After three teams traded up to select quarterbacks in last year’s draft, the Chicago Bears are hoping others feel the itch to move ahead of them to find their future signal caller.
GM Ryan Pace is already on record hoping at least three quarterbacks are off the board before his team goes on the clock with the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. And as fate would have it, two recent mock drafts have that exact scenario playing out. HOWEVER, the latest mocks at NFL.com from Chad Reuter and Charley Casserly have the Bears going in two totally different directions when it’s time for a decision.
Reuter has five quarterbacks going in the top-10 – including three in the first seven picks. But instead of the Bears picking the best player available, he has the team trading with the Saints to get out of the No. 8 pick. From there, New Orleans would select Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. Casserly has the Bears taking a different approach when three quarterbacks are taken in the first five picks. In what is a more sensible mock compared to the wild wheelin’ and dealin’ happening in Reuter’s world, Casserly keeps Chicago staying put and selecting Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.
The one thing both mock drafts have in common is the Buffalo Bills trading up from No. 12 to take a quarterback in the top-10. Reuter has the Bills moving to No. 9 to take Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, while Casserly projects a trade with the Denver Broncos to pick Wyoming’s Josh Allen. So maybe there is something there with the Bills maneuvering to get their guy. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for that possibility. But beyond that, the similarities are few and far between.
Last week, Reuter discussed the possibility of the Saints pushing the envelope with a draft day shocker with the Bears being a potential trading partner. And for what it’s worth, Pace said the team was open to moving up or down if the right situation presented itself. From where I stand, I don’t believe Reuter’s draft day scenario represents the right situation for Chicago to trade down.
Reuter’s mock is a five-round behemoth that has the Bears using their first-round pick on Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey and second-rounder on Georgia guard/tackle Isaiah Wynn. McGlinchey was a consensus All-American left tackle in 2017 for the Fighting Irish, while Wynn was first-team All-SEC and a second-team AP All-American for the Bulldogs. With their newfound third-round pick, Reuter has the Bears taking Ohio State’s Jalyn Holmes, who projects to be a 3-4 defensive end. To round out Reuter’s five-round mock, the Bears take Clemson receiver Deon Cain and Rutgers edge rusher Kemoko Turay with their fourth-round picks, then Western Michigan cornerback Darius Phillips in Round 5.
These are all noteworthy picks for their own reasons, but trading back with the Saints would remove the Bears from landing several top-tier prospects who grade out at or near the top of their respective position groups. This group includes Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Ward – among others. Not only are these some of the most highly regarded prospects of this class, each has been connected to Chicago during mock draft season at one time or another. Adding draft capital is good, but shouldn’t drafting impact talent be the goal of a team hoping it’s not picking in the top-10 for a while after this season?
I suppose that’s a question the Bears will be weighing between now and the time they officially go on the clock.