As optimistic as we at Windy City Gridiron like to be about our Chicago Bears, we know our team’s limitations. This season, those limitations seem to be massive.
The rest of SB Nation seems to know this, as well. Adam Stites recently wrote an article about which teams could realistically have the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, the Bears made the list. Here's what he had to say about their chances:
After trading up to take Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, it would be shocking if the Bears went back to the well again in 2018. But it wouldn’t be surprising if they have the option.
A roster in the middle of a rebuild means few believe Chicago will do much better than the 3-13 record the team posted in 2016.
While a huge part of the reason the Bears went 3-13 was due to injury, it's true that they likely don't have enough talent to make it out of the NFC North cellar.
While I personally find the possibility of Chicago being the worst team in the league unlikely, it could possibly happen. If that scenario were to play out, then what would they do with the first overall pick? Being realistic, there are only two logical options.
Stites recommended this scenario in his article, and it would likely be the best possible option. The Bears have multiple holes on their roster, so adding more draft picks would be ideal. Plus, like Stites mentioned, they lost their 2018 third-round pick in their trade for Trubisky, so they could use some more early-round picks.
If the Bears were to get the first pick, then they would be in a fantastic position to trade down. This year's quarterback class appears to be one of the most talented in a long time. Chicago, however, doesn't need a quarterback. Many teams would be interested in drafting a quarterback: the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals come to mind.
Trading back with one of those teams would likely secure the Bears getting at least an additional first-round pick for 2019. The possible assets that they would receive would definitely help speed up their rebuild.
Draft Arden Key
If the Bears were to decide against trading their pick, then LSU edge rusher Arden Key would likely be the best selection for them.
Key is cut from the same cloth as Leonard Floyd, in that they’re both extremely athletic and long pass rushers. He has an incredible ability to bend off the edge, change directions quickly and get to the quarterback. He put that to good use last season, when he tallied up 11 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss.
Outside linebacker might not be a huge need for the Bears, but they don’t really have much in the way of future pieces outside of Floyd. Pernell McPhee, while talented, have been dealing with injuries. Willie Young will be turning 32 this September. Lamarr Houston might not even be on the 53-man roster this year. By selecting Key, the Bears would solidify the position for years to come, and would be creating a phenomenal edge duo in the process.
Less likely scenarios
While Chicago does need help in the secondary, it's incredibly rare for a defensive back to go that high. In fact, the last (and only) time that a defensive back went first overall was in 1956. Players like Derwin James, Tarvarus McFadden and Minkah Fitzpatrick are all talented, but they likely wouldn't be worth using the first overall pick on.
The Bears could also go the route of selecting an offensive tackle with the first pick. This year has a handful of talented tackles: Connor Williams, Mike McGlinchey and Orlando Brown, just to name a few. However, neither of those three have stood out as generational tackles yet. Over the past 50 years, an offensive tackle has been the first overall pick only four times. Chicago could likely trade down and still get one of those players, if they so wished to pick them.
Overall, the Bears would be in a favorable position if they were to have the No. 1 pick. They could either stockpile on picks to speed up their rebuild, or add another explosive edge rusher to their defense.
If the Bears were to have the first pick, then what would you want them to do with it? Let us know in the comments below.