Bears open to trading back in first round of NFL Draft

Bears open to trading back in first round of NFL Draft

Bears general manager Ryan Pace sent a clear message to the NFL: Operators are standing by now to take your calls regarding deals around this year's draft.

Meaning: The Bears are more than open to trading down as early as this year’s first round.

The Bears approach the draft sitting at No. 11 in the round, and Pace said Wednesday that the team has “more than 11 names” it likes as possibilities at that spot. By the time the Bears’ turn comes Thursday night, they will have a handful of players graded good enough to warrant that pick.

That points to the Bears being willing to drop back a spot or three, secure in the knowledge that at least one of their top talent projections will still be there as they add to their quiver of nine picks right now. And because Pace said that he considers the Bears as having a range of needs, the added picks represent more bites at the talent apple.

“We have more than 11 names right now ... that we’re prepared to go with,” Pace said. “If it falls out a certain way, we have enough names where we feel comfortable if we had to go back, we could still go back and get a good player.”

How far back?

“I’ll tell you after the draft,” Pace said, laughing.

Pace declined to hint at which positions are considered the strongest in this draft. But he said that the Bears have a sense of which and how many truly elite players lie in this draft class.

The Bears set up their draft phone bank with one scout assigned to AFC teams, one to NFC teams and a third coordinating information for Pace and player personnel director Josh Lucas. The activity on those lines will ratchet up as the Bears’ 10 minutes on the clock approach sometime around 8 p.m. Thursday night.

“You can be on the clock and there are trade discussions about going back,” Pace said. “Or teams are calling. So there’s really not a lot of talk about the player you’re going to select. That’s become pretty obvious. It’s more about, ‘Hey, do we want to go back here?’ Those kinds of questions. That would be more the conversation that’s going on when you’re on the clock.”

Mitch Trubisky becomes first Bears QB named to the Pro Bowl since 1986

Mitch Trubisky becomes first Bears QB named to the Pro Bowl since 1986

Mitch Trubisky is going to the Pro Bowl, with the Bears' quarterback replacing Jared Goff on the NFC roster with the Rams advancing to the Super Bowl.

Trubisky was previously named a Pro Bowl alternate after throwing for 3,223 yards with 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 95.4. Trubisky's passer rating ranked 10th in the NFC, behind Drew Brees, Russell Wilson (who replaced Aaron Rodgers on the NFC roster), Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz (who's injured), Goff, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kirk Cousins, Rodgers and Dad Prescott. Trubisky's 3,223 yards rank 11th in the conference, while only three NFC quarterbacks threw more interceptions than Trubisky (Jameis Winston, Josh Rosen and Cam Newton). 

Still, the Bears will take Trubisky's invite to the Pro Bowl as a positive marker in his development even if his production wasn't in the top half of quarterbacks in his own conference. He's the first Bears quarterback to be named to a Pro Bowl since Jim McMahon in 1986. 

In the aftermath of the Bears' first-round playoff exit, coach Matt Nagy, general manager Ryan Pace and Trubisky's teammates said they were pleased with the growth Trubisky made in 2018

“We're lucky to have him," Nagy said. "I'm looking forward to the future. I really am, with him, because the city of Chicago is lucky to have that kid at quarterback.”

Trubisky will join defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, cornerback Kyle Fuller, safety Eddie Jackson and returner Tarik Cohen at the Pro Bowl, with linebacker Khalil Mack dropping out after tweaking his knee against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson's inclusion in the Bears' press release about Trubisky would seem to indicate he'll be going to Orlando after missing the Bears' final three games of the season with a sprained ankle. 

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The Bears are headed to London next year to play the Raiders

USA Today

The Bears are headed to London next year to play the Raiders

Time to readjust that 2019 Bears' games budget. 

On Monday morning, the Bears announced that they'll be headed to London next season: 

It'll be the first time the Bears have played in London since October 2011, when they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-18. 

It's one of 5 international games next season, all of which were announced this morning: 

Get ready for some 9am Bears football!