Change is hard. It doesn't matter if the change is good or bad, it's tough and it tests us. The Bears have had a lack of success at the QB position for a long time and now, and they are trying to make a change... and it's hard. It's also expensive and fraught with uncertainty. Welcome to the NFL. It's a big-boy league and you have to make big-boy calls to win in it, and Ryan Pace did exactly that.
I've made no secret of the fact I like Mitch Trubisky and the way he plays the game, but I understand there are a lot Bears fans out there that do not feel the same way. Mitch is a Bear now and the hope of the franchise (and Ryan Pace's job) long term rests with him. That's a fact. You do not have to like it, but here are 5 other facts that may help you approach it with a neutral stance.
#1 Trubisky can play
This would be different if Mitch was a stiff who the Bears reached for. He's not. He has 3 A's that will help him immensely in his transition to the pros: Accuracy, Athleticism, and Arm Strength. Trubisky is terrific at placing passes in the short-to-medium ranges where his receivers can catch them in stride and pick up extra yards easily. This is one of the single biggest skills pro QB's need to thrive in the NFL and he has it already. His ability to move around in the pocket and buy time while keeping his eyes downfield is another area where he is the best in this draft class. Mitch also has plenty of arm to deal with the late-season weather in Chicago.
#2 He is a fit with the current Bears offensive system
Dowell Loggains requires his passers to make quick decisions in and out of the pocket. Trubisky demonstrated this skill over and over again in college. He is also very adept at progressing through his first 2-3 reads and getting the throw off quickly (with the accuracy mentioned above). Loggains also likes to move the pocket on roll-out throws and Mitch has very good feet that will allow him to complete those plays without struggling. Lastly, the Bears offense is not built around long downfield throws, which is an area where Mitch's accuracy fades a bit. The worst thing a franchise can do is draft player that doesn't fit their system and then try to jam a square peg into a round hole. That's not happening here. Trubisky’s skills blend very nicely with what Chicago is trying to do on offense.
#3 The Bears built him some breathing room
I've seen many people in the last 12 hours say that Chicago picking a QB when they signed Mike Glennon in the offseason makes absolutely no sense. Nothing could be further from the truth. It makes very good sense. Now the Bears can avoid dumping Trubisky onto the field week one and getting slammed. That is the kind of thing that breaks young quarterbacks. Mark Sanchez can attest to that and if he's not willing to tell Mitch then maybe Trubisky can call up David Carr for a chat. Glennon can lead both in the QB room and on the field and Trubisky can work on developing and winning the starter's job without getting turned into a lawn dart on the field (and in the press) week after week.
#4 What Bears paid to move up looks really good compared to their competition
Note: Teams that have a quality starting QB on their roster will not understand this trade NO MATTER WHAT. They’ve all forgotten what it is like to be without a quality player at the game's most important position. They will all say it's a waste. It's like people who are well-off financially looking at laborers scrambling for a job and saying "I can't believe they would do that to get a paycheck."
Essentially the Bears spent two 3rd-round picks and a 4th-round pick to move up for Trubisky. Every other QB that was picked in Round 1 last night was also the result of a trade. In those trades, both of the teams (Kansas City and Houston) gave up two 1st-round choices to do get the player they were after. As a draft analyst it pains me to see the Bears part with any picks in a deeply talented draft, but you have to keep it in perspective. The Bears did not have a possible starting quarterback of the future on their roster yesterday and they do today. For two 3rds and 4th? That's not bad.
#5 This draft is not over yet
I'd bet good money Pace trades back at some point over the next two days to add more picks back into the fold. If he trades down in round 2 to pick up a 3rd-rounder and 6th, this draft will look very different to Bears fans than it does right now. I have been saying this draft is loaded with talent for months and that has not changed. There are very good players getting pushed down the board by the sheer volume of talent. That means starting quality players will be available later than usual.
So sit back, take a breath, and know that the Bears added talent at the game's most critical position. They also paid a fair market price to do it without giving all their ability to choose players now and in the future. In the end we all know a couple things are true: Ryan Pace's future is tied tightly to Mitch Trubisky win or lose (it's always like that with 1st-round QB choices) and if Trubisky becomes a quality starter for the Bears nobody will complain about the cost.