As you take in the Seahawks-Falcons NFC Divisional Round match-up this afternoon, use the commercial breaks to peruse the latest Big Board from Mel Kiper at ESPN, ranking the top NFL Draft prospects after the college bowl season wrapped up.
Defensive lineman Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) and Jonathan Allen (Alabama) take the top two spots, with LSU running back Leonard Fournette sliding into the third spot.
You can and should peruse the whole list here, but what struck me as particularly interesting is the fact that only one quarterback shows up in the top 25, and it’s UNC’s Mitch Trubisky at number 16, to whom the Bears have previously been connected.
As we’ve discussed, the Bears have an obvious long-term need at quarterback, and this draft will feature no fewer than three plausible options for the Bears at number three overall, if they decide to go for a quarterback: Trubisky, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. But, for Kiper, for now, none of the three merit a top three (or even top 15) ranking.
Contrast Kiper’s position on the quarterback trio with the latest mock draft at CBS, which features Trubisky going number two to the 49ers, Watson going number six to the Jets, and Kizer going number thirteen to the Cardinals. (The Bears, in this mock, wind up with Allen – quarterback needs notwithstanding, it would be hard to complain about that.)
The Bears, of course, do not have to shoot for a franchise quarterback with their first round pick (there are needs in the secondary and on the offensive line, too), but, given the trio of available arms and the clear need, it’s going to be a matter of a great deal of discussion in advance of the draft beginning on April 27.