It’s Never Too Early to Start Looking for Your Next Quarterback

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions.

Any QBs in the draft next April that have a similar skill set to Justin Fields (a duel threat vs. a pocket passer) that Bears could consider targeting in the fourth to seventh rounds? That would emulate the Baltimore Ravens’ approach with mobile backup Tyler Huntley backing up Lamar Jackson. — @jboba

Interesting question and something to keep in mind moving forward. My first reaction is the hit rate on quarterbacks in Round 1 is very bad, as everyone knows. The hit rate on quarterbacks in later rounds — even as backups — only gets worse. Typically, No. 2 quarterbacks tend to be guys that have circulated around the league and proven themselves with a little bit of playing time. That’s what the Bears have right now in Trevor Siemian, who signed a two-year contract in the spring. He was a seventh-round pick out of Northwestern and made 24 starts with the Denver Broncos in his second and third seasons to build a resume that will keep him employed for a while.

Huntley signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and was pressed into action with four starts last season, the first of which was at Soldier Field in a 16-13 Baltimore victory. Huntley’s skills give the Ravens a similar player to Jackson, as you note.

I am intrigued by the idea but wonder if it’s too soon to make this a priority. The Bears obviously value Siemian for what he brings to their quarterback room and they have so many needs across both sides of the ball that I think using a draft pick on a quarterback would be a wish list item in 2023.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. It’s never too early to be looking for your next quarterback, even if it’s just a back up.

I realize that the Bears have a lot of needs. But it’s thinking like this that leads you to the point where you are scrambling around in desperation mode looking for somebody when you need a quarterback and you don’t have one. Even with Fields looking as good as he does as a starter for the future, there is no guarantee that he will be a complete hit long-term. For one thing, he’s a running quarterback who could get badly hurt at any time. For another, I think its safe to say that no one is completely sold on him yet passing the ball – his primary job as a quarterback.

Even if you are 100% convinced that Fields is the guy going forward, the Bears cannot afford to be complacent and simply look to fill other immediate needs. It’s this kind of thinking that leads teams to be on the kind of merry go round that the Bears have been on since… well, forever.

Quarterback is always a need.

If the Bears see a quarterback that they like that they can get in one of those later rounds – a big if – even if its just to fill the third quarterback spot on the roster behind Siemian, they need to take him. You can never pass up somebody like that no matter how long the odds are of hitting on the position.

GM Ryan Poles needs to look toward the future at the quarterback position. Always. No matter what the immediate needs are. He simply cannot afford to do otherwise for the long-term health of the franchise.

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