In five years, if Mitch Trubisky has firmly established himself as a good quarterback and the face of the Bears’ franchise…would anyone care how much draft capital Ryan Pace traded away to get him?
That was a point made by ESPN’s Todd McShay during an interesting back-and-forth with Mel Kiper during a conference call with reporters on Sunday. Consider this back-and-forth:
Kiper: I think the Trubisky pick, the Trubisky move, having Glennon, I understand it. I think Trubisky needs time. I wish he would’ve stayed for another year. He didn’t.
McShay: Give him some time.
Kiper: But how much time in the NFL these days? I mean, people are going to say, if Glennon’s struggling this year in Chicago, get Trubisky ready.
McShay: Even if it’s just eight games or 10 games, then at least it’s something and you’re in the process, you’re watching, you’re learning.
Kiper: But he hadn’t played. He only started 13 games.
McShay: I understand that. I’m saying, listen — I think they gave up an awful lot to go get him, but five years from now, if they’ve developed him properly into a starting quarterback and he’s the guy for a decade, no one’s ever going to care what they gave up for him. No one ever talks about what (Philadelphia Eagles GM) Howie Rosman gave up to go up and get Carson Wentz. They gave up a lot. But it looks like Wentz is going to be a good starter for them for a long time, so no one cares. I think that’s the only position you trade up for. And if you gotta give up a little bit more than value, I’m fine with it.
It’s worth noting that the Bears recouped some of the draft capital they lost in dealing up for Trubisky when they traded down with the Arizona Cardinals from No. 36 to No. 45 in the second round. MMQB’s Peter King noted in his fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the San Francisco 49ers Draft Day (read here) that the Bears paid about one-third the draft “points” to get Trubisky as former San Diego Chargers general manager Bobby Beathard paid to trade up and draft Ryan Leaf in 1998.
Any comparison to Leaf, of course, is cringe-worthy given how badly the Washington State product flamed out in the NFL (Leaf, as a sidenote, wrote a gutting first-person story for the Players’ Tribune last week that’s worth a read).
But the second half of McShay’s analysis of Trubisky is a lesson in patience when grading a move as bold as the once Pace made Thursday night:
McShay: Trubisky’s tape looks like he could be a good starter in the league. Now they have to develop him and see what the timeline is once they get him in the building and how quickly he digests the offense, how quickly he learns the verbage, how quickly he’s able to get in and out of the huddle and make the pre-snap checks and kills that he needs to make. You just won’t know until you start the process. But I think — as much as it surprised me that they did it, and as much as they gave up, if he winds up being a good starter for them then they made the right decision.