The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah recently held a conference call with the media to preview the NFL Combine, and with the Chicago Bears holding the number one overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Bears were understandably a hot topic.
The NFL Network and NFL.com will have wall-to-wall coverage of the combine next week, with the on-field drills kicking off on Thursday, March 2nd, with the defensive linemen and linebackers.
There will be plenty of news and rumors that pop up from the combine, and we’ll have it all covered here at WCG, on our podcast channel, on our 2nd City Gridiron YouTube channel, and via our Twitter too. And speaking of Twitter, be sure you’re following Robert Schmitz because he’s going to be in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine covering the event for us.
Now back to the Jeremiah conference call... here are the transcripts from all his Bears-related nuggets with the question posed in italics and his response in the blockquotes.
Q: Obviously, the draft starts with the Bears, and they’re in an intriguing spot to try to maximize what they do with that No. 1 pick. If you were in Ryan Poles’ shoes, what would you map out as kind of your plan A, best case scenario, and how would you — when considering trades back — figure out where to draw your line on how far you would be willing to go down?
Well, I’m glad you brought that up because we did a little home World War I on this. My buddy Jack in research, we’ve been working on this for the last couple of days, and he kind of spelled it out for me here. If you look at those trades — trade-ups for quarterbacks, usually when you look at the trade chart, it’s about 120%, give or take, in terms of the trade chart value. You have to pay a premium if you are going to come up for a quarterback, which is great news there for the Bears.
So when you look at some of those previous trades, which, by the way, when you look at the names of the quarterbacks that teams have traded up for since 2011, it’s Trey Lance, Sam Darnold, Mitchell Trubisky, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and RG3.
In other words, don’t be so concerned if you are the Bears about trading off of a Hall of Famer and moving back. It hasn’t been a great list over the last few years. But when you look at those points, here would be the three trades. If we’re going to look at those teams as, 2, the Texans, 4, the Colts, and 9, the Panthers, here would be how that would shake out on the trade chart. So if you are just going to go back to pick No. 2, you’re going to get the second pick, the 33rd pick, and next year’s two. That would be the trade you would have there with the Texans. If you go to 4, would you have to give up a fourth round pick this year. Or, sorry. A fourth round pick in 2024 as well as the No. 1 overall pick. You would get No. 4 overall, No. 35 overall, and a first round pick in ‘24, and a second round pick in ‘24.
If you want to go all the way to 9, you are going to get the ninth pick, you are going to get the 39th pick, and get a first round in ‘24 and a first round in ‘25. So when I look at all those halls — and I understand you could be trading off of the opportunity to get one of the premiere defensive players there at 2 or 4. If you ask me what I would do, I would be hoping the Carolina Panthers want to pay that price. I’ll go to 9, and I’ll take all those first round picks and let’s go try and fill some of these needs. So those are the three teams I think that will be in the mix, and those are the three options.
Q: You indicated earlier that the Bears could face a tough decision trading down and trading basically out of Carter or Anderson, I guess. Can you kind of break down Carter as a prospect? Is he worth the No. 1 overall? Also, how tough a decision would it be for the Bears to trade out of that? What would their options — best options be if they traded too far down to get Carter or Anderson?
I mean, I would probably go back to the same guy I just talked about, would be Skoronski. As bad as the Bears defense is, you’ve got to give Justin Fields some help here going forward. If they traded all the way down to 9 I would think they’re probably trading themselves into their choice, dealer’s choice of offensive linemen at that point in time.
You know, look, it would be hard to trade away from those top two defensive players, because I think they’re really, really good. But if you could just get just the sheer haul of picks that could serve you well into the future, I think I would go that route and probably would switch me from the defensive side to the offensive side with that first pick that they would be going after there.
In terms of Carter as a player, it’s overused, I guess, but I don’t know how else to describe him. He is just a freak show when you are watching him. It just looks like he works at a different speed than everybody else on the field. The change of direction, you know, he can kind of teleport from one gap to the next and you are, like, I don’t know how he got there, but you’ve got no chance. The offensive line coach at Georgia is a good buddy of mine, Stacy Searels, and when I asked him about Jalen Carter, and he said, when he comes to practice and doesn’t want to get blocked, he is not getting blocked. I mean, he is a unique player. If you want to see the athleticism, go read my buddy Bruce Feldman’s article about him and look at the dunk that he posted inside the article. You can see him with windmill dunking over 300 pounds. He is an absolute freak. I think he is better than Quinnen Williams coming out, and I loved Quinnen Williams, so that’s the type of player you’re getting.
Q: With the Bears obviously there’s a lot of talk about resetting the quarterback clock, and I wanted to get your evaluation of Bryce Young versus Justin Fields both as a prospect and what we’ve seen from Fields after two seasons in two different offenses?
I have a higher grade on Bryce coming out than I did on Justin, but I don’t think that Bryce is a great fit in Chicago. And Justin, you know, obviously — I think the evaluation is both easy and complicated. It’s easy in that you can see the play-making ability and what he has done with his legs and the competitiveness and the toughness. That’s easy to see. Then, it’s complicated because how do you evaluate him with what he has got, with who he is working with?
So to me this is the only thing. In knowing the guys in Philadelphia and hearing over the last — since Jalen Hurts got in the league, hearing the work that he was putting in and talking to coaches on that staff that said they would go down to the weight room on a Thursday night 9:00 and he is there watching tape downstairs. He just lived there. So when you know that — you know he has the ability, and then you know the commitment and the work ethic is there, I think it makes it easy to believe in Jalen, and he has paid off.
I don’t have the same relationships there in Chicago. I’ve never heard anything that would lead me to believe that Justin is not doing that. If Justin is doing what he needs to be doing from that standpoint, I would be, like, oh, this guy has so much ability, and he is committed to it. Let’s give him some help and try to build around him.