When Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus announced that starting quarterback Justin Fields would not be suiting up for tomorrow night's preseason tilt with the Indianapolis Colts, there was a collective groan from many fans.
But not all fans.
Our lead draft analyst has been talking up Tyson Bagent even before the Bears signed him as an undrafted free agent. Back in February, Jacob called Bagent "arguably the most intriguing of the bunch" of quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl. He was coached by Bears’ offensive coordinator Luke Getsy in that game.
Jacob had him with a clean seventh-round grade leading up to the draft, and then in April, he fired off a thread of Tweets after Bagent went undrafted.
Here’s Tyson Bagent’s RAS card. He tested well athletically at the Combine.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 30, 2023
I’m surprised he didn’t get drafted, honestly. He’s a DII quarterback with decision-making concerns, but he has the tools to be a seriously good investment. #Bears pic.twitter.com/sGZMvRp2cS
Bagent had the chance to go to the Senior Bowl, and he looked comfortable against Power 5 talent.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 30, 2023
Accurate passer with a natural sense of anticipation and touch behind his throws. #Bears pic.twitter.com/WV5hYkSbtY
Outside of the top tier of QBs, Bagent has one of the best arms in the 2023 draft.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 30, 2023
He has an elastic arm that can deliver throws with nice velocity and distance from multiple arm angles. #Bears pic.twitter.com/veRiWqIehU
Bagent has experience stepping up in clutch situations at the DII level.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 30, 2023
This particular throw won him a playoff game. He’s good outside of structure and has a clutch element to his game. #Bears pic.twitter.com/BCV25fcyTW
Was including the #Bears hashtag on that string of Tweets wishful thinking on Jacob's part, or was he trying to manifest something? In May, he said that Bagent could be the "best undrafted signing of their [the Bears] 2023 class," so he’s clearly high on his NFL prospects.
There's no question of the pecking order in Chicago's current QB room, but Bagent has been given opportunities to flash in camp and their preseason opener. He's not going to beat out P.J. Walker to be Fields' primary backup, but he could push for Nathan Peterman's role as the QB3.
Justin Fields & P.J. Walker is a good QB duo for the #Bears, but I’m excited to see Tyson Bagent in training camp and the preseason.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) July 7, 2023
His arm, accuracy, athleticism and production are impressive, even with his D2 status. Love him as a developmental backup. pic.twitter.com/kFWBiw7NHP
With Fields not playing in Indy, Bagent could get more than 17 snaps, but that could all depend on how long they let Walker run with the starters. Last week Bagent had the whole fourth quarter, while Peterman took the third.
The rookie's path to the 53-man roster is steep, but the new third QB rule could play a role in their decision. The only way teams could take advantage of the "emergency" third quarterback rule on gameday is if they carry a third QB on the 53-man roster. Now if the Bears are forced to their 3rd QB in a game, things are bleak, but I can't imagine they'd want a UDFA in that role. If they do carry three on the 53, that third will probably be Peterman, in which case I doubt they keep a fourth on the practice squad.
If the Bears elect to roll with two QBs on the active roster, then I believe they'll stash Bagent on the practice squad and ask Peterman to stay ready in case of emergency from the comforts of home.
Regardless, there are still two more games for Bagent to show not only the Bears but the other 31 teams around the league what he can do.
I’m excited to see what Tyson Bagent can do this week after a strong preseason debut.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) August 15, 2023
He showed off the arm talent we saw in college in Week 1 and finished a nice 4-for-5. There’s a real chance for him to crack the #Bears 53-man roster. pic.twitter.com/ewiOSJrBrZ
Do you think Bagent makes the Bears' 53-man roster, comes back to the practice squad, or ends up on another team?