The Chicago Bears find themselves with the 20th-overall draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The problem is, if NFL analysts’ predictions are correct, then the Chicago Bears will struggle to land a top-five quarterback if they stay put at 20.
Most rankings have Trevor Lawrence as the top quarterback in the 2021 draft class. After Lawrence, analysts typically have Justin Fields and Zach Wilson, not necessarily in that order, as their number two and three quarterbacks. These three quarterbacks are predicted to be drafted in the top five.
If this truly happens, that only leaves Mac Jones and Trey Lance as possible, truly first-round talents. Could one of the two drop all the way down to 20th overall? History says yes, but there is an unprecedented amount of teams needing a new quarterback this offseason.
Within just the top-five picks, the Jaguars, Jets, and Falcons could all be in the need of a new quarterback. Some recent rumors have the Jets stating they will stick with Sam Darnold and trade the second-round pick for what they expect to be a haul. The Falcons could bypass a quarterback too as Matt Ryan is going to cost them a large amount of money and are not in a position to cut him and absorb his dead cap hit. They too could be a team to trade back.
Just outside the top-five is the Philadelphia Eagles who just traded Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts. Will the Eagles stick with Jalen Hurts or will they take a quarterback at sixth-overall to compete for the starting spot in 2021? Remember, they have a new coach and the new coach might not be on board with Hurts.
Carolina definitely wants a new quarterback. They no longer believe in Teddy Bridgewater it seems and are all in on trading for Deshaun Watson. This may not happen, but with the eighth pick in the draft, Carolina is either going to draft a quarterback or trade the pick to Houston who will also be taking a quarterback. If you are keeping count, we are now at five teams that could potentially take a quarterback within the first 10 picks.
The Denver Broncos are sitting at ninth-overall and they too could look to take a quarterback should one fall. Drew Lock is not a lock (pun intended) to be the Broncos starter in 2021. Other teams ahead of the Chicago Bears that could be interested in a quarterback could include any of the following: Lions, 49ers, Vikings, Patriots and Washington. That makes 11 teams ahead of the Bears that could be interested in a quarterback.
How many spots can the Chicago Bears move up in a draft-day trade?
With 11 potential teams ahead of the Bears and only five quarterbacks that some believe are first-round talents (some only have three to four of the prospects as first-round grades), this does not leave a lot of room for the Bears to land one. Should Trey Lance or Mac Jones fall, Ryan Pace must consider drafting one or moving up if one comes close to 20th-overall.
With so many other teams ahead of the Chicago Bears, moving for a quarterback is probably not likely. The team is better off staying put and taking a top offensive tackle instead. This might not make every fan happy, but it is the best long-term solution. Pace and Matt Nagy don’t have long though and could get desperate. Realistically, based on prior-year trades, the Bears could reach as high as the eighth pick in the draft, but it will require sending a significant amount of draft capital.
More on that to come soon.