I found myself obsessed with the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl. And based on Twitter reactions, I wasn’t the only one.
So while I realize the Bears have other needs across the board, I can’t help but think about how the Patriots have chosen nine quarterbacks since selecting Tom Brady with pick No. 199 in the 1999 NFL Draft. As far as I’m concerned, if the Patriots can draft quarterbacks while the greatest to ever do it is winning rings, then there is no reason the Bears shouldn’t follow suit. The standard is the standard for a reason.
With that as our back-drop, let’s talk quarterbacks.
Anthony Gordon (Washington Stake) did enough to keep his stock in good standing in my eyes. Gordon (8/12, 69 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT) played well within the confines of the often, made quick and decisive throws, and did so by tapping into his baseball background to sling it from different angles and platforms.
This was my favorite throw by Gordon:
Moving right. Off-platform. Weird arm angle. That was all sorts of fun. Makes me want to watch it again and again.
Gordon also linked up with tight end Brycen Hopkins (Purdue) on a nice 11-yard pass completion. In case you missed it, the Bears met with Hopkins earlier in the week. Wouldn’t it be neat if those two were hooking up in preseason games at Soldier Field this summer?
No, Gordon isn’t going to get drafted and start immediately. Gordon still has to prove he can make better decisions with where he is throwing the ball, which would go a long way toward cutting down on the number of interceptions he throws. But still … Gordon is the type of quarterback that good coaching can get the most out of if given the time to properly develop. And since the Bears already have their starting quarterback in place for 2020, I don’t feel like I’m going out on a limb by suggesting they could do worse than drafting Gordon as an understudy. It’s not as if they have a shortage of quarterback whisperers on the coaching staff.
Meanwhile, Jordan Love (Utah State) uncorked some impressive throws down the field, but didn’t come away with big numbers (4/6, 26 yards) as his best throw fell incomplete because his intended receiver failed to track the ball in the air. What a bummer. I wish Love would have had more opportunities to show off his skills in a game situation with a more talented supporting cast than what he had at Utah State. That leaves the NFL Scouting Combine in February and his upcoming Pro Day to leave strong impressions.
Love might end up parlaying that arm talent and athleticism into being a first-round pick, which would put him off the Bears’ radar. But if he drops to Round 2? Then I think we might need to have conversations about doing something like the Chiefs and Ravens did with Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, respectively, and that’s draft a young project of a quarterback to develop over a year while an incumbent starter plays out the string. But we are a long way from having that conversation, so I’ll move on.
Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) looked the part of a future Bears quarterback, but for all the wrong reasons. As was highlighted in today’s Bullets, the South team’s offensive line struggled in pass protection, which had Hurts taking hits and sacks. What’s worse is that some of the pressure led Hurts to make some poor decisions and throws, one of which turned into an interception.
HOWEVER, Hurts did make a nice throw here::
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 25, 2020
Considering Hurts’ mobility, running style, and ability to make something out of nothing, it is easy to envision him having a role in the NFL. Even if it is as a Taysom Hill type in the early going of his career.
Shea Patterson (Michigan) and Steven Montez (Colorado) were the two quarterbacks I had little to no interest watching on Saturday, and their play in the game did nothing to change how I felt about either. Should the Bears pluck a quarterback from this class, my preference would be for it to be someone other than Patterson or Montez.
It wasn’t all bad for Patterson, whose connection on this wheel route made me want to take a longer look at running back Darius Anderson (TCU):
Darius Anderson (@TCUFootball) to the 🏠for the North!
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 25, 2020
As if there was any doubt, Justin Herbert (Oregon) cemented himself as a first-round lock. Here’s hoping he lands in the AFC somewhere. He won the game’s MVP award, though it is worth noting his lone touchdown came on a screen pass.
The Bears don’t have a first-round pick in the upcoming draft. And even if they did, they wouldn’t have been in a position to select a potential game-changer such as Joe Burrow (LSU) or Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama). But with two second-round picks and a handful of Day 3 selections, this could be the year GM Ryan Pace takes a second shot at drafting a quarterback. It’s not as if there won’t be options to choose from after Day 1.