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Bears Draft 2021: Grade the Trade Moving From 20 to 11

The Bears gave up a lot to move from #20 to #11, but was the price right?

2021 NFL Draft Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears did it. They traded up to get their quarterback—in this case, Justin Fields. Pace gave up a lot to get there, and he overpaid by any conventional measure.

Conventionally, #11 should have cost 358 points on the Rich Hill chart, but the Bears reportedly gave up #20, #164, and two future picks (a future 1st-rounder and a future 4th-rounder). Yeesh. This is the equivalent of spending 409 points, or paying 51 points extra. That’s a third-round pick, or #84. This is a 15% surcharge, and is way outside the bounds of most markets even when teams move up for quarterbacks, no matter what fans typically think (even the Trubisky trade was inside these bounds). Johnson-based math is not quite as critical, but it’s still not good. #11 should have cost 1250 points, but Pace gave up 1324 points of value to get there. That’s a high fourth-round pick (exactly #110), or a 6% overpay. That’s still outside the bounds of almost any trade.

So, Pace did more than bet the farm. Even the most blockbuster of trades fall within 5% of the average values, with rare exceptions like when the Jets traded up in advance to get Darnold. By comparison, the price that San Francisco gave up to draft at #3 was actually an underpay by the same amount.

Of course, it ultimately doesn’t matter if it works out. Still, in 2017, I defended Pace and explained how nobody got ripped off in the Trubisky trade, at least when it came to draft pick value.

By any objective measure, this time Pace just got ripped off. At least Pace managed to hang on to #52, but this is offset by the loss of next year’s first-rounder.

It could work out, though. Players Ryan Pace has traded up for in the first two rounds of the draft include Leonard Floyd (fifth-year option rescinded, playing in LA), Mitchell Trubisky (on a one-year prove-it deal as a back-up), Anthony Miller (currently in ill favor—maybe on the trading block—and averaging 500 yards a season).

Grade the Trade: C-/D+

Grade the Player: I’ll leave that to fans over the next three years.

For now, though, I’m the cynic, and this is just math. What do fans think of the trade itself?


What grade do you give the trade (not the player)?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    (2273 votes)
  • 30%
    (1492 votes)
  • 11%
    (543 votes)
  • 6%
    (322 votes)
  • 4%
    (221 votes)
  • 0%
    Wait, the draft isn’t over?
    (16 votes)
4867 votes total Vote Now

For more on the Justin Fields selection, give Robert Schmitz a listen on his Bear With Me podcast as he’s joined by Jacob Infante, EJ Snyder, and Danny Meehan to break down the pick.

EDIT: For fun, based on the discussions in the comment section, I went through and looked only at quarterback trades during the Ryan Pace era (since 2015) in the first two rounds. Basically, I checked to see how much teams paid to move up to get the quarterback of the future for their teams. It turns out I was wrong, in that many teams have managed to underpay by even more than the five percent range.

  • Green Bay Packers paid 94%-96% to get Jordan Love.
  • Denver Broncos paid 93%-97% to get Drew Lock
  • New York Jets paid 124-157% to get Sam Darnold (Outlier)
  • Buffalo Bills paid 127-129% to get Josh Allen (Outlier)
  • The Raiders paid 98-104% to get Josh Rosen
  • The Baltimore Ravens paid 93-98% to get Lamar Jackson
  • The Chicago Bears paid 91-100% to get Mitchell Trubisky
  • The Kansas City Chiefs paid 95-103% to get Patrick Mahomes
  • The Houston Texans paid 95-101% to get Deshaun Watson
  • The Los Angeles Rams paid 80-90% to get Jared Goff
  • The Philadelphia Eagles paid 89-95% to get Carson Wentz
  • The Denver Broncos paid 87% to get Paxton Lynch