Should the Bears Trade the Third Overall Pick?

No, for once, this isn’t about Jimmy Garoppolo.

In a draft that many consider to be loaded with talent, the Bears might be better off trading down and accumulating more picks to fill needs on their roster. Some think this draft class is especially strong in the secondary. Free agency helped the team address the secondary in the short term, but accumulating picks could add depth at the position as well as address needs at pass rusher, the offensive line, and wide receiver.

Assuming the Bears were open to trading pick #3, what would it yield? There are two ways to evaluate the value of the pick: using Chase Stuart’s draft value chart and looking at past NFL trades involving top 5 picks.

Chase Stuart created a model at Football Perspective using a formula to calculate approximate value (AV) using data from the last thirty years. The data charted player’s AV for the first five years of their careers. Under the new collective bargaining agreement there is significant value in rookie contracts as they are relatively cheap and team friendly. Stuart’s pick AV helps to suggest the value expected at each pick.

Per Stuart’s model, pick #3 has an AV of 27.6. Strictly using this model, a few potential scenarios are below.




CHI 2017 #3 (27.6 AV)

ARI 2017 #13 (18.3 AV)

ARI 2017 #45 (10.4 AV)

Plus 1.1 AV

CHI 2017 #3 (27.6 AV)

MIN 2017 #48 (9.9 AV)

MIN 2017 #79 (6.9 AV)

MIN 2017 #86 (6.2 AV)

MIN 2017 #120 (4.1 AV)

Minus 0.5 AV

CHI 2017 #3 (27.6 AV)

SEA 2017 #26 (13.2 AV)

SEA 2017 #58 (8.7 AV)

SEA 2017 #90 (5.9 AV)

Plus 0.2 AV

These trade scenarios are suggested using the logic of Stuart’s value chart. In today’s NFL, trades can never be evaluated in a vacuum. Almost every year there are players, especially quarterbacks, that experience inflation of their draft stock and teams overvalue a prospect. This causes them to reach and offer lopsided deals to move up in the draft.

Looking back through draft trades involving top four picks since 2000 yielded an average increase in draft stock of 20.1 AV points. In the more lopsided deals, teams that undervalued future draft picks typically gave up much more draft value. The most egregious amount of draft stock included the Redskins trade for the 2nd overall pick in the 2012 draft. In that trade, Washington offered two picks in the 2012 draft that amounted to more value than what Stuart estimates the 2nd pick to be worth. In addition to that, they tacked on two more first round picks in consecutive drafts. In 2013, Washington made the playoffs and gave up the 22nd overall pick. The year after was not as kind for Washington and they surrendered the 2nd overall to St. Louis.




MIN 2012 #3 (27.6 AV)

CLE 2012 #4 (25.8 AV)

CLE 2012 #118 (4.2 AV)

CLE 2012 #139 (3.2 AV)

CLE 2012 #211 (0.5 AV)

Plus 6.1 AV

OAK 2013 #3 (27.6 AV)

MIA 2013 #12 (18.8 AV)

MIA 2013 #42 (10.8 AV)

Plus 2 AV

STL 2012 #2 (30.2 AV)

WSH 2012 #6 (23.2 AV)

WSH 2012 #39 (11.3 AV)

WSH 2013 #22 (14.9 AV)

WSH 2014 #2 (30.2 AV)

PLUS 49.4 AV

CLE 2014 #4 (25.8 AV)

BUF 2014 #9 (20.6 AV)

BUF 2015 #19 (15.8 AV)

BUF 2015 #115 (4.4 AV)

Plus 15 AV

CLE 2016 #2 (30.2 AV)

CLE 2017 #139 (3.2 AV)

PHI 2016 #8 (21.4 AV)

PHI 2016 #77 (6.9 AV)

PHI 2016 #100 (5.3 AV)

PHI 2017 #12 (18.8 AV)

PHI 2018 2nd round pick (estimated 9 AV)

Plus 28 AV

The Bears could leverage the third overall pick to accumulate more picks in this year’s draft without sacrificing value. If they get a team desperate enough, they could even add picks in future drafts and compete next season and be well positioned to sustain any success in 2017.

Right now, most mock drafts have the Bears going defensive end or cornerback with the 3rd overall pick. With the Browns presumably going with Myles Garret first overall, it inflates the value of the 2nd or 3rd pick for teams looking to go quarterback. If a QB needy team like the Jets offered the Bears a deal to move up it could pay dividends.


New York Jets


2017 #3 (27.6 AV)

2017 #67 (7.8 AV)

2017 #6 (23.2 AV)

2017 #70 (7.5 AV)

2018 1st (estimated 16.9 AV)

2019 2nd (estimated 9.9 AV)

Plus 22.1 AV

In this scenario Chicago would pick up extra first and second round picks in future drafts. For this post, the estimated value is conservative with the 16th pick in the designated round. If the Jets produce a pick earlier in the round, then the value would skyrocket.

Let us know what you think of the proposed deal in the comment section, or propose a better scenario that would make trading down worth it for you.

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.