By Jim Saranteas. The Chicago Bears kicked off their 2017 NFL Draft by selecting quarterback Mitch Trubisky with the number two overall pick in this year’s draft. Now, General Manager Ryan Pace is firmly in bed with the player who will make or break his tenure as the Bears general manager.
When it was announced the Bears moved up just one spot in a trade with the 49ers, the football pundits responded with speculation as to who the Bears might pick. Whoever it was, the player would be special. It was believed the Bears might pick one of defensive ends Solomon Thomas or Jonathan Allen, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, or safety Jamal Adams. These players were ostensibly the next four best players in the draft. And whoever the Bears coveted, the price was in any case, high.
To move up, the Bears gave up their third round pick (sixty-seventh) and their fourth round pick (one hundred and eleventh) this year, and a third round pick next year. This was truly an investment in the young man who is now the Bears quarterback of the future. But it was one that had to be made with at least one other team (likely the Texans or Chiefs) looking to move up.
For what seems a long time, speculation has been the Bears would draft defense with the first pick, either to help improve their defensive line or their secondary. As to the former, the defensive line continued to struggle to stop the run in 2016 while the pass defense, while good, still underwhelmed. The entire defensive unit was ranked among the top ten worst defenses in points allowed. However, this was bellied by the glaring fact the Bears needed a quarterback.
It was clear Jay Cutler’s days playing for the Bears were over even before last season began. Cutler just couldn’t elevate the Bears offense as other quarterbacks have like the Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees, to name a few, have. The vibe of ‘better days ahead’ just wasn’t there for Cutler and the Bears.
However, when the Bears didn’t acquire a quality veteran quarterback like Tony Romo or a promising youngster like Jimmy Garoppolo in the offseason, the table was set for a movement toward preparing for the future at the quarterback position. Buccaneers back-up quarterback Mike Glennon was signed, but even his future with the Bears isn’t set for this season despite signing a three year contract. The same can be said of the offseason signing of Mark Sanchez. Both have had their own struggles and haven’t displayed enduring starter ability.
While one could see Bears’ fans mouth their response to the selection of Trubisky with, “A quarterback?”, the Bears depth chart is deep at every position including on defense while still uncertain at quarterback. Sure the Bears need a few more players, especially on defense, but the Bears have more draft picks to use. The need to get a good, quality quarterback under center today and for the future, however, is now, not later.
Mitch Trubisky makes sense for the Bears for other good reasons. Trubisky has a cannon for an arm and is accurate. He displays good decision making skills and can read defenses with his eyes and affect them with his body movement. Mobility is not an issue for Trubisky. While nothings is ever certain. Mitch Trubisky brings talent to the table that the Bears can develop possibly as soon as this season.
Trubisky is a first round talent and was going to be drafted in the first round of the draft but the question was when. Trubisky would have been long gone by the time the Bears picked again in Round 2, with the thirty-sixth overall pick in the draft. The fact that two other quarterbacks were selected in the first round of the draft by other teams confirms it.
The Bears can still fill their need to draft a playmaker with their second pick, their fourth pick of Day 2. Still on the board is Top 10 prospect, defensive end DeMarcus Walker and defensive end Jordan Willis, who has a first round grade. For the secondary, the Bears could also select safety Obi Melifonwu or cornerback Fabian Moreau. Given the depth along the defensive line and the secondary, the Bears could even trade back a spot and fulfill both needs Friday night.
Bears General Manager Ryan Pace made the right move to select Mitch Trubisky in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft despite what nay-sayers may say. The read was right. It was the only move. “Wait until next year,” doesn’t work in the NFL and it shouldn’t be let to work in Chicago. ‘Winning’ is now.