure to, at the very least, put some pressure on Trubisky to perform, the Chicago Bears acquired former Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles, for a compensatory fourth-round draft pick. The details have surfaced regarding Foles’ contract, and it appears that performance incentives – unknown at this time – can allow him to opt-out after this year.

On Friday, Ryan Pace indicated that the QB job would be an “open competition,” and while it’s unknown what that exactly looks like, it’s fair to say that Foles is going to get a legitimate shot at earning the starting gig. The Bears brought back Tyler Bray, who has spent the last couple of seasons on the practice squad, and I don’t expect him to have a much larger capacity than just that.

In regards to Trubisky, I do expect that it’s his job to lose at this point – confirmed by Pace on Friday – but assuming Foles can earn a considerable amount of playing time, it’s fair to say that he could meet those performance incentives.

That said, I think the Bears utilize their first two picks in the NFL Draft addressing the offensive line and either running back, cornerback, or safety. Shifting to the fifth round, there’s a reasonable assumption that Pace could roll the dice on a quarterback to add to the mix.

Nate Stanley had a heck of a career at Iowa. He was handed the reins to Kirk Ferentz’s offense as a sophomore and never looked back. Twice he tied Chuck Long‘s school record for most touchdown passes in a season (26), and he finished second all-time in passing touchdowns with 68.

At 6-foot-4, 243 pounds, Stanley has the prototypical size of an NFL quarterback and has drawn comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger. As an Iowa alum, I had the pleasure of watching every one of his starts. He has a huge arm and knows how to command an offense. He helped Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson become first-round draft picks in the 2018 NFL Draft.

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That said, Stanley was also frustrating at times to watch, often staring down receivers and lacking the ideal touch on deep passes. His production dipped last year without his stud tight ends but still passed for nearly 3,000 yards.

What would you think about adding Stanley to the Bears’ quarterback room?