By Bryan Dietzler
Some of the people who have read my previous articles have seen me cover just about all of the top quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft. I have done features on DeShaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and Patrick Mahomes. I have skipped Mitch Trubisky because he just doesn’t have the experience and is kind of a “scary” prospect. But, in my next article, I will give him his due.
If you have been watching or reading what football experts are saying, you may have seen that some think that the Bears could take a quarterback at number three. But then they also say that there is not a single quarterback in this year’s draft is worth taking at the third spot. And they are right. For the value, no single quarterback in this year’s draft is worth the third overall selection.
It can be said that taking a quarterback there would be a reach. But, teams have been known to go out of their way to draft a player they think could be great. And the Bears just might do that.
A good quarterback will be the target of several teams in this draft. The San Francisco 49ers, the New York Jets, the Cleveland Browns and several other teams could use some help at quarterback. Two quarterback-needy teams pick ahead of the Bears so that means that there is a chance two of the top guys could be gone. It’s a small chance but it’s still a possibility.
When considering what might happen before the Bears pick again after the first round (36th in the second round) Chicago may decide to try to “reach” and get one of the top signal callers. If they choose to take one at number three, they are making a big mistake.
There are three things that could happen. The first is that teams will “freak out” and take one of the top quarterbacks way too early. They think these players will be gone before they get another crack at them. This happens a lot in any NFL draft and this is also known as “reaching”. Some teams may reach too far and end up getting burned.
The second thing that could happen is that the Bears could pick a non-quarterback then hope that their target quarterback is there in the second round. Then, their target player suddenly gets picked earlier than they thought “stunning” them. It’s a gamble and gambling is a big part of the draft.
Finally, the third thing that could happen is that the Bears could trade some of their draft picks and get back into the first round. Doing that, they could grab a guy they want. In this scenario, they would feel that their “guy” wouldn’t be around at number 36. So they will get scared and trade picks away to get him. This “mortgaging the future” on one player hasn’t been done much by the Bears in their history. Maybe this the draft to take that chance in?
Chicago has been heavily connected to Clemson’s DeShaun Watson. He has worked out for them, they attended his pro day and rumors abound that he is “their guy”. But at number three? No way.
But would Watson make it to the 36th pick in the draft? Some say yes while others feel he is going to go somewhere just after the 15th pick overall. Its likely Chicago would have to trade down to get him in the ideal spot. That involves “mortgaging the future” which we discussed before.
The ideal scenario for the Bears would be to get a good quarterback in the second round. If they miss out on any of the four top guys before that there are a couple other options. The choices, however, are slim. Ideally, if they miss out on one of the top four quarterbacks, they should wait until next year to get a future franchise quarterback.
This writer hopes that fear doesn’t grip the Bears and they take a quarterback too early. There are other needs that the Bears could use their third pick on. But then, some teams have found success drafting quarterbacks in that third spot. There have been guys like Matt Ryan and Steve McNair both successful third players picks in a draft. But then you have those failed number three picks like Akili Smith and Joey Harrington.
Honestly, it’s a crap shoot. You roll the dice with the player that you get and hope for the best. At times, it’s hard to predict how a player is actually going to perform once the football “bullets” start flying. Other times, it is easy. There are plenty of players with red flags and reasons to avoid them. Sometimes your choice is easy, sometimes it isn’t.
Ultimately, the best choice for Chicago is to go with the best player available. Lots of teams do this and they find success with that approach. Quite frankly, with the best players’ available being guys like Jamal Adams, Marshon Lattimore, and Jonathan Allen, the Bears could not go wrong. Where they could go wrong is if they reached for someone who didn’t belong at number three.
My best advice to the Bears is to grab one of the top guys that are available. They can’t go wrong. Trying to get one of the best quarterbacks that early would be crazy. If they can get one later then that’s what they need to do.
Or maybe the Bears need to wait a year and draft a quarterback in 2018? The crop of quarterbacks next year is going to be much better than it is this year. With big names like Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph and Washington State’s Luke Falk, the Bears could have better opportunity to find a future starter. Sure, they need to start winning now but they need to start winning the right way. They cannot put their future in the hands of someone who has the potential to bust.
Remember Cade McNown?
So my advice for the Bears is to avoid a quarterback until after the first round. If you miss out on the guy you want then wait until next year. Don’t waste a pick on a player is a reach or not a good fit. In fact, if there is any chance he might not work out, in your mind, don’t take him.
And do not take a quarterback unless it’s the right place to take one.
What do you think? Should the Bears take a quarterback at number three? Where should they draft a quarterback?