As college football hangs in the balance, let’s remember the wide-ranging impact a wiped-out season could have.
And for the sake of this post, let’s focus on its potential implications on the NFL.
During his annual interview with the Adam Hoge and Adam Jahns podcast in late July, Bears GM Ryan Pace was asked what would happen if there was no college football season. As one might expect, Pace’s answer touched on impact at multiple levels. Pace noted that players, coaches, student bodies, and fans were among the most impacted. Additionally, Pace referenced the college football experience that would be missed.
There are a great many things that various people from different walks of life would miss without college football. But I can’t escape the importance of what not having a college football season would mean for the NFL. And specifically, the Bears.
Let Pace explain:
“For us, we’d have to lean on previous years’ tape. And there’s just so many guys you see, especially these young players, that blossom in the final year of their collegiate careers. There’s different things that can happen, so it’s just going to be unique. These are unprecedented times, for sure.”
For what it’s worth, the Bears aren’t alone in this. Drafts are tough as is, but conducting one without new tape for the entire college football landscape is new territory. And from a hyper-focused, Bears-centric perspective, the timing isn’t great.
Chicago has its own first-round pick for the first time since 2018. And I have some ideas for how to use it. The team also has its own picks in Rounds 2, 3, 5, and 6. There is also a conditional pick that could come from the Adam Shaheen trade. Further, Chicago could add compensatory draft choices based on how next year’s free agency shakes out. Having picks is helpful, but using them correctly is more challenging without ample film evaluation and fresh tape.
As if this front office needed more hurdles to clear on draft weekend.