Barring some unforeseen turn of events, the Chicago Bears must pivot their focus to strengthening the rest of the roster. That’s not what fans want to hear, nor what they were sold for weeks to end the season, but that is the reality. It was so much as etched in stone when the Bears social media team sent out a tweet proclaiming Andy Dalton as “QB1”.
The Attention Needs to Stay on the Rest of the Roster for the Chicago Bears
That went over about as well as one would expect. But it likely was as much of a signal of a change in approach as anything we’ve gotten from the folks up at Halas Hall in quite some time (which isn’t much).
Publicly subjecting the organization to the ridicule they surely knew was coming felt like a bite-the-bullet moment. The point where the organization decided to let the collective sports world hee and haw at their new starting quarterback. What they do next, though, could go a long way toward easing some of the base’s pain.
Mock drafters have the Bears doing any number of things in the draft from trading up for a quarterback to sitting put and taking the best player on the board. In between, you see the offensive line and, perhaps, a cornerback or even safety.
The point is the Bears could take advantage of the expected run on quarterbacks in a totally different way. Let everyone else fight for dibs on a piece of what’s really a questionable class outside of Trevor Lawrence. Meanwhile, the Bears can rack up on help upfront, a playmaker, corner depth, and whatever else they might want.
Even a quarterback (go figure)!
“For My Next Trick…”
BPA, or best player available, is definitely the strategy they should go with. But there is a hierarchy if it were to come down to two players at two different positions.
The Bears need an offensive tackle and adding a wide receiver would be great. But they have a glaring hole at safety and created another at cornerback by moving on from Kyle Fuller. Desmond Trufant played in six games last season (15 total over the last two) due to injury. He also graded out horribly by Pro Football Focus, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The free-agent market looks better than you might expect at both right tackle and safety. Names like Rick Wagner and Kenny Vaccaro could be available for cheap if the Bears can manage to scrounge up any more money. More likely, Alex Bars will compete with a rookie for the right tackle job and Tashaun Gipson could still return at safety with a similar plan.
The draft should also provide some line help but there is also great depth at wide receiver. The Bears will likely prioritize those two positions at the top. If the Bears can grab a pass-catcher like Florida’s Kadarius Toney in the first round, grab an offensive tackle like Jackson Carman from Clemson in the second, and grab a safety, say Richie Grant out of UCF, that would be a boon.
Rest of Roster Should Remain Bears Focus
The reality is, the price of obtaining a quarterback is too high given the structure of the roster. Chicago’s best hope was the draft. But San Francisco traded up to take a passer, New England is exploring its trade options, and there are at least four quarterback-needy teams in-between.
The Bears only have three picks in the top-150 (20th, 52nd, and 83rd). They don’t pick again until the fifth round with the 164th selection. They then have to wait until their first (of four) sixth-rounders at 204. This is far from ideal, but it’s not unworkable.
Can they still take a massive swing come draft day when their 2024 picks can be traded? Certainly. In fact, that would be the only acceptable trade (up) involving picks at this point. The competition is too steep and there are too many holes on this roster to move up for one of the lesser prospects. Sit back, draft the best player available, and continue filling out the roster as they have this offseason
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