With the 2017 NFL Draft just four days away, the Chicago Bears, like every other team, are in the home stretch of filling out their draft boards and vying for a feeling of when and if their targets will be available to draft. So, it only seems fitting that we go over a rundown of the should’s and should-not’s for the Bears in terms of how to handle the draft.
Draft more than one quarterback
But not with the third overall pick. Take a quarterback in the 3rd-4th round to be your primary developmental quarterback behind Mike Glennon. Go ahead and take another quarterback in the 6th round or so.
There are two benefits from this strategy. For starters, it gives you two young quarterbacks that could possibly develop well and become your starter in the future rather than drafting one high and going with the “hit or miss” approach. In addition, in provides plenty of depth at the position – last year the Bears had three different starting quarterbacks not due to performance, but injury. Quarterback is one position that you absolutely need to have back up plans after back up plans in place in order to be competitive.
Draft a defensive playmaker in the first round
As an extension of this, draft one with the third pick. I know general manager Ryan Pace has in the past valued quantity over quality when it comes to draft picks, but with the potential superstar talents available in the top five, it would be disappointing to see the Bears come away without a name like Jamal Adams, Jonathan Allen or Solomon Thomas. The Bears desperately need a big-time playmaker on defense and this is the draft to go out and grab the guy you need. The only situation in which the Bears should consider trading back is if they could maintain a pick within the top ten and acquire an additional first round selection. That, however is a ridiculous stretch, and they should not be hoping for a scenario like that to unfold, instead they should have a clear target at No. 3 and go get him.
Draft multiple players at the same positions
Sure, it could be a good idea to spread picks out across the roster – anyone can see that there are multiple positions of need for the Bears both immediately and in the near future. However, there are three positions that stand out more so than the others – quarterback, cornerback and safety. Chicago can’t be afraid to draft two safeties and three corners, if they find themselves in the position to get quality players at those positions. In a perfect world where all of your picks pan out, drafting multiple positions each draft would be a fantastic approach. However, time and time again we see high draft picks that don’t play to their stock, as well as lower picks that excel. The Bears need a mix of players at their positions of need, so that if one busts they have back up plans, they need to be aware of the possibility of players failing.
This should be a no-brainer for nearly every franchise, however it is especially important for one such as the Bears, in the middle ground of a rebuild who are a few key pieces away from being a legitimately competitive team. Pace cannot let outside pressure from fans or analysts dictate where he uses his draft picks. Every Chicago fan wants the team to draft their future star quarterback NOW, but Pace cannot spend a top five pick on a quarterback simply to satiate the fan base temporarily, where as that pick could have been put to better use elsewhere. This isn’t just for quarterbacks, either, the same goes for every position of need.
Trade down repeatedly
Pace has shown in previous drafts that he values a high number of draft picks and is willing to trade down in the order to acquire more. This is by no means a bad strategy, in fact it is what a rebuilding team needs. However, there comes a point where you, as a team, need to take advantage of your position and draft a game-changing type of player rather than be satisfied by a player that you can take later on with the promise of acquiring one more pick. It’s one thing to know that you can take your number one target with a later pick and trade down, like they did with Leonard Floyd last year, but when you have players to choose from in the top five that could all be potential superstar talents at positions of need, you have to act. That is exactly what the Bears need to do in order to be successful as a franchise – act now.
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