Unless the Bears trade for a veteran quarterback this offseason, mock drafts connecting them to a first-round QB will be a dime a dozen. But even despite that expectation, I was taken aback by Todd McShay’s first post-Super Bowl mock, which has the Bears going above and beyond to land their guy.
The ESPN analyst has Chicago making a first-round trade with San Francisco, moving up to the 12th spot to select Alabama’s Mac Jones.
If you stopped in your tracks because you saw the Bears trading up with the 49ers to draft a QB, you’re not alone. Because when I first saw the mock, I had flashbacks to 2017. And frankly, I didn’t like it. Point being, if this happens, it most likely means the Bears did nothing to address their QB problems via trade or free agency in the meantime. And if that’s the case, then YIKES (and you haven’t even seen the cost yet).
Further complicating things is what McShay thinks a deal could look like. He has the Bears packaging their first two picks in 2021 and an additional top pick in 2022 to consummate a deal. Thinking about trading picks No. 20 and No. 52 this year plus a first or second-rounder next year makes me feel uneasy.
Look, no one values the concept of “fortune favors the bold” like myself. You know what they say: Scared money don’t make money. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Etc.
But McShay’s scenario has Chicago moving up to select the FIFTH first-round quarterback.
Dealing for this draft’s QB1 was always unlikely. But creating a package featuring multiple first-round picks and a second-rounder should net the Bears an opportunity at a higher-caliber prospect. Long story, short: It’s an awful risk to take. Moreover, it’s one I can see this front office taking. It’s tough envisioning anyone caring less about 2022 draft picks than a GM whose contract expires in 2021 on the last chance to save his job.
And yet … there’s a non-zero chance that the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to Mac Jones.
Jones, 22, is coming off an all-time great collegiate season. He won three major college quarterback awards (O’Brien, Unitas, Manning), earned Consensus All-American honors, first-team All-SEC recognition, and was a Heisman Trophy finalist. Jones finished the year completing 77.4 percent of his passes, throwing for 4,500 yards, and 41 touchdowns. Tossing tossing just four interceptions in 13 games is impressive, too. There’s nothing like a quarterback who minimized turnovers and capitalized on playing with college football all-stars to create big plays. That McShay comments on how well Jones throws with anticipation and shows nice touch deep passes isn’t lost on me.
Even still … McShay’s scenario bugs me. I can’t get past trading with the 49ers to take a quarterback with just one year of starting experience. There’s something about that which doesn’t sit right with me.