Ah yes, once the buzz of free agency wears off and the excitement of the draft dies down, the NFL’s offseason becomes list-season for those of us covering the teams. Whether we agree with the lists or not, there’s no denying they do what they are designed to do, get NFL fans talking.
Us Chicago Bears’ fans haven’t had a winner to cheer for in a while, so most of these lists skew negatively towards the Bears. Some day, hopefully some day soon, we’ll be able to look back on these and laugh at just how far off the “experts” were.
Fingers crossed that we can do it in 2017...
Rotoworld usually has some interesting lists, and their latest, from Patrick Daugherty, is all about the NFL’s best quarterback situations in 2017. Not just the starter, but the whole QB room for each team.
I’d like to argue about their placement of the Bears, but I think it’s fair.
23. Bears, Mitchell Trubisky/Mike Glennon
Last Year’s Ranking: 21
The Bears were so ready to get rid of Jay Cutler they accidentally followed the 2016 Eagles’ quarterback plan, overpaying a stop-gap veteran before investing all their draft capital in a questionable prospect. Urgency is a virtue at quarterback — it’s nearly impossible to get anywhere without one — but impatience is a vice. The Bears are operating with more of the latter than former.
Mike Glennon has earned zero deference through four years as an NFLer, but Mitchell Trubisky was a hope and a prayer at No. 2 overall. That does not mean Trubisky will automatically bust. The odds are simply not what they should be for a quarterback drafted ahead of 253 players. Going on 23, Trubisky has made 13 starts since high school. You could argue we know less about him than any quarterback to go in the top five in NFL history. That’s more reckless than bold. The risk comfortably outweighs the reward, which is not a calculation you should make at No. 2. If Trubisky flops, the Bears will be set back with the force of 1,000 Cutlers.
We’re they impatient? Maybe, but what’s the alternative. They could have kept Brian Hoyer or Matt Barkley around, but after getting long looks at each of them, they decided to let them both walk.
They could have stayed at three in the draft, but for the love of Ditka, the notion that Trubisky (their guy) would have been there with 100% certainty has been debunked numerous times over. As has the idea that they invested all their draft capital.
Teams have to keep swinging in the draft until they find The Guy, and teams rarely win a Super Bowl until you find The Guy. Getting a stopgap veteran (young enough to possibly have a wee bit of upside) and adding their top quarterback prospect is as good a plan as any.
I say it’s better to be over-prepared then under-prepared.
So should they have kept Cutler? I think that marriage was destined to end with the way his contract was structured.
Should they have kept Hoyer, kept Barkley and drafted a late round QB prospect like C.J. Beathard? Seriously? That’s what the 49ers quarterback room looks like right now and Rotoworld ranked their quarterbacking situation 31st.
What do you guys think about the Bears being ranked 23rd?
Ken Mitchell stumbled on to this very same Rotoworld article as well, and he weighed in right here.
Daugherty doesn’t seem sold on the Mike Glennon / Mitchell Trubisky / Mark Sanchez quarterback room, but at this point in time, nobody has any idea how the Bears quarterbacking situation will play out, whether the 2017 season will indeed be ‘The Year Of Glennon’ or whether Mitchell Trubisky will get, for whatever reason, significant playing time.
How do our NFC North opponents fare in Daugherty’s opinion? Sadly, two of them do pretty well.
The Green Bay Packers slot in at his number one overall.
“Coming off the second 40-touchdown campaign of his career, Aaron Rodgers is also coming off his third straight 16-game season.” Daugherty reports. “Rodgers has played through soft-tissue injuries and bizarre 2015-16 slumps, but keeps ending up in the same place: The top of the quarterback totem pole. The Packers have made the postseason eight straight times on Rodgers’ watch, reaching the NFC Championship Game twice in the past three years. Rodgers has been the Pack’s sun, moon and stars, almost single-handedly overcoming shaky defense, questionable coaching, an inconsistent backfield and slew of receiver injuries. He both stuffs the stat sheet and earns a perfect score on the “eye test.” Playing the most important position in sports, he is football’s most dominant player. Headed into his age-33 season, Rodgers won’t be around forever, but should have a minimum of 2-3 peak years left. If you’re talking quarterbacks, you can’t do better than that.
The Detroit Lions slide into the top 10 at number 10.
Daugherty says “Still somehow only 29, Matthew Stafford has started all 16 games and passed for at least 4,200 yards each of the past six years. There have been stops and starts in Stafford’s development, but he’s been more up than down, completing 66.3 percent of his passes over the past two seasons while averaging 7.24 yards per attempt. Stafford has cut back on his swashbuckling antics, tossing a modest 35 interceptions over his past 48 starts. Stafford does not put teams on his back like an Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, but knows what to do when given weapons. In this regard, he is not dissimilar to Matt Ryan. Durable and consistent with playmaking ability, Stafford has proven worthy of his No. 1 overall pick, and should have at least another 5-6 years under center in Detroit.”
The Minnesota Vikings sit near the end of the list, one step higher than Chicago.
Says Daugherty “The Vikings have two acceptable quarterback options. The problem is that one of them is Sam Bradford and the other is returning from a catastrophic knee injury, and both are headed into contract years. It’s unlikely either player will be the starter in five years, let alone 10. The Vikings are still set up decently for 2017. Coming off a season where he completed an NFL record 71.6 percent of his passes — seriously — Bradford will enter Week 1 as the starter. More impressive than last season’s conversion rate was the fact that Bradford didn’t miss a game with injury for the first time since 2012. Going on 30, perhaps Bradford has learned a new trick or two. If he hasn’t, and either regresses mightily or again goes down with injury, Teddy Bridgewater will be an excellent fallback option if healthy. “If” is the operative word, as Bridgewater is doubtful for Week 1, and will likely begin the season on the reserve/PUP list. The long-term outlook at quarterback in Minnesota remains cloudy. The near-term is clear, which is more than a lot of teams can say.
So what do you think? Are these rankings about right?