With the 2021 NFL Draft two weeks away, the Chicago Bears have several needs on their roster and that includes the need for a long-term solution at the quarterback position.
The Bears began to address the quarterback position this off-season when they signed veteran free agent Andy Dalton to a one-year, $10 million deal. One of the reasons why Dalton chose to sign with the Bears is because of the assurance he received that he would be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021.
That sentiment has caused backlash among Bears’ fans. The backlash continued when the Bears were mocked both locally and nationally for posting a tweet of Dalton in a Bears’ uniform with a caption that read “QB1”.
The backlash has been misguided. Since the signing of Dalton, it is important that Bears fans realize that neither general manager Ryan Pace nor head coach Matt Nagy insisted that Dalton would be the long-term answer for the Bears at the quarterback position. Dalton is not the Bears’ long-term answer at the quarterback position and the team is aware of that fact.
That would be why eyes should be on the 2021 NFL Draft for the Bears. A recent report from Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune suggests that the Bears are prioritizing the quarterback position in this year’s draft:
There has been sentiment around the NFL for a few weeks that the Bears are plotting a move for a quarterback, that Pace and Nagy view that as their best chance to spark a turnaround while also providing hope for the future. The Bears could continue with their plan to start Dalton while bringing along a rookie, hoping the veteran performs well enough that they don’t have to turn to a draft pick in an effort to try to save jobs.
There are currently five quarterbacks projected to be selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Those quarterbacks are Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones. From previous reporting, we already know that the Bears have attended the Pro Days for both Lance on Jones.
On Wednesday, Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy was spotted at Fields’ Pro Day.
When talking about the prospects of the Bears trading up and taking another risk on a rookie quarterback, there is one important distinction to make. That distinction is that Nagy was not with the Bears when the team gambled on Mitchell Trubisky in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Nagy, who appears to be on the hot seat as the Bears’ head coach along with Pace, may have hung the prospects of saving his job on the idea of selecting his own quarterback. If that is the case, along with the idea that Pace and Nagy are unchecked in their football decisions, it is not out of reason to think that the Bears could be eyeing a move up in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft to select one of the five top quarterback prospects.
There are still scars from the Bears’ mistake of selecting Trubisky and for that reason, there is skepticism over Pace being allowed to trade up and select another quarterback. Here is the thing about life in the NFL, a team can not let their past dictate their future.
A team must keep taking shots at fixing the quarterback position for however long it takes until they find a franchise quarterback. It may not be ideal that Pace is the general manager taking the shot for the Chicago Bears but if he has an opportunity to select a quarterback like Fields, he needs to act upon it.