Unless Matt Nagy has a drastic change of heart, Mitch Trubisky is going to be the Bears’ starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
Chicago’s brain-trust is riding with the player chosen with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft because there’s a belief that — through all the nonsense and despite his shortcomings that have been on display this season — Trubisky gives the team its best chance to win. From an athletic standpoint, there isn’t much of an argument against that stance. Trubisky has the necessary athleticism and tools to make magic happen under center. It’s just that the toolbox needs to be refined. The Bears will use the next eight games as an evaluation period to see what they have in this quarterback. What happens after that is up in the air.
With that in mind, we’ll continue to take some time out to sort through possible options that are hanging out off in the distance.
Where Are All The Round 1 QBs?
For example, the latest mock draft from Pro Football Focus should leave Bears fans with a sense of hope that their team could find a suitable quarterback alternative in the second round. Because while author Michael Renner goes through only the first round, this mock projects just three quarterbacks being selected in the first round.
To be clear, PFF mock drafts are done with value positions in mind. Or to put it in another way, the most important positions on the field (quarterbacks, offensive tackles, pass-rushers, cornerbacks) will be valued higher — and thus, selected higher in the mock. And yet, just three quarterbacks in the first round? OK, that works for me.
This particular mock has Joe Burrow (LSU) going to the Bengals with the first pick, Too Tagovailoa (Alabama) dropping to Washington with the second selection, and Justin Herbert (Oregon) going to the Dolphins with the 17th pick. Burrow, Tagovailoa, and Herbert are the consensus top three quarterbacks of this draft class, so don’t get your hopes up that one of these hot-shot prospects will fall to the Bears.
Josh Edwards of CBS Sports also predicts a limited number of quarterbacks going off the board in Round 1. Edwards has Burrow (1st overall to Cincinnati) and Tagovailoa (8th to Tampa Bay) as the only signal callers being taken on Day 1, which is a bit of a surprise. That would be jarring to see in a league that is driven by quarterbacks in an era where the value of having a quality signal caller on a rookie deal is astronomical. And even though Edwards doesn’t see Herbert as a first-round quarterback in this specific mock draft, it is tough for me to envision a player who was a virtual lock to be the No. 1 pick last year fall all the way to Round 2. So while I would fall short of circling Herbert as The Guy the Bears should target, he is one of the more intriguing candidates whose game will deserve a deeper dive when the time comes.
In a world where Tua, Burrow, and Herbert are off the board when Round 2 starts, that would mean the likes of
Alabama’s Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts (who we discussed here), Utah State’s Jordan Love (touched upon here), Georgia’s Jake Fromm, and Washington’s Jacob Eason are among those who could be readily available early in Round 2. The Bears have two second-round picks. Entering Week 10, one of those sections was projected to be the 10th in the second round, with the other coming at pick 16. Should the board shake out with three quarterbacks (or fewer) going in Round 1, then the Bears will be in pretty good shape if they are looking to draft a talented player with some upside.
Unveiling the 2020 NFL Draft’s “Best-Kept Quarterback Secret”
Everybody has that guy in their scopes, who’s flying under everyone else’s radar. For Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports, that guy is Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman. Trapasso describes Newman as a big, athletic, and polished quarterback whose sleeper status comes as a surprise to Trapasso. After all, Newman’s Deamon Deacons are 7-1 and holding steady with a 3-1 conference record in the ACC.
Newman checks all the boxes for Trapasso’s quarterback grading scale. In the categories of accuracy, pocket management, field reading, arm strength, and scrambling/running ability, Newman grades out well as he has thrown to a 67.2 percent completion rate, averaged 8.3 yards/attempt, and owns a 20-5 touchdown-interception ratio. Beyond the statistics, Trapasso raves about Newman’s ability to scan the field, remain poised in the pocket, unleash a strong arm, and make plays with his feet without necessarily relying on his mobility to move the sticks.
Between the video clips provided at CBS Sports and the detail provided by Trapasso’s analysis, Newman’s prospect status is worth watching. Wake Forest has a game against defending national champion Clemson coming up in two weeks. That game will certainly be circled on all calendars (especially those of teams in search of a quarterback-of-the-future type).