Chicago Bears: John Elway, Teddy Bridgewater could help QB situation

The 2021 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and the Chicago Bears may still receive a bit of help on their quest for a quarterback.

Recent trades have shaken up the draft in a big way, and after the first big deal went down, it appeared as though the Bears were going to be on the outside looking in at the first-round quarterbacks.

When the San Francisco 49ers dealt for the Miami Dolphins’ pick at number three overall, the assumption was that there will now be three quarterbacks selected over the first trio of picks. Monday, that assumption grew even stronger when the New York Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers.

Now, it’s almost guaranteed to go Trevor Lawrence at no. 1, Zach Wilson at no. 2 and — well, one of three names at the third pick to San Francisco.

All hope is not lost for the Chicago Bears to move up and select a first-round quarterback.

After the three quarterbacks go back-to-back-to-back, we’re probably going to see some combination of LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts and Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell go next. That would bring us to the seventh overall pick, held by the Detroit Lions.

Will the Lions go quarterback there, even after taking on the Jared Goff contract? Or will they look to add something they desperately need like a wide receiver or someone on the defensive side of the ball — pick a position.

That number eight pick could be up for grabs and might just hold a quarterback for the Bears. However, Chicago may not have to trade for Carolina’s no. 8 pick for a couple of reasons.

The Panthers won’t go quarterback at pick eight, so let’s move on for the sake of this argument. At number nine overall, the Denver Broncos are definitely a team to watch out for in the quarterback market. But, maybe they don’t draft a quarterback there.

Instead, an idea proposed by NBC Sports’ Mike Florio is that the Broncos instead trade for Teddy Bridgewater to compete with Drew Lock.

“In Denver, former Vikings assistant G.M. George Paton is looking for a Drew Lock upgrade. Bridgewater was on the brink of a breakout in 2016 in Minnesota, before a fluke knee injury. Paton could be intrigued by the possibility of giving Bridgewater a chance to grow into the job with the Broncos while otherwise looking for a long-term fix — if they need one. (Bridgewater is still only 28.).”

If the Panthers traded Bridgewater to the Broncos, we could then move on to pick number 10 where the New York Giants would have a decision to make. Do they commit to Daniel Jones for one more season? They’ve certainly surrounded him with a talented arsenal.

All of this goes to say that the Bears may not have to trade up as high as some people think. The previously mentioned teams could pass on quarterback while going for other first-round talents like Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Micah Parsons or Patrick Surtain Jr.

There is no guarantee the Bears are going to miss out on a quarterback even at pick no. 20. However, if they wanted to best shot at one, they should look at trading up into the early teens — assuming we saw Bridgewater go to the Broncos.

If the Broncos dealt for Bridgewater, that could drastically change the outlook of the draft for Chicago. It would give the fan base just a bit more hope that, just maybe, the team would make a move for one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class.