The Chicago Bears have no clear plan as to what they plan to do with their number 20 overall selection in the upcoming NFL draft. What should be the basis of their game plan?
Go for a top-tier quarterback. If unable to trade up, take an offensive lineman.
What do I mean by a top-tier quarterback? I’m talking primarily about Justin Fields. Yes, the Ohio State product should be the target for the Bears if they are trying to trade up. Go big or go home.
“It’ll be Mac Jones,” said ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I believe that in the end, they will pick Mac Jones at three, that’ll be the pick, and they will keep Jimmy Garoppolo this year.”
Subsequently, if the NFL draft order ends up going — Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones… the Bears should try to swoop in at the Atlanta Falcons’ number 4 position in the draft to take Justin Fields. Or, if Fields is unavailable, try their luck on Wilson.
Justin Fields out here launching missiles at OSU 2nd pro day ? @justnfields
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) April 14, 2021
What about Trey Lance? What if Mac Jones falls?
The problem for the Bears with these two quarterbacks is they do not possess the developmental system as an organization to build a project quarterback into a top-tier NFL quarterback. Just take the latest sample, Mitchell Trubisky, to see that clearly, the Bears were unable to make him into an efficient NFL quarterback.
“That’s why the Atlanta Falcons would be the ideal spot for Trey Lance,” said Mel Kiper on QB Film Room on ESPN plus. Kiper explained that because Lance needs development as a quarterback, particularly as a commander on the field and with his decision-making, sitting behind Matt Ryan would be ideal.
The same goes for Mac Jones. Jones’s inabilities come with his athleticism and some decision-making errors. For the 49ers, they have Jimmy Garrapolo, a quarterback who like Matt Ryan has been to the Super Bowl and has plenty of experience.
Now, the Bears are staring at a possible repeat in history when they look at Mac Jones and Trey Lance in this draft. Two guys who need time and development to become great quarterbacks — neither of the two with which the Bears have to work.
Who should they take at the offensive line?
Let’s talk about the current state of the offensive line before we get into the prospects. The Bears, last season, allowed 36 sacks (16th in the NFL) and a 6.2 percent sack rate (15th in the NFL). In 2019, the Bears allowed 45 sacks (20th in the NFL) and a 7.3 percent sack rate (21st in the NFL).
Luckily for the Bears, last season, undrafted free agents Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher stepped up at the right guard and center positions, respectively. The problem this year around is filling the left tackle and interior line for the next season.
For the first round, the Bears should go after Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-5 and 322-pound tackle is notably one of the most gifted offensive linemen in the draft.
“He has the initial quickness and smooth agility to get to any and all blocks in the run game,” said NFL analyst Lance Zierlein in Darrisaw’s scouting report.
His ability to run-block, as well as pass-protect, a bonus for the Bears considering the Bears alarmingly was ranked 25th in line-adjusted rushing yards and 29th in stuffed percentage. The Bears could use some help with rushing the ball as well as protecting the passer.
Christian Darrisaw: Highest-graded power five pass-blocker in the NFL Draft (94.5) pic.twitter.com/hg8iJgijNa
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 13, 2021
If Darrisaw is unavailable, the Bears should try Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC. Vera-Tucker is 6-foot-4 and 308 pounds. He is not as athletically gifted as Darrisaw, but he has an excellent IQ.
According to Zierlien in his scouting report, “(He) displays his recovery talent when he’s cross-faced.” His praise of Vera-Tucker as having a high IQ is an attractive quality for an interior lineman.
Okay, but the Bears still need a quarterback? Who should they take?
Kellen Mond and Kyle Trask are the best quarterback options for the Bears if they go offensive line in the first round of the draft.
According to NFL analyst Cynthia Frelund, “His (Mond) pain points mostly overlap with areas that happen to be strengths of Matt Nagy’s playbook, areas where the coach has a strong track record of teaching and inducing improvement.”
Mond may be the best option for the Bears at this stage in the draft, also because he could fall as far as the third round of the draft, leaving the Bears another space to select an offensive line or safety in the second round.
Kyle Trask is the other option for the Bears to take in the second round of the draft, and to be honest, he’s not a bad one, statistically. Trask last season threw for 4,283 yards, 43 touchdowns (most in NCAA), and eight interceptions. He also recorded the sixth-best passer rating in the NCAA.
Trask was written off profoundly after the Florida Gators lost their last three games of the season. Admittedly, Trask was underwhelming in each of them. In the Cotton Bowl, he threw his first touchdown-less game of the season and recorded three interceptions.
Without going into great detail, Trask is undoubtedly a project, but he provides great value for a second-round draft pick. He is a worthwhile selection for a former Heisman Trophy candidate.