Minshew Mania took the NFL by storm in 2019, and it almost happened in Chicago.
Minshew told Fansided's Mark Carmen that the Bears were the only other team besides the Jacksonville Jaguars that he had a formal meeting with at the 2019 Scouting Combine. "I loved it, meeting with (Matt) Nagy and all those guys," Minshew said. "They were awesome. We got to talk some really good ball. For a while, I thought that was going to be a real possibility. But you know what? I ended up right where I was supposed to be."
The rookie sixth-round quarterback from Washington State enjoyed an unexpected rise to stardom after replacing an injured Nick Foles in the Jaguars' starting lineup. He was an effective NFL quarterback who threw for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions in 12 starts.
Minshew is one of the first names mentioned when formulating a Bears offseason quarterback strategy, too. He represents the Day-3 upside pick that GM Ryan Pace should try to find in 2020, even if Chicago adds a veteran to compete with Mitch Trubisky this summer.
Hindsight is 20/20, but had the Bears actually pulled the trigger on Minshew last year, there's little doubt he would've ascended to QB1 and never looked back. He proved in just 12 starts in 2019 that he has a more natural feel for the pocket and a better playmaker's mentality than Trubisky, who's logged 41 regular-season starts in three seasons in Chicago.
It's also worth noting the amount of time the Bears spent with Minshew, considering one of the knocks against him was the offense he was coming from. Mike Leach's system at Washington State isn't known for producing quality NFL starters, but Chicago's willingness to meet with Minshew suggests they might also be willing to give long consideration to Anthony Gordon, who excelled under Leach as a Cougar in 2019 with 5,579 yards and 48 touchdowns.
At least we know the Bears did some homework on quarterback prospects in 2019. Now, it's time to deliver results and not allow another Minshew-type gem slip away.