The crossover between the Bears and Falcons is comically hilarious.
Once Germain Ifedi’s signing becomes officially officially, Atlanta will feature 10 players, five assistant coaches, and two general mangers who were once employed by Chicago’s football team. Trying to recreate the 2020-21 Bears is an odd team-building strategy. But you do you, Atlanta.
Who knows … maybe that familiarity can come in handy and be put to good use during the 2022 NFL Draft.
ESPN’s Todd McShay seems to think the two franchises could cook up something on NFL Draft weekend.
In McShay’s latest mock draft, he has the Bears using one of their second-round picks as a pawn to trade back and add some much-needed draft capital. And in doing so, McShay predicts the Falcons as a willing trade partner doing business with the Bears. This particular McShay mock has the Falcons swinging a deal to trade up 10 spots from pick No. 58 to get the 48th overall selection to take quarterback Sam Howell.
Ryan Pace’s employer executing a trade-up to select a North Carolina quarterback? Hmm. I feel as if I’ve seen this movie before.
This would make so much sense for both sides. Putting the ha-ha’s aside, the Bears have a bunch of holes to fill and are starving for picks. Meanwhile, the Falcons have nine picks in this class and could see a trade-up with the Bears as an opportunity to take a swing at a quarterback prospect who could present a better long-term option at the position than Marcus Mariota. This is the kind of hypothetical that could benefit both franchises, which makes this my favorite kind of move. Make it happen, gang!
OK, But What About the Bears Picks?
Hey, I was just getting to that part!
McShay mocks a draft that would fill a pair of glaring needs on the roster. With the 39 overall pick — the one Chicago didn’t deal — McShay sends Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith to Chicago.
I'm Team Tyler Smith. Had more cockroach blocks than any tackle prospect I watched this year. If you want that whole Trevor Penning ass-whooping thing from a guy who's more comfortable in space, he's your dude. pic.twitter.com/kY3bPhLaML
— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) April 5, 2022
Here’s back-to-back plays against Oklahoma State where he shows both off. First, getting to the second level on a screen, and on the next mauling the edge defender. pic.twitter.com/F1Jdb80sPa
— Gabriel Trevino (@GabeCTrevino) February 10, 2022
Doing so would mean the Bears’ two highest picks after trading up and choosing Justin Fields with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft were two offensive tackles. We don’t grade drafts in a vacuum, but I’m down with the process of using top-flight draft capital on protecting the quarterback. And while Smith still has work to do before rounding into a potential franchise tackle, he has the makings of that type of player.
Moving out from the 48th pick means the Bears miss out on players at positions of need such as Alabama receiver John Metchie III (49th, Saints), Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam (54th, Patriots), and Central Michigan tackle Bernhard Raimann (56th, Cowboys). However, that doesn’t take them out of the running to land a good fit. And in McShay’s eyes, that player is South Alabama receiver Jalen Tolbert.
Learn the name Jalen Tolbert. pic.twitter.com/mA0kG1Lh70
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) November 21, 2021
McShay describes the Tolbert pick as a bit of a reach. For what it’s worth, Tolbert is ESPN’s 14th ranked receiver in this class. Perhaps that pegs him as more of a Round 3 prospect. Nevertheless, Tolbert’s 16 deep receptions (by PFF’s count) were the fifth most in college football last season. That alone could make him a valuable piece of the puzzle moving forward.
So … what are we waiting for? Someone get Pace and Poles on the horn and make this mock draft magic happen.