Dan Pompei, writing for the National Football Post, had a comment in his weekly NFL Sunday Blitz feature that might make Bear fans sit up and take notice. He comments upon the fact that there’s no consensus on the top eight quarterbacks. These are Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Ryan Mallet, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, and Ricky Stanzi.
The first two will be gone in the first half of round one. The last six, however, are a different story.
“‘The all have holes in them,’ an NFC director of college scouting said. ‘So it will be beauty in the eye of the beholder.’
“Despite the fact that all of them have holes in them, they aren’t supposed to last long on draft day. It’s starting to look like all eight could be gone by the end of round three. ‘Teams that think they’ll get the quarterback they want in the second round could be in for a rude awaking,’ the director said. ‘Teams could be trading up to late first round for those guys.’”
As anyone who is reading this knows, the “late first round” means “Chicago Bears territory.”
Certainly the Bears have a history of trading out of the first round. The relevant theory is one that was addressed recently by Omar Kelly at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as he mulled over the possibility that the Dolphins might trade down:
“The thought process is two top 60 players are better than one, and I support this approach considering there’s little difference between the 15th rated player and selection No. 45.”
I support this approach as well and – more to the point – so, seemingly, does Bears general manager Jerry Angelo. Unless there’s a guy there that the organization really likes (center/guard Mike Pouncey comes to mind) I believe Angelo will gladly pull the trigger to trade back into the second round to pick up extra draft picks.
The Bears are far from the only team that will be looking to trade down in the draft and ordinarily I would consider the odds low that they would find a partner at 29 to do it. But as the excerpt from Pompei’s column indicates, this isn’t an ordinary year.
There are a lot of teams looking for quarterbacks and with free agency coming late, they won’t know if they’ll be able to get one there. They won’t be desperate enough to spend a top 15 pick on one of those latter six guys where they would all be a reach. But if other general managers start trading into the latter half of round one to gobble up quarterbacks, those teams aren’t going to be willing to wait until the early second round to see if their guy is still there.
That means the Bears pick at 29 might be in demand.