Todd McShay’s First Mock Draft Has Three QBs Off the Board in the Bears-Less First Round

Here’s a conversation I had with myself this morning (hey – I was in the presence of a couple dogs, so I wasn’t entirely alone) when I saw that ESPN’s Todd McShay shared his first mock draft of the season.

  • “Todd McShay has his first mock of the year out now. That’s good.”
  • “The Bears don’t have a first-round pick. That’s bad.”
  • “McShay has three quarterbacks slated to go in the first round. That’s …”
  • … where I hit a wall. I wasn’t sure where that lost thought was going to take me, so I decided to give it some brain-time and write this post to work through it all. Resulting conclusions follow.

    ESPN’s Todd McShay released the 1.0 version of his 2020 NFL Mock Draft, which you can read here. It’s ESPN+ protected – which you can sign up for by clicking this link (while supporting Bleacher Nation!) – so I can’t share everything, but we can discuss a few worthy nuggets, before adding a little context of our own.

    Of the 32 projected first-round picks, there are eight wide receivers, five cornerbacks, three offensive tackles, four defensive ends, four defensive tackles, two running backs, two safeties, one outside linebacker, and three QBs.

    The three quarterbacks projected to go off the board in Round 1 are usual suspects: LSU’s Joe Burrow is projected to go first overall to the Bengals, where the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner would be the heir apparent to Andy Dalton. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa goes fourth overall to the Dolphins, which is an encouraging sign considering that injuries could have knocked the Crimson Tide star down to the bottom half of the first round (or even into the second round). And then there’s Justin Herbert, the Oregon quarterback – who would have been projected to go first overall had he come out of last year’s draft – landing with the Chargers at Pick No. 10.

    At first blush, this draft appears to be stacked with skill position players. And while I suppose that’s good news for a Bears team that has two early-ish picks in the second round, the better news might be the quarterback options that could present themselves in Round 2.

    At this time, McShay has five quarterbacks ranked among his 32 best draft-eligible prospects in 2020. Three of those quarterbacks are slated to go in the top-10, as we discussed. But because the Bears don’t have the draft capital to land one of the top tier prospects, we can shift our focus to the two quarterbacks who could conceivably become future Bears targets.

    McShay has Georgia’s Jake Fromm has his fourth-ranked quarterback, but the 27th best prospect on his big most recent big board. Although Fromm’s play against LSU in the SEC Championship game isn’t going to do his draft stock any favors, McShay still believes Fromm is a winning-player with “high-end football intelligence.” McShay also uses words and phrases such as “elite competitor,” “tough kid,” and “real grinder” to describe Fromm, whom he notes doesn’t have a big arm and is the least physically gifted of his top-5 rated quarterbacks (Michael: So he’s an obvious Bears target. Got it.)

    Rounding out McShay’s top-5 quarterbacks is Washington’s Jacob Eason. And if you were to read parts of Eason’s profile, it will be easy to fall for the 28th best prospect on McShay’s big board. Among the most enticing snippets, McShay notes that Eason “has a big, strong frame and an even bigger arm” and that he has “high-level natural tools, including some good mobility” for a quarterback who checks in at 6-foot-6 and 227 pounds. Eason has notable starting experience at Georgia and Washington, and that experience could ultimately be something that could help him take on the development arc.

    After that, nothing but skill positions go off the board. Again, that is probably good news for the Bears, whose needs extend beyond the obvious at quarterback.

    written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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