The idea of the Chicago Bears trading up to snag the first pick from the Cincinnati Bengals to select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is laughable on its face.
And yet, that’s on our radar thanks to this tweet from sports radio host Dan Sileo:
— Dan Sileo (@DanSileoShow) February 8, 2020
Even after chewing on the rumor and kicking it around a bit, my conclusion is that it’s not realistically doable. What does that trade even look like? The two second-rounders and next year’s first-rounder? Plus Mitch Trubisky? And another pick? Multiple future first rounders++?
And even if it was doable, the must-ask question is whether there is enough trust in GM Ryan Pace to sell out completely for another quarterback.
Fun rumor to kick around, I guess, but trading up to the number one overall pick to snag Joe Burrow is not going to be a thing.
HOWEVER, trading up in the draft to select a quarterback isn’t something that is out of the realm of possibilities.
The Bears have two second-round picks (Nos. 43 and 50), two open spots on the quarterback depth chart, a signal caller who has three uneven seasons under his belt, and a handful of highly-respected quarterback-molders employed at Halas Hall. Tack on the buzz that Chicago will push the incumbent with competition, and there is a case to be made for the Bears using some sort of trade capital to move up in the draft to select their next quarterback of the future. And since Pace traded up with his first selection in the 2016, 2017, and 2019 drafts, it isn’t a stretch to imagine this scenario playing out again.
So, let’s take a moment to recalibrate and try to figure out how the Bears could package future picks to move into a first round that could see five or six quarterbacks go off the board, and had six signal callers on Daniel Jeremiah’s top-50 prospects list. Ideally, you get into the first round to get your guy, so that you get the fifth year option.
For an example of how a trade into the first round could happen, look no further than the 2018 NFL Draft. That’s when the Baltimore Ravens traded the 52nd overall pick, a fourth-round selection (125th overall, and a 2019 second-rounder to the Philadelphia Eagles for the opportunity to take the final pick in the first round. I suppose that trade turned out well for the Ravens.
Perhaps a more aggressive example would be to look at the other trades that happened in the first round in 2017. The Chiefs sent the 27th overall pick, a third-round selection, and their 2018 first-rounder to the Bills to move up and select Patrick Mahomes. Again, another deal that worked out just fine for the team pushing its chips to the center of the table to take a quarterback.
And let’s not forget the Texans trading the 25th pick and their 2018 first-rounder to move up and take Deshaun Watson with the 12th overall pick. Yeah, that seems to be working out in Houston.
Let’s, uh, not comment on any other trades to move up and take a quarterback in that draft …
The point is: moving into the very back of the first round to get their guy, if he’s on the board, is going to be very doable. And, while the Bears don’t have a first-rounder to dangle in a trade this year, they could still conceivably package a second-rounder and a 2021 first-rounder+ if they were truly feeling froggy and wanted to take the leap even further up in the first round.
It’s quite a risk, but one that could be rewarded if Chicago landed the right quarterback. And the risk wouldn’t be *quite* as high as trading up within the first few picks of the draft. Eh hem.