While discussing some of the Bears available options with the No. 8 overall pick in the upcoming draft, I highlighted the makings of an important trend to keep an eye on as the draft approaches.
Here’s what I had to say at the time:
“If you’re looking for a Bears draft-related trend, here’s one: Chicago has traded up in the first-round in each of the last two years to take a player they really want.”
With that in mind, we wondered: Could the Bears make it a three-peat in 2018? It appears as if GM Ryan Pace isn’t going to rule it out: “Over the next couple of weeks, those will be things, those will be scenarios we go over,” Pace said, via 670 The Score. “We’ll go over what players would we consider trading up for? And what is it going to require for us to do that? And then if we want to go back, who’s going to be in those clouds as we go back and what would be the draft capital that we want to obtain if we did that? So we’ll examine all that.”
To summarize, Pace is willing to roll the dice again and move up in the draft for the right kind of player … but would also trade down and out of the eighth spot in order to pick up some valuable draft capital if the right situation came around to the team. Or, you know, the team could stand pat and do nothing.
OK, so basically the Bears’ GM used a lot of words to say nothing. But we could use his non-answer as a platform to discuss the possibilities of trading around in the draft.
As noted above, the Bears have traded up to take a player they really wanted in both 2016 (Leonard Floyd) and 2017 (Mitch Trubisky). When Chicago traded up in 2016, they made a move into the top-10 to take the first outside linebacker in the draft and arguably the second-best edge defender college prospect. A year later, the Bears moved up to take the first quarterback, someone with a case for being the best prospect in his class. Therefore, if Pace is going to do it again, trends suggest he’ll do so to take the top-rated player at a high-impact position that has scarcity and possibly a lack of depth.
Perhaps that player would be North Carolina State pass-rushing prospect Bradley Chubb, with whom the Bears have reportedly met last week.
After Chubb, there seems to be a distinct drop-off in sure-fire talent. UTSA’s Marcus Davenport, Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard, and LSU’s Arden Key are other options at the position, but none of those prospects have the combination of size, power, and skill Chubb possesses. Davenport is a fringe top-10 candidate, but will likely slide to the middle of the first round. Meanwhile, Hubbard and Key are expected to be drafted either late in the first round or early in the second.
As we mentioned in a look at the latest mocks, Will Brinson of CBS Sports offered up the possibility of the Bears dealing with the Indianapolis Colts in order to move up to draft Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson. While Nelson is the top offensive line prospect in the draft, a bevy of recent mocks suggest Chicago won’t need to move out of the No. 8 spot to take him.
In the end, trading down still seems like a more realistic scenario for the Bears, if movement is to occur at all. They don’t have a third-round pick in the upcoming draft and have the sixth-fewest players signed to the roster. Moving down a few spots and piling up some additional picks could truly help the Bears add some much-needed depth and round out their roster.