A Quarterback-Free Draft for the Bears? The Latest Seven-Round Mock Thinks So

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A Quarterback-Free Draft for the Bears? The Latest Seven-Round Mock Thinks So

Chicago Bears

The 2020 NFL Draft is NEXT WEEK.

Sorry, I needed to capitalize that to properly emphasize how close we are to a new wave of talent joining the Chicago Bears. Just the thought of infusing new blood into the talent pool is borderline intoxicating.

As we stride closer to the actual draft, we will see an increase of multi-round mocks predicting, projecting, and hypothesizing what teams will (could? should?) do over draft weekend. And because the Bears don’t have a first-round pick next week, I live for these seven-round behemoths that get mocked by football gurus.

Here’s the latest from Dane Brugler of The Athletic:

Seven rounds. Two hundred fifty-five picks. No quarterbacks going to the Bears.

Wait, what?

Before we dive into how and why it shakes out like this from Brugler’s perspective, let’s take a look at the players he sends Chicago’s way:

  • ROUND 2, PICK 43: OL Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU
  • ROUND 2, PICK 50: EDGE Curtis Weaver, Boise State
  • ROUND 5, PICK 163: S J.R. Reed, Georgia
  • ROUND 6, PICK 196: RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt
  • ROUND 6, PICK 200: WR Quez Watkins, Southern Miss
  • ROUND 7, PICK 226: CB Parnell Motlley, Oklahoma
  • ROUND 7, PICK 233: OL Colton McKivitz, West Virginia

This draft does a lot to plug holes on the Bears’ roster. Every pick made for the Bears by Brugler is one that’s easy to understand. I would even go as far to suggest that each of these picks – in isolation – is easily defensible.

And yet, I come back to the Bears not drafting a quarterback and thinking to myself “huh?”

Four quarterbacks (Burrow, Tua, Herbert, Love) are off the board by the time the Bears go on the clock at No. 43. So let’s take a look at the guys the Bears could have taken at any point in the mock, but ultimately passed on.

  • After Jordan Love goes to the Colts with pick No. 34, no QBs are taken until the third round when Jacob Eason (76th, Buccaneers) gets selected. Eason’s selection starts a run on quarterbacks with Jake Fromm (Falcons, 78th) and Jalen Hurts (Raiders, 80th) going shortly after Eason’s pick.
  • Later, the Lions (seriously?) take Anthony Gordon with the 166th overall pick to sit behind Matthew Stafford and ex-Bear Chase Daniel.
  • Next quarterback to be taken off the charts is James Morgan, who goes to the Jets with pick No. 191. Morgan would sit behind Sam Darnold and (another) ex-Bears backup David Fales.
  • Up next,  Jake Luton goes to the Patriots with the 204th overall pick. I hear New England has a position to fill after the departure of Tom Brady.
  • The final quarterback to be drafted in this mock is Cole McDonald, who goes to Washington with the 229th pick. Washington has Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, and Alex Smith on its roster, but it doesn’t stop the team from taking McDonald.

Altogether, 11 quarterbacks were taken in this mock draft, which seems like a normal number. And if that’s how it goes down, it will mark the fifth time in six drafts in which GM Ryan Pace didn’t draft a quarterback.

So … what gives?

Formulating an answer as to why Chicago wouldn’t draft a quarterback is as easy to explain as pointing out the team has more glaring needs at other spots on the depth chart to draft a third/developmental quarterback. Running that down is pretty easy.

  • The Lions taking Gordon came three picks after the Bears took Georgia safety J.R. Reed. Finding a starting caliber safety to pair with Eddie Jackson is a need, but this particular mock has Chicago passing on higher-profile prospects Antoine Winfield (58th, Vikings) as well as Kyle Dugger (59th, Seahawks) in the second round.
  • The Jets’ selection of Morgan was five spots before the Bears take Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn. I don’t want to overlook running back as a need, because someone needs to fit between David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen on the depth chart. But seeing one of the two QB prospects the Bears have reportedly met with during the pre-draft process get taken in such close proximity to the team’s picks would sting.
  • Luton comes off the board to the Pats four spots after Chicago takes Southern Miss WR Quez Watkins. This is a deep draft for receivers, so getting one late in the sixth round seems like a fair value on paper (especially with Watkins ranking 196th on CBS Sports’ big board).
  • Washington’s pick of McDonald is sandwiched between Chicago taking Oklahoma CB Parnell Motley (there’s no such thing as having too many defensive backs!) and West Virginia tackle Colton McKivitz (there’s no such thing as having too much offensive line depth, either!)

As for passing on one of the Eason, Hurts, Fromm group … I get it. I might not necessarily like it, but I can understand why it could happen.

For starters, the Bears don’t have a third-round pick. Therefore, reaching for one of these three prospects with a top-50 pick might not be in the team’s best short-term interests. Even still … at what point do the Bears consider the big picture when it comes to quarterback evaluation?

Mitch Trubisky’s rookie deal is slated to expire at the end of the 2020 season. Nick Foles could opt out of his contract at any point in the next two offseason. Which means that the Bears could be left in a situation where they don’t have any quarterbacks on the roster. To be fair, that scenario playing out is a long-shot, but we have seen crazier things happen.

For what it’s worth, not drafting a QB doesn’t mean the Bears won’t add another one to the room. Nate Stanley (ESPN’s QB10), Josh Love (PFF’s QB10), and Brian Lewerke (CBS Sports’ QB10) would be part of the undrafted free agent frenzy. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Bears traveled that route in search of a developmental signal caller. From there, it won’t be until 2021 until Chicago can draft another quarterback. And depending on how the 2020 campaign goes, who will be making the call on the pick might not be whomever is in charge right now.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.