Bears offense gets facelift in 7-round mock draft

Bears offense gets facelift in 7-round mock draft

The 2020 NFL Draft will provide the Bears with an opportunity to upgrade several positions on both sides of the ball, but it's no secret that GM Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy will pay close attention to the offense and adding more weapons (and protection) for whoever ends up being the starting quarterback.

In this new seven-round mock draft, the Bears add a high-end pass-catching tight end and a pair of offensive linemen who all have a chance to make an early impact in their careers. There's also a late-round quarterback who has some exciting upside, if developed properly.

The defense isn't completely ignored, either. Khalil Mack gets a new running-mate in Round 2.

Check out the complete mock draft below:

Bears 7-Round Mock Draft

How Tom Brady could make a Derek Carr trade realistic for the Bears

How Tom Brady could make a Derek Carr trade realistic for the Bears

There is a way for the cap-strapped Bears to get a high-priced quarterback upgrade without limiting their ability to address other needs. And it's centered around Tom Brady. 

It would also require Ryan Pace to make his boldest move in addition to a bunch of other things falling into place around the league. How likely this hypothetical (and to be clear: This is only a hypothetical) is to play out is one thing — more on that later — but here’s how Brady could get the Bears a better quarterback without breaking their salary cap. 

Between the NFL’s legal tampering window opening March 16 and the new league year beginning March 18, every free agent quarterback but Brady finds a new home. Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Dak Prescott, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are all under contract by March 20. 

The Bears, too, sign Case Keenum to a cheap one-year contract. Think about $5 million. 

Meanwhile, Brady — intent on exploring free agency for the first time in his career — takes his time making a decision. Maybe he doesn’t have a cross-country traveling tour, but he meets with teams in of his (I’m assuming here) several palatial estates. 

So the New England Patriots, not wanting to risk Brady leaving them in the lurch, trade for Andy Dalton as insurance. 

The days melt off the calendar, and all of a sudden, it’s March 23 and Brady is ready to make a decision. The Colts and Chargers and Titans aren’t in play, deciding not to risk leaving themselves exposed to the whims of a 43-year-old who believes good hydration prevents sunburns. The same goes for the Patriots. 

And on March 25, Brady decides to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders.  

All of a sudden, all of the teams that seemed to need a quarterback don’t. The Raiders don’t have a path to trading Carr to the Colts or Patriots or Chargers or Buccaneers.

You can see where this is going. 

The Jon Gruden/Mike Mayock brain trust is not going to cut him, but they will accept a lesser offer for a relatively cheap 28-year-old who had a passer rating of 100.8 and threw for 4,000 yards last year. 

The only way the Raiders trade Carr is if they sign Brady (Cam Newton, even if healthy, doesn't fit Gruden's offense). That’s the only path for Carr to become available; in this case, he’s available but there aren’t many suitors for him. 

What if Pace, in his boldest move of all, called up Gruden and Mayock and made this pitch: We’ll send you a couple of late-round picks…but also Mitch Trubisky. 

This allows the Bears to get get their version of Alex Smith for only an additional $9 million in cap space in 2020 (Carr’s cap hit is $21.5 million; Trubisky’s is about $9.2 million). That’s entirely palatable; much more so than trading for Carr and keeping Trubisky, meaning the Bears will sink over $30 million into their quarterback room in 2020. 

A Carr-Keenum pairing completely turns over the Bears’ quarterback room for the better, all while allowing Pace the flexibly to pay for a starting tight end, right guard, inside linebacker and/or safety in free agency. 

Don’t discount the Raiders’ interest — specifically, Gruden’s — in trying to “fix” a talented, yet underperforming, quarterback. They did it a year ago with DeShone Kizer, for some reason, and could be convinced to view Trubisky as the heir apparent to Brady once he retires. Sure, Trubisky will hit free agency after 2020 if his fifth-year option isn't picked up, but there's value for getting him in the building. 

If everything in this scenario were to fall into place and you were to ask “who says no?” it feels like Pace may be more likely to say no than Gruden. 

This is how the Bears are able to trade for Carr but still address other needs on their roster with a meager amount of cap space and draft capital. The Bears, otherwise, can’t realistically add a significant upgrade over Trubisky without making the rest of their 2020 roster worse. 

The reality check, though, is this hypothetical is not exactly realistic. None of this matters if the Raiders don’t lure Brady to Nevada. And, too, expect the Bears to continue to send signals of their firm belief in Trubisky this week from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, with their focus on adding a guy like Keenum to compete with him — but not a guy like Carr to replace him as the starter. 

But if you’re in the camp that the Bears need bold action at quarterback, this would be it. And hey, it’s at least fun to dream, right?

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NFL Combine: Top QB prospects check the boxes at weigh-in

NFL Combine: Top QB prospects check the boxes at weigh-in

The Chicago Bears will be in the market for a quarterback in the 2020 NFL draft, which more than any other position in the sport, has strict physical requirements that many old-school scouting personnel refuse to ignore.

Recent success stories like Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray have begun to change the narrative that suggests to be a starting quarterback in the NFL a player must be at least 6-foot-2, but anything below the 6-foot mark will raise a red flag even in today's less-strict scouting community.

Fortunately for the 2020 NFL Draft, most of the top quarterback prospects have checked-in above the minimum threshold. 

Here are the results for some of those players, including potential Bears targets in the second round (Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm and Jalen Hurts):

Joe Burrow (LSU)
Height: 6’3 4/8
Weight: 221
Hand: 9

Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)
Height: 6’0
Weight: 217
Hand: 9 7/8

Justin Herbert (Oregon) 
Height: 6’6 2/8
Weight: 236
Hand: 10

Jacob Eason (Washington)
Height: 6'5 7/8
Weight: 231
Hand: 9 4/8

Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)
Height: 6'1
Weight: 222
Hand: 9 6/8

Jordan Love (Utah State)
Height: 6’3 6/8
Weight: 224
Hand: 10 4/8  

Jake Fromm (Georgia) 
Height: 6’1 7/8
Weight: 219
Hand: 8 7/8