One year after pulling of a surprising trade to take a quarterback, one analyst projects the Bears facilitating a deal that would help another team do the same in a move that could land Chicago a total of four picks in the first two rounds.
Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com projects a shocking trade between the Bears and the New England Patriots in which Chicago receives both of New England’s first-round picks (23rd and 31st overall) and the team’s second-rounder (63rd overall) in exchange for the No. 8 pick. It is one of four trades that Dunleavy projects to go down in a wild first round.
Dunleavy cites reports that Bill Belichick has eyes for either Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield and uses the two first-round picks (one of which was recently acquired from the Los Angeles Rams) to tempt a team into trading back. In this scenario, the Bears are an ideal trading partner for the Patriots. The two sides have worked on deals before (remember the Martellus Bennett trade?) and scrimmaged against each other a few years ago. It’s an outside-the-box idea, but the prior working relationship makes it easier to envision than other trade-back situations.
So what would the Bears do with all these picks? Let’s dive in:
- 23rd overall: OL Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
- 31st overall: CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
- 39th overall: EDGE Arden Key, LSU
- 63rd overall: WR Simmie Cobbs Jr., Indiana
The idea of the Bears drafting three first-round caliber talents in the first 39 picks makes the concept of trading out of the top-10 easier to swallow.
Wynn is a fast-rising offensive lineman from Georgia who started at guard and tackle during his college career after starting his career competing for a job as the team’s starting center. As the team’s starting left tackle in 2017, Wynn earned first-team All-SEC honors and a place on the Associated Press’ second-team All-American squad. He could easily slide right in to the left guard spot that opened up after Josh Sitton’s departure.
Jackson has been mocked in the top-10 before, but a slower-than-expected 40 time at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis has dinged his draft value. Even though Jackson was just a one-year starter at Iowa, he made the most of it as he earned unanimous All-American honors, walked away with the Jack Tatum Award (which goes to college football’s best defensive back), was chosen as the Big Ten’s Defensive Back of the Year, and was named first-team All-Big Ten. That’s a heck of a career for other college defenders, so for Jackson to do it all in one year is all the more impressive.
Key was projected to be a top-10 pick in 2018 before the last college football season started, but he was slow out of the gate and struggled to find the consistency he needed to earn that type of recognition. Off-the-field concerns could lead to Key’s draft stock plummeting out of the first round altogether. And if that’s the case, the Bears could provide a soft landing for one of the draft’s most talented pass rushers.
Cobbs might be something of a reach in the second round, but his stock could be on the rise. His frame (6-3, 220), ability to use his body to shield smaller defensive backs while high-pointing the football, and the fact he isn’t blessed with blazing speed might remind some Bears fans of Alshon Jeffery on the rise. It’s possible that’s how this front office views Cobbs, who was an All-State performer when he was a high school senior in Illinois and teammates with running back Jordan Howard while at Indiana.
This mock draft feels like it would be a dream scenario for the Bears, who used their draft capital in 2017 to take the best quarterback on their board and can use the 2018 draft to build a competitive team around him.