My latest Chicago Bears Theme Mock draft had echoes of their post 2020 season press conferences (i.e. the Collaboration pressers) running through my mind, and besides George McCaskey, Ted Philips, Ryan Pace, and Matt Nagy using the word “collaborate” far too often, the next most discussed topic that afternoon in January was the quarterback position.
Bears’ Brass was careful in how they talked around all the questions about the QB that day, but they made it clear that fixing the quarterback position was a priority this offseason.
In the early March press conferences from Pace and Nagy the QB was again a popular topic. “Everything is on the table in regard to the quarterback situation,” Pace said on the Zoom presser, “and honestly that includes players on our current roster, that includes free agency, trade, the draft and a combination of all those. We have a plan in place, and now it’s about executing that plan.”
They explored some trades but came up empty, they have the unexciting Nick Foles returning from a year ago, and they didn’t make an effort to re-sign Mitch Trubisky, which all led to Andy Dalton being added in free agency.
At his post free agency press conference, Dalton said he was told he’s the starting quarterback, the team’s Twitter account sent out an “Andy Dalton - QB1” tweet that riled up the fan base, and both Pace and Nagy have gone on record about Dalton being their starter right now, which makes Andy the plan... D.
(Okay, I couldn't resist the rhyme, but Dalton sure as heck wasn’t plan A, B, or C.)
I’m not as down on Dalton being the Bears’ QB as some are, but he’s not going to be the long term answer in Chicago, so this theme mock was all about getting a rookie quarterback in the Windy City.
I used the Fanspeak Premium Mock Draft Simulator this time out and for more info on their site you can click here.
I targeted the Los Angeles Chargers at 13 for a trade up, because giving up a ton to move into the top 5 is something I have zero interest in. The Chargers are an ideal trade partner since they have their QB of the future in Justin Herbert, so getting them another early round rookie is something they may be down for.
When I saw only one of the top 5 QBs still on the board I made my move. Going 20 to 13 cost me the Bears 2nd-rounder, but I was able to get a 6th back in the deal, and here’s who I ended up with.
Round 1 - 13th Overall - QB, Mac Jones, Alabama
Truth be told, I would have made this trade for which ever QB was left on the board, as getting one of either Jones, Trey Lance, or Justin Fields was my goal. But those latter two were gone which left me with the National Champion Jones. Dalton has said he’d have no problem working in a QB room with a rookie, so he can mentor Jones until the rookie is ready.
As far as Foles, if the Bears do make a move for a QB in the first round, they’ll look to move him for a song.
Losing my second rounder wasn’t ideal, but the simulated New York Jets made me an offer to move up three spots into my 19th pick of the third round in exchange for their third and fourth rounders.
Round 3 - Pick 22 - 86th Overall - OT, Spencer K. Brown, Northern Iowa
Brown caused a buzz at his pro day with his freaky athleticism, and with his size (6’8”, 311) there’s probably a team that overdrafts him. Our lead draft Analyst, Jacob Infante, has a high 4th-round grade on him, so 86th wouldn’t be that big a reach. He’s raw, he played at a small school, and he opted out the 2020 season, but he’s also yet to reach his full potential.
Round 4 - Pick 2 - 107th Overall - CB, Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky
With Kyle Fuller released and free agent pick up Desmond Trufant inking a small 1-year deal, the Bears could use more talent at corner, and getting the speedy Joseph (4.34 forty at his pro day) in the 4th-round would be nice value. He played outside and slot corner for the Wildcats, and while he’ll need some experience, this would be another high upside selection.
This is the part of my theme mock where I’m overcorrecting for Pace’s years of neglect in not drafting a QB. Every time I think of a team double dipping at QB, my mind goes to what Washington did in 2012 when they took Robert Griffin III in the first round and Kirk Cousins in the fourth. Injuries derailed RG3’s career, but Washington got a lot of value out of Cousins before he signed with the Vikings.
Round 5 - Pick 20 - 164th Overall - QB, Sam Ehlinger, Texas
Ehlinger needs to be coached up for sure, but as a “special project” working with his college coach, Tom Herman, who is in his first year as the Bears offensive analyst/special projects coach, he could develop into a viable backup.
Round 6 - Pick 1 - 185th Overall - EDGE, Victor Dimukeje, Duke
The Bears drafted a developmental edge rusher a year ago in Trevis Gipson, but you can never have enough young guys that want to get after the opposing QB. Some I’ve seen analysts say Dimukeje is more of a power rusher at this point in his career, but some more tools in the tool box could add nuance to his game.
Round 6 - Pick 20 - 204th Overall - S, Tyree Gillespie, Missouri
The Bears have had some luck in late round safeties, so getting a guy to push Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson is a must. Gillespie is a physical player that isn’t afraid to come downhill and get in on the action.
Round 6 - Pick 24 - 208th Overall - WR, Marquez Stevenson, Houston
The Bears need to get a wide out at some point with as deep as this class is, and while I was hoping to get one earlier my board just didn’t fall that way. Stevenson had 22 touchdowns the last three years while averaging nearly 5 catches per game, and he also returned 3 kickoffs for TDs in his college career. Jacob has a 4th-round grade on him so here’s a guy that may get pushed down due to the position being so stacked.
Round 6 - Pick 37 - 221st Overall - TE, Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss
Sure the Bears have collected bottom of the roster tight ends the last couple years, but none of those have really panned out. The athletic Yeboah (6’4”, 247) projects to the U tight end position with the Bears, but he did show a willingness to mix it up as a blocker. He went for 7 receptions, 181 yards, and 2 touchdowns against Alabama in 2020.
Round 6 - Pick 44 - 228th Overall - CB, Chris Wilcox, BYU
Here’s a 6’2”, 198 pound corner that likes to play press coverage, that isn’t afraid to get physical, and that ran a 4.31 forty at his pro day. Sure he’s a project, but with their last pick in the draft a project is a possibility.
Do you guys think all the Dalton hype is a smokescreen and the Bears are most definitely willing to move up in the NFL draft if one of the top QBs start to fall?