The 2020 NFL Draft won’t take place until April, but with college football’s regular season officially in our rear-view mirror, we’re already starting to see some things take shape.
Matt Miller (Bleacher Report) and Luke Easterling (Draft Wire) recently dropped mock drafts, both of which should be of high interest to Bears fans, as Miller and Easterling have the Bears taking a quarterback with the first of their two second-round picks. Additionally, both have the Bears taking the fourth quarterback of the 2020 class. And yet, both have the Bears taking different players. Let’s discuss.
Miller has the Bears selecting Georgia’s Jake Fromm with the 49th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. And in a lot of ways, drafting Fromm would represent a change of philosophy when it comes to quarterback evaluation from the Bears’ front office.
In short, Fromm is everything Mitch Trubisky wasn’t when he was coming out as a draft prospect. Unlike Trubisky, who couldn’t beat out the competition at North Carolina until he was a junior, Fromm has been a steady contributor since his freshman year at Georgia. That’s where Fromm knocked off a pair of highly-touted five-star recruits in Jacob Eason and Justin Fields to win the starting job. And not only has Fromm not looked back, he’s played in a slew of high profile games along the way.
Fromm is as seasoned as they’ll come when it gets down to quarterbacking prospects in this particular class. And while he has his issues to work through, the football IQ he has shined through an ability to read defenses and process what’s in front of him, which could give him a leg up as a developmental quarterback option.
Over at Draft Wire, Easterling sends Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts to the Bears with their first second-round pick. Much like Fromm, Hurts is an experienced college quarterback. And fitting enough, Miller once referred to Hurts as the anti-Trubisky and the “perfect” quarterback for the 2020 Bears. Hurts has his limitations, to be sure, but the things that he has been through to get to this point have shaped one heck of a prospect.
Hurts was so talented as a freshman at Alabama, Nick Saban trusted him to quarterback a team in the thick of the national title hunt. As a sophomore, Hurts stepped aside without a complaint to allow Tua Tagovailoa to engineer a championship-winning second half in 2017. A year later, Hurts relieved an injured Tagovailoa in the 2018 SEC Championship Game. And as a senior, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma, picked up Lincoln Riley’s offense without a hitch, and is likely to be named a Heitman finalist. A player with that type of prospect pedigree who has shown an ability to work past adversity and thrive should be of interest to a Bears franchise that has known nothing but adversity when it comes to the quarterback position.
Despite the differences in the picks between these two draft gurus, it is interesting that the players pegged to go to the Bears are similar. Both have gone through their share of adversity to get to where they are and have been shaped for the better having gone through their respective experiences. And frankly, I don’t find it to be a coincidence that both draft guys have Chicago turning to a more polished prospect after the Trubisky experience.
I also find it worth noting that both Easterling and Miller have (1) three quarterbacks going off the board before the Bears pick, (2) at least five quarterbacks taken within the first 50 picks, and (3) seven quarterbacks going in the top-100 picks. How cookie crumbles — and how it impacts the Bears — in April will be fascinating to watch.