Even as we dream the biggest dreams of the Bears landing one of the upper tier quarterback prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, there is a real chance Chicago’s QB pick won’t come until after Round 1.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting the team is doing its homework on the alternatives:
Three quarterbacks likely will get drafted in Rounds 2 and 3, and a handful of teams have done extra legwork on them — a list that includes the #Bears, #Vikings, #Saints and #Bucs. @gmfb @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/CcPhUOVI1U
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 28, 2021
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports a run of Day 2 quarterbacks could start at Day 2 when the Bears are scheduled to go on the clock with the 52nd overall pick. Moreover, Pelissero adds that teams (including the Bears) have been gathering information on the top Day 2 prospects Kellen Mond, Davis Mills, and Kyle Trask.
And for what it’s worth, Bears GM Ryan Pace makes it sound like he is ready to add some new blood to the mix.
“If we did draft a quarterback, it’s a good room for sure,” Pace said. “Both (QBs) have a lot of experience. A lot of different experiences, too. Which is good. The coaching staff that we have is strong as well. … But, again, we’re just going to take the best players throughout this draft.”
For what it’s worth, it’s an ideal place to come in for a young player. With Andy Dalton and Nick Foles on the roster, a young quarterback can show up at Halas Hall without the pressure of needing to be The Man™ upon arrival. And with Matt Nagy, John DeFilippo, and Bill Lazor, Chicago has a head coach, position coach, and offensive coordinator who all have deep roots in quarterback development and evaluation. At minimum, it’s a better situation to come into than in 2017, when the head coach, coordinator, or QBs coach had no experience with drafting a high-round signal caller.
With that said, the hit-rate on quarterbacks after the first round isn’t particularly high. Drew Brees is the gold standard for modern-era Round 2 quarterbacks. Derek Carr has been darn good, too. Jimmy Garoppolo has been OK. Jacoby Brissett has put together a nice career as a Round 3 product. But those players stand out because they are the exception, not the rule. Odds are teams are more likely to find a DeShone Kizer, Christian Hackenberg, Garrett Grayson, Geno Smith, and (gulp!) Mike Glennon. None of this should stop the Bears from drafting a quarterback. But it’s better to know now to proceed with caution.
Between this scuttlebutt from Pelissero and the words that spilled from Pace’s lips on Tuesday, it sure sounds like the Bears are ready to add a rookie to their quarterbacks room. Maybe the group of pass-catchers leaves something to be desired, but three QB-minded coaches and two veterans who have seen it all ahead of a rookie to be named later should make for an ideal transition period. One Pace seems more eager to enter now than he did at any point over the last three offseasons.
We’ll dive into more of what Pace had to say later today. But in the meantime, you can check out the video below: