The Bears Are a Candidate to Trade Up in Round 2
As the back end of the first round was winding down, I was hoping the Chicago Bears would find their way to slide back in for another pick.
Not only did I like the idea of cranking up the writing juices for a surprise pick, I liked the potential value. Getting a second first-round pick is neat. Anytime your favorite team adds multiple first-round talents is good in my book. But what makes it especially alluring is that fifth-year option that comes at the end of a player’s rookie deal. That extra year of team control is something that is of small, but not inconsequential value.
It didn’t happen for the Bears last night. HOWEVER, today is a new day. And it sounds like the Bears could be making some calls with the intent to move up in Round 2 of the NFL Draft.
More from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, who sees the Pittsburgh Steelers as being in a position to trade back and out of the No. 32 spot at the top of the round:
“Late, late, late last night as the first round was winding down, there were a couple of teams who were at least talking about trading up. The Atlanta Falcons were one, the Titans, the Bears, I know there were several others. The Rams had some conversations. There are going to be several teams calling the Steelers tonight trying to figure out can they get the right price to get to 32.”
Context and perspective is very important in sorting through what Rapoport is reporting.
Firstly, it sounds like there were a bunch of teams wanting to trade up to get back into the back end of the first round. For the reasons we outlined above about the value of having another first-round type of talent whose rookie deal could extend to five years, we understand why there was a late-night rush to sneak back into Round 1. And for a team like the Bears, who still have nine picks at their disposal going into Day 2, trading up for another first-round talent is more than sensible.
Don’t get me wrong. I value Day 2 and Day 3 picks. And we know this team needs bodies. Hence, the importance of having a gaggle of picks at your disposal. But we also know it needs to add impact players. Traditionally, those impact players are available in Round 1. With GM Ryan Poles showing an ability to create future draft picks with even the smallest moves, trading up doesn’t bother me as much as it otherwise would. At a minimum, it wouldn’t bother me as much as it did when Ryan Pace did it (because Pace didn’t do well in recouping those picks later).
Secondly, the Steelers have good reason to dangle the pick out there for the audience. It’s not a coincidence that we’re starting to get this report floating out there to the NFL’s newsbreakers:
Pittsburgh can easily pit teams against each other and create a market. Leveraging teams against each other when they might be targeting a specific player is a brilliant move. The type of move that Poles would probably love to make … if he were on the other side of the equation. Which, of course, he would’ve been had he not sent that pick to Pittsburgh in the first place. Whoops!
Moving from No. 53 to No. 32 doesn’t seem ideal. Sure, it could net the Bears the best player on their board. But I don’t have a prospect I feel as being worthy of moving all the way up to No. 32 to snag. Maybe I could’ve been swayed had it been the last pick in the first round. It would be an easier pitch to make knowing that the fifth-year option could be on the table. It’s just that without that as a sweetener, the No. 32 pick doesn’t have the appeal it would have in other years.