In his first year on the job, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace said it would be a good idea to draft a quarterback every year, but during his six years in charge of the Bears draft he’s drafted one, Mitchell Trubisky in 2017.
In that same six years, he’s only brought in two undrafted free agent rookie QBs in the offseason, Shane Carden in May of 2015 and Dalyn Williams in June of 2016.
While the odds of finding a franchise quarterback severely drop after the first round, you can certainly find capable backups in the later rounds and even in the undrafted free agent market, which is something I’ll explore in more detail here at WCG in the next day or two.
But for the final part in this latest set of round table questions posed to our staff, we asked the following; Should Ryan Pace have taken a quarterback in the 2020 draft, and if so, who and when?
I’ll share my take on this question after you check out what some of our team members had to say...
I think the Bears were right in not taking a quarterback early in the draft. I’m a big fan of the haul they came away with in the fifth round, and I think all three of their picks will make some sort of impact in 2020. I personally would have loved Anthony Gordon as a developmental prospect to take in the seventh round, but that’s a minor gripe. The Bears are much better off waiting until 2021 to add a quarterback, when they will have a first-round selection and potentially plenty of starting-caliber options to choose from.
My vote is yes and the QB I would have pushed for the hardest was available as a UDFA - Tyler Huntley out of Utah. He ended up in Baltimore which is a great spot for him, but I really believe the Bears lack of a true young QB development pipeline will hurt them overall.
I get the argument for and against. But this franchise has been stuck in limbo for decades because they only take swings every few years and usually in later rounds. Look at the Eagles and Packers, they took swings early with established starters. Teams like Seattle and Dallas took, swings late with established starters. The Bears didn’t need to trade up like Green Bay did, but I would’ve liked to see them take a swing in the fifth round on Jake Fromm or with one of their seventh rounders on Ben DiNucci, who they allegedly liked a bit.
And when people say that they shouldn’t take a swing outside of the top five or ten, I say that’s a ridiculous narrow-sighted outlook considering that Super Bowls have been won in the last decade by Russell Wilson (third round), Nick Foles (third round) and Tom Brady (sixth round).
I fully endorsed the idea of the Bears selecting a quarterback in the draft, but not until day three. The names I had targeted were Anthony Gordon from Washington State (could have been nabbed in the 7th) and James Morgan (went too early in the 4th). When Jake Fromm fell to the 5th round, he suddenly went from a guy I had zero interest in taking in the 2nd to someone I would have loved to have grabbed in the 5th.
Yes, Ryan Pace had the opportunity to take Georgia’s Jake Fromm in the 5th round and passed. I think that was a mistake. Fromm’s ceiling may be as a quality backup, but we NEED a quality backup QB that makes fifth-round money to free up money for things like extensions for Allen Robinson and other players that deserve it.
No. Unless the Bears have a top-10 pick or are within range of trading up to the top-five, they should never select a quarterback. It’s not worth the hassle for players who aren’t talismans. Go all-in with a green passer prepared to be a star, or bide your time until the next spring. (In the case of Ryan Pace specifically, I don’t want him in charge of picking and developing another quarterback.) Wait for 2021/2022 when the Bears win 5-7 games and are within shouting distance of Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. Then we’ll talk once more about hysteria and the next cycle.
I think that’s always a tough question to answer. Especially considering how limited of draft resources Pace was dealing with. Granted, Pace did this to himself but I would have rather seen them take Kmet and Johnson over someone like Hurts or Eason.
Later round quarterbacks are also tough because while you may strike the occasional gold and find a starter or quality backup, most of those guys are bouncing around teams for a few years before never being seen on an NFL roster again. Pace does need to address the long-term answer at the position soon but I’m not sure this was the year to do it.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter
Eh. Outside of maybe taking Jake Fromm in the 5th round, ideally at their original 5th round choice, I think Ryan Pace simply picked better players instead of forcing himself to take a QB. It is a bit odd that he declared drafting a QB every year as “a good idea,” yet he’s only drafted one QB in his career with the Bears so far.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.
I can understand Pace saying the board didn’t align for them to draft a quarterback this year — although they could have used one of their 7th-round picks to ensure their choice of fringe QBs and then grabbed Ham or Pig as an undrafted free agent. But at the very least they should have brought in a UDFA QB to compete for a roster spot. Yes, the odds of a UDFA being a franchise difference maker are slim, but there are several UDFAs around the league that have served as second stringers in 2019.
At this point it really seems we’ve seen Tyler Bray’s ceiling. The Bears only trust him enough to be the number three/practice squad guy, so why not sign a rookie? You never know how a young signal caller will take to NFL coaching until you get him into camp, so the Bears need to do it.
What do you guys think?
Should the Bears have taken a quarterback in the 2020 draft?
What about adding a rookie undrafted free agent?