The order of the upcoming NFL Draft order didn’t receive clarity until the final games were played out, but two recent announcements have already started to shape the draft’s direction.
Indeed quarterbacks Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold have been projected as the top players at their position in the upcoming draft class for a while now, and both have now publicly declared: Rosen sent out a thank you note in his declaration via Twitter, while Darnold announced his intentions on Instagram.
Rosen and Darnold. Darnold and Rosen. No matter which goes first, both are expected to be taken at the top of the draft, which benefits the Chicago Bears.
With every quarterback that goes off the board before the Bears pick at No. 8, the number of position players (of which the Bears would have interest) who will be pushed down to Chicago increases. And since the Bears have needs at various positions on both sides of the ball, it will be hard to go wrong with whomever they choose eighth overall.
A prime example of this can be seen in Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz’s first mock draft at USA Today. In this mock, Darnold and Rosen go 1-2 to the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants, respectively. That pushes the top non-quarterback prospect (in this case, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley) to the third overall selection where he is snatched up by the Indianapolis Colts. The trickle-down effect continues with Oklahoma signal caller Baker Mayfield goes sixth overall to the New York Jets, but for our purposes, it ends with the Bears selecting Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley with the eighth pick (Michael: (extreme sarcasm font) Remind me, do the Bears need receivers?)
Of course, there’s another scenario wherein the Bears can use their position to coax a team into moving up in the draft to take a quarterback the front office is enamored with, but it’s less likely after the Bears’ draft position dropped to eighth. In either case, the fact remains: the more QBs projected to go early, the better for a Bears team that’s currently set at the position.