It won’t be easy, but Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace could be in a position to pull off a second draft-day surprise in as many years.
In Peter King’s latest offering at SI.com’s The MMQB, King explores the quarterback market and tries his hand at predicting at who goes where in free agency and the draft. And in doing so, paints the Bears as being in a good position to execute a blockbuster deal with a team that picks behind them in the draft.
King sees UCLA’s Josh Rosen as The Man for the Buffalo Bills. And why not? Rosen is a top-5 talent and a sure-fire top-10 pick. Unfortunately, Buffalo has the 21st and 22nd picks. By the time the Bills are on the clock, all of the top quarterback talent slated to go in the first-round is expected to be gone.
This is where the Bears could step in an offer a helping hand to a hard-on-their-luck Bills team.
King says he can see Chicago trading its eighth overall selection to Buffalo for the 21st and 22nd picks, as well as another pick in this draft or in 2019. As you can imagine, the Bears probably aren’t going to be the only team interested in making this kind of deal. King sees the Broncos (who pick fifth), as well as the Buccaneers, Raiders, and 49ers (who own the seventh, ninth, and 10th picks) to be in on this trade chatter.
Pace has moved up in the first round in two of the three years he has been in Chicago, but has traded down in the second round in each of the last two drafts. So it’s not like he’s totally against the idea of moving around, but it wouldn’t fit the M.O. Pace has established since taking over in 2015. Still, the idea of adding two first-round talents and possibly future draft assets would certainly be appetizing for a team with as many needs as the Bears have entering this offseason.
In case you’re curious, the Bears haven’t traded down in the first round since 2003. Chicago moved down twice in that draft before settling with the 14th and 22nd picks. So while those picks could have been used on players better than Penn State defensive lineman Michael Haynes and Florida quarterback Rex Grossman, the point remains there is value in moving down in the draft.