If Bears fans were granted one wish to change the fortunes of the franchise, it would probably be to go back to the 2017 NFL draft and select quarterback Patrick Mahomes instead of Mitch Trubisky. Unfortunately, the other 30 teams who didn't end that year's draft with Mahomes would likely do the same thing, including the Cleveland Browns at No. 1 overall (they took Myles Garrett). As a result, the Bears realistically wouldn't have that chance, even in this unrealistic exercise.
With that in mind, Pro Football Focus conducted a 2017 re-draft and sent the Bears the next-best quarterback in the class, Deshaun Watson.
Watson isn’t perfect. He still tries to play hero ball too often and forces unnecessary pressure on himself because of it, but he has shown that he can be a borderline MVP candidate when he’s on his game, as he was earlier this season before finishing the season as the eighth-highest graded quarterback (82.4 overall grade). Those quarterbacks aren’t a dime a dozen, so the Bears trade up again in the hopes of securing theirs. This time they make the right decision.
Of the big three quarterbacks, Trubisky was the only one who didn't get picked in this first-round re-draft scenario.
Trubisky's career through three seasons hasn't been anything near Mahomes or Watson's. Mahomes has a league MVP and Super Bowl MVP on his resume, while Watson's name is on the annual shortlist for the league's best player. Trubisky, meanwhile, could lose his starting job to an aging free-agent veteran this offseason. So, yeah, he doesn't deserve to be anywhere near the first round in any re-draft, and there's a good chance he never will.
The narrative around Trubisky has gone from bad to downright brutal since the end of the regular season. The Bears are one of the first teams mentioned among clubs that could (and should) be in the free-agent quarterback market; it's assumed that with one of those veterans under center, Chicago can make a legitimate push for the Super Bowl.
If we deconstruct that a bit, it means Trubisky is the reason why they didn't make that run this year.
There's still a large contingent of Bears fans who support Trubisky and blame the play-calling and offensive line for his struggles in 2019. Those points have merit, but the impact on Trubisky's overall evaluation is minimal. When a quarterback consistently misses routine throws and is challenged by his coach to learn how to read defenses this offseason, it's usually the quarterback who's the problem. Not his supporting cast.
Even Trubisky's 2018 season, one in which he seemed to set the stage for a breakout year in 2019, was deemed an outlier by PFF. It was the product of luck more than skill, according to the analytics. It's a conclusion that's hard to argue with.
Hindsight is 20/20 and there's nothing the Bears can do about their epic fail in the 2017 draft. It's time to move forward, add a legitimate starting quarterback to the depth chart this offseason, and challenge Trubisky to prove he was the right pick after all.
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