After months and months of discourse, mock drafts, and baseless character assassinations, we’ve finally made it to draft day. And I couldn’t be more terrified of what the Chicago Bears will or won’t do.
There is an infinite number of alternate realities that exist out when it comes to projecting or mocking how the NFL draft will unfold. Sometimes, you’re happy with the players your team added in a three-day span. And sometimes, well, your team does something unexpected and that emotionally ruins you for a while. No matter which simulation we as fans want the most, nothing ever goes according to plan.
So where does a team such as the Chicago Bears fall on the spectrum?
Ideally, they find themselves in the “winners” category after every website grades every team’s work. But we all know with this organization led by this group of upper-level management, they tend to do whatever feels “right” whenever they have “conviction”. That’s the kind of mindset that can keep a fanbase up at night because they believe any problem they bring upon themselves is solvable.
When you have your Chairman and President/CEO of the team say that the quarterback play wasn’t good enough (an astute observation) but everything else is totally fine (a statement that couldn’t be more wrong), you have reasons to worry. Several months later, that atrocity of a press conference still lives rent-free inside my brain. That openly humiliating display of cluelessness is exactly why Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy running this week’s operation once again is a terrifying proposition.
There are plenty of things that both of those men have done over the years that I can applaud and appreciate. But all the blemishes and disasters they’ve been a party to have made the diehards physically ill.
How does an organization”swing” on a position that they haven’t gotten right in decades?
What’s the long-term play at quarterback? They need to win now but they need to add new blood. Andy Dalton might be getting paid to be the starter and might have been promised that title, but so was Mike Glennon.
There’s no doubt the Bears have snooped around quite a few of the top-end prospects at the most important position in the game. Is there a blockbuster trade-up for Justin Fields or Trey Lance in the works? What if the Niners decide to “pass” on Mac Jones? Where does he fit in all of this? Are they going to execute an elaborate trade-down and then reach for a Kellen Mond or Davis Mills? Do they even consider quarterback until day two or even day three? Do they try their luck and double-dip as Washington did in 2012 with Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins (something that more teams should consider doing)?
Swinging on that position in the middle of the draft is like playing the lottery, and it’s not like someone wins it every year. There are only so many drafts where a Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott will fall into a perfect situation. This makes the position picking dead center in each round a precarious situation. It’s almost pointless to take one until the middle of the draft after the top-tier names go off the board.
What about the offensive line? Even if Dalton is the full-season starter next year, he won’t last behind that line as currently constructed. Nick Foles got thrashed behind that group, and the Red Rifle isn’t exactly fleet of foot, either. The wide receiver room needs work, especially without the long-term future of Allen Robinson locked in or the trade rumors revolving around Anthony Miller.
So, no, everything else isn’t “all there”. In fact, there are still plenty of questions about this team and its staff. A “great” draft class won’t necessarily fix all of them, either. The Bears are a team that we can try to be hopeful about because, like everyone else, they’ll have a chance to improve the roster, but that by no means we should feel good about whatever draft decisions the organization makes when we think big picture without actual results.
Make sure you prepare yourself for tonight. Manage your expectations accordingly. Set them low in case something bad happens. That way, you don’t feel any pain. But should something good happen? Celebrate in whatever way you deem appropriate.
There is a reason to be excited about the NFL draft because it’s the dawn of a new era for some teams. For others, it stands as nothing more than an anxiety-ridden roller coaster. That’s just the reality Chicago Bears fans happen to live in.